Richmond Heights Police reports on Galleria protest, disputes account of woman’s arrest

Richmond Heights Police responded to photos of a woman being arrested during the protest at the Galleria on Saturday, as reported by the Post-Dispatch, by posting on Facebook a photo of what looks like the woman jumping on the back of an officer before she was arrested, the department said. “…the full story wasn’t shared,” according to the department.

The department said Richmond Heights and St. Louis County Police arrested 23 people. Charges included Trespassing, Rioting, Resisting Arrest, and Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer.

Richmond Heights Police, via Facebook

One of the responses to the post on Facebook page said the woman “was protecting her 13-year old grandson who was being taken down with excessive force by your police officers.” The photo below was included.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer Christian Gooden posted photos of the event on Twitter.

 Richmond Heights Police released this report on Facebook on Saturday.

Protest at Saint Louis Galleria Saturday, 9-23-17

Protesters gathered outside the mall, in the area of the Cheesecake Factory, at about 12 noon. Protesters were allowed to then enter the mall and allowed to march and chant peacefully. At some point, an individual involved in the protest threw a garbage can. Protesters then began blocking the escalator in an attempt to take over the second floor of the mall. This was not tolerated by mall management, and they wanted all protesters removed from the mall.

Richmond Heights Police Department requested the assistance of the St. Louis County Police Department.

The Richmond Heights Police Department began ordering protesters to disperse. The first order to disperse was followed by another order to disperse. The St. Louis County Police Department then arrived on scene to assist.

The Richmond Heights Police Department then gave a 3rd order to disperse. The majority of the protesters did obey the orders to disperse. Some protesters did not respond to any of the orders, so arrests started to occur.

One St. Louis County Police Department officer was transported to a local hospital for a back injury. Two protesters suffered minor scrapes while they were taken into custody.

The Richmond Heights Police Department and St. Louis County Police Department arrested a total of 23 people. The charges range from Trespassing, Rioting, Resisting Arrest, and Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. These charges will be applied at the state level.

The Saint Louis Galleria knew in advance of the organized protest. Galleria management allowed the peaceful protest within the mall, however, requested it end once protesters would not respect the requests to not block shoppers ingress and egress on escalators. The mall was closed once arrests were made about 1:00pm and reopend at approximately 2:30pm

18 thoughts on “Richmond Heights Police reports on Galleria protest, disputes account of woman’s arrest

  1. These “protestors” should never have been allowed inside the mall to begin with. They should be kept off private property and restricted to the curb to do their “protesting”. Shoppers also have rights – the right to expect a safe environment and not be intimidated nor attacked by these “protestors”. Police have the right to use necessary force to keep the peace and protect innocent bystanders.

    • You should actually attend a protest so you will be better informed. The protesters (not in quotes, because that is what we actually are) are not attacking anyone. The shoppers were calmly watching and filming the nonviolent protest. Again, it was the police who were the attackers. The police made the environment unsafe. They seemed to want it to happen because, as many others have said, they could have calmly and audibly told the protesters to disperse and we would have. We were not given that opportunity. You have natural preconceived ideas honed by biased reporting and the false statement issued by police. Do your own research. Having an opinion is great, but let it be an informed and educated opinion.

  2. Thank you for posting the event that provoked this woman’s instinctive reaction.

    Protesters are just ordinary citizens who, after all their efforts have been exhausted, seek to raise the public’s awareness & civic participation. Marching, waving signs, & shouting chants for a couple of hours is innocuous. Reportedly, the Galleria has an announcement system that wasn’t used. Choosing to rough up a boy & his grandmother is inappropriate.

    Most of my adult life, I’ve been fortunate to live where law enforcement has been well-managed, professional & an asset. What I see now is our tax dollars & limited resources used to criminalize dissent instead of the creeps who target these events for mischief. [http://www.stlamerican.com/news/local_news/to-disrupt-or-destroy-police-accountability-movement-at-a-crossroads/article_8b8437cc-9bf8-11e7-97e4-7789ed0f565c.html]

    Public policy has chosen to militarize, suppress & throw the book at citizens instead of addressing & seeking solutions to problems. It has, inadvertently, re-created Selma’s Bloody Sunday response to marching for voting rights. Is it too much to expect competent governance that benefits those they’re supposed to serve?

  3. I’m sorry, but I was there, the police are lying. Protesters did not block the escalators, the police did that. A trash can was knocked over and a protester picked it up. The police maybe did tell people to disperse, but they did not say it audibly and as soon as they stopped mumbling into their bull horn they began grabbing people and throwing them to the ground. People did even have a chance to leave before the violence began. The protesters were not rioting. Be careful who you believe, the police have not been trustworthy or safe during this protest and now they are trying to cover their tracks. In this situation the police were the rioters.

    • They are the ones causing the violence, Dave. I have been at many of these protest events and the protester are nonviolent. The police on the other hand are not. They have been violent and dangerous. Police rioting is not “getting this under control.”

    • “This is really getting old?” – What’s getting old is the constant injustices in our society – especially for people of color. What’s getting old is people justifying their racists thoughts and actions. Whats getting old is the oppression of people expressing their views of injustices and their desires for a more equitable society. What needs to get “under control” is an unjust system and people who perpetuate it.

  4. We were trying to enjoy a nice lunch at the Cheesecake Factory at the Galleria when suddenly my partner and I were interrupted by an onslaught of protestors. After the protestors had passed, we decided to still do the shopping we had planned to do. As we walked slowly behind them to get to the escalators to get to the 2nd level stores, all hell broke loose! From our vantage point, we can tell you that the protest turned ugly and WAS initiated by the protestors and not the police! We were able to leave the mall near Macy’s. Of course all the public discourse about this event blames the Richmond Heights and St. Louis County Police for what happened (just like all protests that have occurred to date over the past few week at a variety of venues). I am appalled that the state political representatives of Richmond Heights took to TV to slam (who else) but the police. My personal belief is that ALL LIVES MATTER and that many of those who are doing the protesting don’t seem to get that! Protesting in the manner that has been prevalent hurts local commerce and local commerce is what drives jobs. Those stores being damaged from downtown to west county are losing precious revenue that they need to run their business, pay their employees and turn a profit so as to pay their lease or rent. When jobs are lost in our city and county it adversely affects all of us and the local economy. Those protestors who are peaceful should singularly focus on the social justice issue through appropriate dialogue to accomplish their goal. Those protestors who seek to be destructive deserve what they get.

    • Larry, it’s telling that you’re more upset about your interrupted shopping trip than the ongoing systemic abuse of your neighbors by the area’s police.

      • “If I say my house is on fire and you say ‘all houses matter,’ well that may be true, but all houses aren’t on fire right now. My house is.”

        –Talib Kweli

        • Good quote, Sophie. Here’s another one for Larry Stone to ponder…”I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”
          Martin Luther King, Jr.

  5. For every 50 RIGHTEOUS protesters, there are at least 2 people PAID to make responsible non-violent protestors LOOK CONTAMINATED. THE BLACK COMMUNITY NEEDS TO MONITOR THIS IN THE SPIRIT OF Dr. Kings non-violent change spirit. If there is a s’disturber in my neighborhood, i take action. photo the evil so the good will THRIVE.

    • I wonder why they don’t do this or think of this, i.e., policing their own as Maureen suggests? If a community does not police itself and its individuals do not practice self control, then there will be outsiders who do bring order. This is a fact many are coming to learn through these area demonstrations. What are these protests all about again?