Violent protests broke out in St. Louis Friday when former police officer Jason Stockley — who is white — was acquitted of murdering Anthony Smith, a black man, after a 2011 high-speed chase related to a suspected drug deal.
But amid those protests, one angry demonstrator was seen turning on and screaming at KTVI-TV reporter Dan Gray, who was trying to escape a growing “mob” — as Grey later described the crowd — that was following and soon surrounding him.
Gray: ‘It was scary’
One protester in particular had been taunting him and photographer Tauna Price all day, Gray told KTVI, adding that the protester told him: “You’ve been reporting on black-on-black crime for 30 years and didn’t do anything.”
Arguably the scariest instance was when a man was caught on camera literally screaming at Gray, just inches from his ear, as the reporter retreated down Market Street: “Get your ass to work and find something better to do. Get the f*** outta my movement! Motherf***er!”
At that point the angry protester jumped in front of Gray — stopping the reporter in his tracks and appearing to bump into Gray’s chest — as a crowd closed in behind.
But another man came to rescue, pulling Gray forward to safety and waving off the angry crowd.
Here’s the clip. (Content warning: Profanity):
Gray told stlToday that he and his photographer were “shoved and pushed” and added to KTVI that he fell victim to three water bottle tosses — one of which hit him in the back of his head. But Gray said he was okay.
“I understand their frustration,” Gray told his station. “I understand their anger. Perhaps they needed someone to vent it to.”
Still, he told KTVI, “it was scary.”