Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

St. Louis Synagogue Gives Sanctuary To Protesters After March Turns Violent

(JTA) — A synagogue in St. Louis opened its doors to provide sanctuary for protesters demonstrating against the acquittal of a white policeman for the killing of a black suspect after police efforts to control the protesters led to violence.

After St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers reportedly surrounded the Central Reform Congregation on Friday night and threatened to fire tear gas at the protesters inside, a trending Twitter hashtag called on the police to #GasTheSynagogue.

The St. Louis Circuit court on Friday acquitted former police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 death Anthony Lamar Smith, 24. Stockley, who is white, shot Smith, who was black, five times after a high-speed chase.

On Friday night following the verdict, some 1,000 protesters marched through the streets of downtown St. Louis in protest of the verdict. Riot police pushed at protesters and used tear gas.

Some of the protesters given sanctuary in the synagogue took to social media to say that they were safe in the synagogue and grateful for the hospitality, which led others on social media to use the hashtag evoking Nazi atrocities.

In 2014 the synagogue, led by Rabbi Susan Talve, served as a sanctuary space for protesters after a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.