Protest forces mall closure in suburban St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A protest forced a large suburban St. Louis shopping mall to close for an hour on one of the year's busiest shopping days, and renewed concerns by protest leaders about how police handle demonstrations.

Protesters marched Friday at the St. Louis Galleria mall. Richmond Heights, Missouri, police say seven people were arrested for failure to disperse. One of the seven also was cited for assaulting an officer. Among those arrested was state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr.

Activist Darryl Gray says protesters were leaving when police forced a man to the ground. Gray says Franks tried to intervene on the man's behalf and was pushed to the ground and arrested.  Franks and Gray are leaders of the protest movement that began in September after white former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley was acquitted in the 2011 death of a black man.