Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight….I found myself reading Dr. King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017? – Bono “Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability….we are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.”
U2’s fantastic tour behind their landmark album The Joshua Tree has been one of the musical highlights of 2017, but the band’s scheduled performance in St. Louis tonight had to be canceled following massive protests regarding the acquittal of ex-police officer Jason Stockley, who was found not guilty of murder on Friday for the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Stockley was accused of planting a gun at the scene to help his claim self-defense, but what was even more controversial is that he shot Smith to death with his own personal rifle, a clear violation of St. Louis police policy.
Earlier this morning the band’s PR sent out a note to let fans and concertgoers know that due to what the city perceived as necessary police presence at protests, there would not be forces available to provide security at the show, and it had to be canceled:
“Live Nation and U2 regrettably announce their St. Louis show scheduled for tonight, September 16, 2017 has been cancelled. We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size. We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity. In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.” — Live Nation and U2