Four hours after Florissant Police Department terminated detective Joshua Smith after footage surfaced of him running down a man in an unmarked car during a violent arrest, protesters were back at headquarters demanding that more be done.
On Wednesday, June 10, two protests groups known separately as Expect Us and Respect Us came together to call for Smith’s arrest for the fourth straight day.
“One movement, one voice,” said Expect Us Leader Reverend Darryl Gray. “We may use different lanes and we may use different methods, but we’re going in the same direction. So, don’t get it twisted y’all.”
Their nonstop protests are in response to the disturbing incident that was caught on tape the evening of June 2. Smith ran over an unarmed black man in an unmarked vehicle before pinning him down and punching him. “I don’t have nothing,” the man repeated as Smith placed him in handcuffs while he was face down on the pavement in the 9800 block of Eastdell in Dellwood.
The assault was captured on Ring video. The footage was obtained and posted by Real STL News. Advocacy group Cop Blaster was first to identify the policeman as Detective Joshua Smith.
Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan later confirmed the identification, saying the officer was a 31-year-old detective who had been on the force for nine years.
The identity of the victim has not been released, though protestors have demonstrated in Florissant for hours at a time every day since Sunday.
“When black lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back,” they shouted while occupying Lindbergh.
“Who outside? We are outside!” they said. The group of nearly 200 visited Florissant Mayor Tim Lowery’s home and chanted in front of the National Guard.
“We’re out here because we understand that the officer was fired, but was he arrested or convicted?” Expect Us Leader Cheyenne asked.
“No!” the crowd shouted.
“Is that right to you guys?”
“No!” the crowd shouted.
“We want transparency and accountability right? So when I say arrest him you say now. Arrest him!”
“Now!” the crowd shouted and repeated.
While occupying the street outside of Lowery’s home, protestors chanted “come outside” and “you’re about to lose your job.” More than a dozen officers stood in front of the Mayor’s house and approached a protestor on the driveway as they took pictures onto the property.
Protest leaders called for white allies to come to the front. “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” they chanted. Cheyenne told the officers that they will protect property before they protect black lives.
“We told you that we would pay you another visit,” Respect Us leader Bishop Robinson said to the Mayor’s doorbell camera. “Until you arrest him, charge him and convict him you will see us – and you’re going to expect us, and respect us every day.”