An undercover St. Louis police officer and an Air Force lieutenant who lives in the neighborhood were among several people who say they were forcibly arrested last weekend in the city even though they were not participating in protests over the acquittal of a white former officer in the killing of a black suspect.
About 120 people were arrested - most for failing to disperse - about two hours after vandals broke windows and threw items at police last Sunday.
The officers used a tactic called kettling that boxed in demonstrators and others in the area.
Air Force Lt. Alex Nelson, 27, who lives in the neighborhood with his wife, said they were trapped in the kettling, causing him to be kicked in the face, blinded by pepper spray and dragged away.
'I hear the police say it was their street, but it's literally my street,' he said.
'I have coffee on that street, and I own property on that street.
'We were not active protesters. We were looking into the neighborhood to observe events that were unfolding.'
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Air Force Lt. Alex Nelson (above right), 27, said he and his wife were trapped when officers used a tactic to box demonstrators in last weekend, even though he was not protesting and was just in his neighborhood
Nelson posted the above photos and statement on Facebook about the incident. He said because of the police tactic, he was kicked in the face, blinded by pepper spray and dragged away. He said the police actions were 'incredibly unnecessary'
A documentary filmmaker from Kansas City who was visiting with his wife said he was knocked unconscious during the sweep last weekend (above)
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that the police violated people's civil rights during last weekend's protests (above), and two top city officials have said some police actions were 'disturbing.'
He said the police actions were 'incredibly unnecessary' because he followed every demand and officers never gave an order to disperse.
He said when he told an officer he was with the military, the police officer replied, 'Shut up. Stop. I don't care.'
A documentary filmmaker from Kansas City who was visiting with his wife said he was knocked unconscious during the sweep.
Drew Burbridge, 32, said he never heard orders to disperse until officers started to advance, banging their batons and chanting, 'Move back.'
'I turned my camera off and asked if there was anywhere I could go, but I was denied the right to leave,' he said. 'I didn't want to be a part of this.'
He said after he was on the ground, officers grabbed him by both arms and dragged him away.
He said he was sprayed with a chemical and eventually knocked unconscious for 10 to 30 seconds and when he came to, an officer pepper sprayed him again.