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Monday, June 1, 2015

Protesters Were Tased on Sidewalk Before Arrest for "Impeding Traffic," Video Shows

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 12:00 PM

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See also: St. Louis Cop Turns Off Dash Camera After Suspect is Kicked and Tasered [VIDEO]

Eikerenkoetter says she drifted behind the marchers to speak with some bystanders, but rejoined her fellow protesters to walk in the middle of Washington for a few more blocks. The group returned to the sidewalk after police ordered them off the street, she says.

Soon after, a contingent of SLMPD bike cops began arresting protesters.

"Three or four cops walk up, they don't say anything, they came up and just grabbed people," she says. "They told us to leave, to get out of the way, and we were walking away as we were told to do."

As Eikerenkoetter walked away from the scene of the arrests, she was followed by Kristine Hendrix, a University City school board member who was filming the scene on her cellphone. As the video shows, Hendrix was recording as a SLMPD bike cop charged onto the sidewalk and tasered a male protester.

Seconds later, a police officer tased Hendrix. Her voice can be heard wailing on the video, "Oh my god, why did you do that?" Eikerenkoetter says the taser struck Hendrix in the hand.

Eikerenkoetter soon found herself pressed into the ground and under arrest. Another officer ordered Hendrix to put her hands behind her back, she says, but Hendrix appeared unable move after the pain of being tased. Hendrix was then tased a second time.

"I can't, it hurts," Hendrix pleads in the video, before the second taser strike. "It hurts so bad, please stop. Please stop hurting me."

During the arrests, Eikerenkoetter claims that two officers walked by and said "stop resisting," while another told her "police lives matter."

Eikerenkoetter and the seven other arrested protesters were transported to the City Justice Center, where they were processed and eventually charged with impeding the flow of traffic. Hendrix and another protester, Emmanuel Jones, were also charged with resisting arrest.

Eikerenkoetter was finally released around 7 a.m. Saturday. But before she could leave the Justice Center, she says she had to endure a creepy sexual offer from one of the prison guards.

"A correctional officer, he saw that I was all quiet. He said that he liked that about me. He asked if I had a boyfriend, if I liked women. He said he was married, that his wife liked females and that they were interested in having another person 'to have fun with.' He asked if I would be person they could have fun with."

When asked about the arrests, SLMPD Chief Sam Dotson told KTVI: "Our response was very appropriate and very measured. At some point, when people's lives are put at risk -- and that night protesters and [motorists] were put at risk -- I think they expect their police department to do something."

Following the release of the video on Sunday, St. Louis Alderman Antonio French tweeted that he would ask the Board of Aldermen's Public Safety Committee to investigate the incident.

Did you witness the Friday night arrests? Were you arrested? We want to hear your story. You can contact us at the email below.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com

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