Police arrest a protester Friday night in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson / AP

Large protests turned violent Friday in St. Louis after a former police officer was cleared in the fatal shooting of a black man, causing injuries to multiple law enforcement officers, property damage, and more than a dozen arrests.

The protests came in response to a judge finding Jason Stockley, who is white, not guilty of murder for fatally shooting Anthony Lamar Smith, a drug suspect, in 2011. Stockley was an officer with the St. Louis Police Department at the time, and was heard saying "we're killing this motherfucker, don't you know it" while involved in a high-speed chase with Smith.

In the hours after the verdict, large groups of protesters gathered in locations around the city. At a news conference Friday afternoon, acting St. Louis Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said a total of 13 people had been arrested. He described the protests as having "tense moments" but said they were ultimately mostly peaceful.

Jeff Roberson / AP

But tensions rose after nightfall when a crowd gathered outside the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who earlier said she was "appalled at what happened to Anthony Lamar Smith." Police tweeted that "agitators" were at her home and were "throwing rocks and breaking windows, despite being instructed not to."

Images appeared to show exterior damage to the home.

Soon after, police formed lines in the area and tweeted that "officers have given two commands that this is an unlawful assembly." They then fired tear gas at the crowds.

Images also showed damage to a library in the area, and police said that "agitators have destroyed property of at least one business."

Amid the confrontation, Krewson tweeted that "the violence is unacceptable."

Police said two officers were hospitalized with serious injuries after being struck with bricks thrown by protesters. A third officer was injured but not hospitalized.

Earlier in the day, four other officers were assaulted, though O'Toole said they suffered only minor injuries and were not taken to the hospital.

A flag is set on fire as protesters gather in St. Louis Friday.

Jeff Roberson / AP

Prior to the confrontation near the mayor's home, images from the protests showed a number of clashes between demonstrators and police. In one video, shared by the local Fox TV affiliate, a line of police officers appears to knock over an elderly woman, then step over her as she lies on the ground.

When asked about the video, police spokesperson Schron Jackson told BuzzFeed News the "demonstrators were ordered to leave the area."

"The woman shown in the video refused to leave the street and area as officers were attempting to move them back," Schron said in an email. Police did not say if the woman was ultimately arrested.

Other images posted by protesters Friday showed police using pepper spray and batons while taking demonstrators into custody.

Another aerial video showed riot police charging into a crowd.

The St. Louis Police Department also posted a video showing "agitators damaging a police car."

Other images from the scene showed businesses boarded up as people marched through the streets. In videos, protesters could be heard chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police."

LINK: A Cop Was Found Not Guilty In The Fatal Shooting Of A Black Man In St. Louis



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