In dramatic footage taken with a cell phone camera, St. Louis police can be seen using pepper-spray on protesters who swarmed the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday afternoon.
Early Wednesday, approximately 25 protesters attempted to force their way into the downtown police headquarters to evict the officers they accuse of “perpetrating police brutality on our citizenry,” according to Al Jazeera.
According to the organizers of the protest, they chose the day before New Years because they knew the headquarters would only be occupied by a skeleton staff. A large number of the initial protesters were able to gain access to the building because they were white, said another organizer.
“We got a lot of people in there because we didn’t look like what they think protesters look like,” said Elizabeth Vega.
Police attempting to relocate the protesters outside of the headquarters lobby resorted to physically removing the pushing and shoving crowd, before using pepper-spray as plain-clothes officers and office personnel attempted to close the interior doors.
In the video, one man can be hard repeatedly shouting and cursing at officers for using the pepper spray, as protesters chant “The whole world is watching” and “Who do you serve?”
After the crowd is moved outside, uniformed police can be seen setting up a cordon to prevent the chanting protestors — whose numbers eventually swelled to over 75 — from re-entering the building.
Watch video below, uploaded to YouTube by member twelveonesixty: