Protesters shut down roads in downtown St. Louis

Please be careful if you're in the area.

Protesters

A group of hundreds of protesters have shut down portions of the roadway in downtown St. Louis to express their anger over a police officer’s “not guilty” verdict handed down earlier today.

Protesters Shut Down Parts Of Downtown St. Louis

Police have responded to the protesters in riot gear and have used pepper spray to try and disperse the crowd.

According to the latest report from the St. Louis Police Department, some portions of of Tucker and Washington Avenue in the downtown area have been closed due to protesters blocking the roadway.

Law enforcement was successful in keeping the protesters from getting onto nearby interstates.

Police say that protesters have thrown water bottles at officers and rocks at a bus full of officers.

The protesters are marching after a judge handed down a “not guilty” verdict to a former police officer who faced first degree murder charges in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, who was shot to death following a high speed police pursuit.

A number of schools and nearby businesses shut down early because of the demonstrations.

Follow the St. Louis Police Department on Twitter for the latest updates on the situation.