U2 Cancel Tonight’s St. Louis Concert Due to Lack of Security
Because of social unrest in St. Louis, U2 have canceled their concert scheduled for tonight at the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis. The band and Live Nation sent out a joint press release this morning announcing the decision.
"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," it reads. "We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity. "
"In light of this information," it 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.”
As The Washington Post reports, demonstrations broke out yesterday after Jason Stockley, a St. Louis police officer, was acquitted of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith. Although the protestors were described by police chief Lawrence O'Toole as "peaceful" in the afternoon, the situation changed as the night wore on. Bricks and bottles were thrown at the officers, who responded with tear gas and pepper-spray balls. Approximately 1,000 people went to the mayor's house, where windows were broken, and police in riot gear fired tear gas into the crowd.
According to court documents, Stockley, who is white, killed Smith, who is black, with five shots following a December 2011 car chase. The officer reportedly said he was "going to kill this motherf‑‑‑er, don't you know it" before shooting. Prosecutors also alleged that the gun found in Smith's car was planted by Stockley. Yesterday, Judge Timothy Wilson issued a 30-page ruling that said that was "simply not firmly convinced" that Stockley "did not act in self-defense."
UPDATE: The group has issued another statement via their Instagram feed. "Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight….I found myself reading Dr. King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017? - Bono 'Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability….we are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.'”
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