American flag set on fire, protester shoots himself in foot in Florissant

Protests outside the Florissant Police Department have taken place for several weeks

Sam Masterson
June 24, 2020 - 8:02 am
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FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOX) - One protester shot himself in the foot and video was shared of others lighting an American flag on fire during a demonstration outside a police department in north St. Louis County Tuesday night. 

Protests outside the Florissant Police Department have continued for several weeks, since an incident where a then Florissant detective struck a suspect with his SUV. Joshua Smith has been fired and charged with assault in the first degree, armed criminal action and assault in the fourth degree.

Related: Three arrested after protests at Florissant Police headquarters

On Tuesday, a video was shared on Twitter of protesters pouring hand sanitizer on an American flag and setting it on fire. Those around it began to cheer and chant, "Who's streets? Our streets." (*Warning* video contains adult language)

The Twitter user who posted some videos that claim the flag that was burned was the same one used by a "Florissant resident" who walked back and forth in front of the line of Florissant police officers in riot gear: 

Also during the protest last night a man shot himself in the foot. Officers say a protester who'd been carrying a long rifle for many days at the protests accidentally discharged it.

Florissant officers gave first aid. The protester's foot injury was non-life-threatening.

Police say they arrested three people Friday night after protestors began throwing objects at the department's headquarters causing extensive damage.

Officer Steve Michael tells KMOX that after the crowd ignored numerous orders to disperse and multiple officers were assaulted with thrown objects, officers maced several protestors.

Related: Protesters block street in St. Charles, demand charges against Florissant police officer

There were three arrests for assault, property damage and peace disturbance.

KMOX's Tom Franklin and Brian Kelly contributed to this report.

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