(Reuters) – Demonstrators unfurled a banner that read “Stop Killing Us” at a Major League baseball game on Friday in St. Louis, where they were protesting the acquittal of a white former police officer who was accused of murdering a black man, local media reported.
A video posted on Facebook showed a group of demonstrators high above the playing field holding a banner with the St. Louis Cardinals’ mascot drawn on it as they shouted “No Justice. No Baseball” and “You can’t stop the revolution”.
The demonstrators were ushered out of the Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals lost to the Brewers 5-3. They then joined 200 other people in a march before the group was confronted by police in riot gear, who used a Taser on one and pepper spray on others, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
At least two people were arrested, police said on Twitter.
The incident comes two weeks after a judge acquitted white former officer Jason Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of African-American Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, following a police chase.
The acquittal sparked days of protests that at times were violent, with demonstrators clashing with police and destroying property. Some 123 people were arrested and about a dozen police were injured during the unrest.
Before the brief confrontation with police on Friday dozens of protesters marched downtown and blocked traffic before they arrived at Busch Stadium, where they met police behind barricades and got into arguments with fans after the game, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
The incident in St. Louis comes two weeks after campaigners inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement unfurled an anti-racism banner at a Boston Red Sox baseball game before security guards escorted them from the ballpark.
The banner, hung over the famed Green Monster wall at the Major League team’s Fenway Park stadium, read “Racism is as American as baseball”.
NFL players have been kneeling during the National Anthem to draw attention to what they say is social and racial injustice. The gesture sparked a national debate after President Donald Trump told a political rally a week ago that any protesting player was a “son of a bitch” who should be fired, and urged a boycott of NFL games.
Trump’s statements triggered protests by dozens of players, coaches and some owners before last Sunday’s games.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Andrew Bolton)