Florissant protests continue after viral video

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The protests started after door-bell video was posted on social media showing a police detective hitting a man with his unmarked squad car.

FLORISSANT, Mo. — It’s been nearly a month since protests first erupted in Florissant.

And both police and protesters say they have not all been peaceful.

“Every night that I have been there we have been peacefully protesting in a line and police forcefully attack us,” said Aaron Koth, one of the protesters.

The protests started after door-bell video was posted on social media showing a police detective hitting a man with his unmarked squad car.

That officer, Joshua Smith, has since been fired and charged with assault.

RELATED: Other officers seen in video of Florissant officer hitting man with SUV won’t face charges

RELATED: Fired Florissant police officer charged after video showed him hitting man with police SUV

But two other officers on the scene were not disciplined or charged and protesters want them to be.

The group is pushing for change within the department, and say the protests have been getting violent, but at no fault of their own.

“We are not being violent we are simply chanting and talking to them. and they responded by physically pushing us and knocking us down,” said Koth.

The department published a Facebook post that said four people were arrested after causing property damage and refusing to disperse Monday night.

“I didn’t hear any disperse orders I didn’t hear anything, all I did was see them walk towards us and walk towards protesters,” said Tiffany Parks a protester who was there at the time.

“They started just arresting people, just randomly arresting people, after arrests were made they unlawfully seized everyone’s property.”

In other Facebook posts published by the department, officers say they were assaulted with frozen bottles, glass bottles and rocks. They say protesters refuse to use areas designated to them and that they have become more aggressive and confrontational.

“I don’t understand that people cant see that reacting with violence to protesting violence is something that a person in power shouldn’t be able to do,” said Koth in reaction to police.

Parks, a longtime Florissant resident says she will continue protesting for change.

 “Just the tactics that they’re using to intimidate people, to silence protesters, to not come out anymore makes me want to come out every night just as much so.”





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