U2 cancels St. Louis concert after protests lead to dozens of arrests

The city erupted in protest Friday after an ex-cop was acquitted for a killing.

ByABC News
September 16, 2017, 10:53 AM

— -- After violent protests erupted in St. Louis Friday night, U2 has announced they've canceled a Saturday night performance in the city.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said 32 people were arrested when protesters took to the streets after a white former police officer, Jason Stockley, was acquitted earlier that day in the 2011 fatal shooting of Lamar Smith, a black man.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson found Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the Dec. 20, 2011 incident, in which Stockley shot Smith five times after a high-speed chase and crash.

In a statement released Saturday morning, the Irish rock band, along with Live Nation, said, "We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size. We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity."

"In light of this information," the statement continued, "we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment."

Fans who had purchased tickets for the Saturday night performance inside St. Louis' The Dome at America’s Center will receive a full refund.

U2 is currently on tour performing their classic album, "The Joshua Tree," which was released on March 9, 1987. To mark the album's 30th anniversary, the band embarked on the tour in May.

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