After a small group of protesters damaged storefronts in the Delmar Loop late Saturday night, one woman spoke with 5 On Your Side to vent out the frustration she experienced first-hand.
While live on the air, Casey Nolen took notice of a woman sweeping up shattered glass from a busted window at the corner of Delmar and Leland.
"I'm armed," said the woman, Annie L. Worcester, referencing her broom.
“I’m extremely sad and disappointed. University City is better than this. We are known for our tolerance of all people, all creeds, all colors, all religions. This is ridiculous.
"[Black Lives Matter] protesters honor the cause, protest peacefully. There is so much more work that needs to be done in this country, and in Missouri, and God knows in St. Louis," she said.
The woman was holding a Black Lives Matter sign while on camera.
"We gain nothing when the first rock is thrown, when the first brick is thrown, when a chair goes through Starbucks in University City that employs University City residents. Think about it. We know better. We have to do better. We have to unite.
"We have to admit that there is a problem in this country, a serious problem, whether it be ‘white privilege’ or ‘wealthy privilege’... that there is a difference in this country. And we all need to be adult enough about it to come together, admit that, acknowledge it, and then solve the problem. We’re better than this. This is St. Louis! We can do it!"
5 On Your Side's Casey Nolen stopped to ask her, "How much harm does this do to the message you just told us?" while pointing at the broken window.
"Sadly, it’s expected by many, many people that don’t want to believe in the movement, or that are looking for an excuse to disavow it. So, whether an implement be thrown by a black hand, a white hand, a brown hand, it doesn’t matter. It just feeds the fire and makes it more difficult for the struggle to survive. And we want to do more than survive. We want to thrive! Wouldn’t it be nice to get to the point where all lives matter, but they won’t until black lives matter. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say that all lives truly matter?"
“So, you know what?” she asked as she pointed to the glass scattered on the ground. “Not acceptable. It’s not, so… I’m armed! And I’m down here ready to do my part.”
Crowds first gathered in The Loop around 7:30 p.m. Protest leaders led an organized effort, remaining peaceful, marching and dancing in the streets. The group dispersed voluntarily around 9 p.m. During the initial protest, no arrests were reported.
About an hour later, a smaller, separate group met at the intersection of Delmar Boulevard and Leland Avenue. A police line formed once the tension between demonstrators and police grew. One person reportedly threw red paint on the shield an officer was holding.
More than a dozen businesses were vandalized, mostly with broken windows. 5 On Your Side's Jacob Long tweeted, "Almost every storefront in the Loop is destroyed."
Several arrests were made, although no official number has yet been given.