Handcuffed, pepper sprayed and arrested. Many people who were at the protests following the Jason Stockley decision last month said that was their experience, and they testified about it in federal court Wednesday.

It's all part of a class action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the city of St. Louis.

Some of the most compelling witness statements heard Wednesday came from a Scott Airforce Airman who lives downtown, very close to where one of the protests took place. Alex Nelson said he wasn't protesting.

Not only were he and his wife arrested, but he says he's now in physical therapy because of the injuries he sustained from police.

Nelson testified that he and his wife were just taking a walk down the street to see what was going on.

They said they were kettled into the intersection of Tucker and Washington by police, handcuffed, then pepper-sprayed repeatedly while on the ground.

Eventually, both were arrested along with dozens of others that night alone.

Others say they weren't given a chance to disperse. The ACLU says the goal of the hearings is to convince the judge to require the St. Louis Police Department to adopt protocols to protect the constitutional rights of those involved in protest activity.

"What the judge can look at is, is there evidence here of police not acting properly and how can they address that," said Jeffrey Mittman, Executive director of the Missouri ACLU.