Bono speaks up on U2's St. Louis show axing

Laurie Skrivan  St. Louis Post Dispatch via AP

The american city has been the scene of protests, largely peaceful but at times tense on Friday after a court has acquitted for the murder of a former police officer white, Jason Stockley, who killed a driver black, Anthony Lamar Smith, at the end of a pursuit race 2011.

The protests followed raucous marches in downtown St Louis on Friday and through the city's posh Central West End area during the night.

U2 was scheduled to play a show on its Joshua Tree tour at the Dome at America's Center on Saturday evening, while Sheeran was scheduled for a Sunday show at Scottrade Center.

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U2's singer Bono, in a statement posted on Instagram, said he was "deeply saddened at what has happened in St Louis and having to cancel our show tonight".

The St. Louis Police Department said "they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size", the band said in a statement.

After Stockley was acquitted on Friday, sporadic violence resulted in almost three-dozen people arrested and 11 police officers injured, including a broken jaw and dislocated shoulder, police said. "We can not in conscience risk the safety of our fans, and now the concert this evening", they write.

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Protests in the U.S. city began on Friday after a judge cleared Jason Stockley over the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.

Stockley insisted he saw Smith holding a gun and felt he was in imminent danger.

Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith's auto after the shooting. Riot officers were forced to fire tear gas to disperse the crowds after the demonstrations turned violent.

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Smith's death is just one of several high-profile U.S. cases in recent years in which a white officer killed a black suspect, including the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson that sparked months of angry and sometimes violent protests. Police accused the protestors of breaking the windows of the house and claimed one of their officers had to be taken to the hospital after someone hurled a brick at him.

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