St Louis riot police break up third night of violent protests

ST LOUIS (REUTERS) - A third-straight night of protests in St Louis, Missouri starting out peacefully, but taking a violent turn.

Police in riot gear cracking down on chaos that began with street protests and marches in a mall earlier on Sunday (Sept 17).

Officers detained several people, including news photographers, after a frenzy broke out, leaving windows smashed and property damaged similar to the scenes on the previous two nights.

It's been a rowdy weekend in St Louis after a judge cleared former police officer Jason Stockley of murder in the fatal 2011 shooting of 24-year-old African-American Anthony Lamar Smith.

Hundreds of protesters staged a "die-in" outside police headquarters on Sunday afternoon and activists marched through the city center chanting, "white silence is white violence".

The nightly clashes stir memories of riots that followed the 2014 shooting of a black teenager by a white policer officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

Those protests gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has since staged demonstrations across the country.