About 50 protesters have been arrested after blocking the entrance to a St. Louis federal courthouse while calling for more aggressive U.S. government response to what they call racist law enforcement practices. The arrests of scholar and civil rights activist Cornel West and the few dozen others were part of what’s been billed as a national day of civil disobedience. They come a day after the one-year observance of the Ferguson police shooting death of Michael Brown, and police shooting there Sunday night that wounded another Black 18-year-old, who police say fired on officers during nighttime protests.
Monday’s arrests came after a roughly mile-long march from a St. Louis church to the Eagleton courthouse. That’s where marchers demanded federal action to stop what policing they say targets minorities. The protesters then scaled a waist-high barricade, staging a sit-in before advancing past police to the entrances.