Protester who advocates peace charged with setting fire at Berkeley convenience store

Protester who advocates peace charged with setting fire at Berkeley convenience store

One of the most frequently quoted and photographed Ferguson protesters was charged Saturday with setting fire to a Berkeley convenience store last week.

St. Louis County police arrested Joshua Williams, 19, of St. Louis, on Friday after several local media outlets and store surveillance captured images of him trying to set a pile of wood on fire outside the QuikTrip on North Hanley Road early Wednesday.

Williams confessed to setting fires at the store in a videotaped interview, according to court documents.

Police say Williams entered the QuikTrip shortly after looters shattered its glass doors during protests of the death of Antonio Martin, 18, who a police officer had shot earlier at the Mobil station across the street. Surveillance footage from the Mobil store shows Martin point what police say is a gun at a Berkeley officer before the officer fatally shoots him.

Williams can be seen in videos both inside and outside the looted QuikTrip, authorities said.

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