Protests over US cop's acquittal continue

U2 have cancelled a concert in St Louis as protests continue following the acquittal of an ex-cop.

U2 have cancelled a concert in St Louis as protests continue following the acquittal of an ex-cop.

Protests over a US circuit court judge's decision to acquit a white former police officer of murder in the shooting death of a black man caught on tape have spread in St Louis, Missouri.

A group of protesters walked through a mall "chanting and singing," and prompting police to close the entrance of the West Counter Center, located west of the city, according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Another small group gathered at a mall in Chesterfield, Missouri, just west of St Louis, the paper reported.

The US Department of Justice said it would not pursue a civil rights investigation into the case.

"The Civil Rights Division concluded its own internal review and analysis in September 2016, and agreed that the evidence did not support a prosecution under federal criminal civil rights statutes," DOJ spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said in a statement.

The department made no formal statement at that time to avoid having any impact on the criminal case pending, the statement added.

Singer Ed Sheeran and Irish rockers U2 cancelled concerts scheduled for Saturday and Sunday night in St Louis, citing security concerns.

"Deeply saddened at what has happened in St Louis and having to cancel our show tonight," U2 singer Bono said in a post on Instagram.

"I found myself reading Dr King's speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017?"

Police, some in riot gear, used tear gas and pepper spray late on Friday into early Saturday in an attempt disperse protesters.

The protest began after former officer Jason Stockley was acquitted in the 2011 killing of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Dashcam footage showed Stockley and his patrol partner pursuing Smith before the officer shot him five times.

Protesters said the verdict highlighted racial injustice and a failure of the St Louis justice system and called for boycotts of St Louis businesses.

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