A refrain commonly chanted by Black Lives Matter activists was shouted Sunday night by St. Louis police officers as law enforcement officials arrested more than 80 people during the city’s third night of unrest.
“Whose streets? Our streets!” the cops yelled after clearing a street of protesters and spectators, according to The Associated Press.
The phrase was chanted twice, reported David Carson, a photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He later tweeted that a police official claimed he hadn’t heard the chant but said he would “deal with it.”
I spoke with the commander at the scene, he said he did not hear the chant, but said chant was not acceptable, said he would deal with it.
— David Carson (@PDPJ) September 18, 2017
Carson also tweeted a video that he said captured police chanting the refrain.
Schron Y. Jackson, public information manager for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said the department is reviewing footage of “the video circulating on social media,” though she didn’t specify which video.
“We hold our officers to the highest standards of professionalism and any officer not meeting those standards will be held accountable,” Jackson told HuffPost in an email Monday.
The Ethical Society of Police, which primarily represents black St. Louis police officers, said such actions go against the oath officers take.
“We as officers took a sworn oath to uphold the mission, purpose, and goals of our Department toward our community, whether we encounter them in the street or in their homes,” President Heather Taylor told HuffPost in a statement.
“We must abide by that oath under all circumstances. Our Code of Ethics states, ‘I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions.’ That chant goes against the very code of ethics we swore to abide by. Whether we agree with demonstrations, protests, or acts of violence, it is our job to do our job free of personal bias.”
Sunday marked the third night in a row that violence broke out in the city following peaceful daytime demonstrations protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24.
More than 1,000 people showed up to nonviolently protest police brutality, but by nightfall some people in the crowd had begun smashing storefront windows and vandalizing…