'Deeply Saddened' Bono on St. Louis: 'Is This 1968 or 2017?'

U2 singer quotes Martin Luther King Jr. after band's Saturday night concert in city canceled due to safety concerns

Bono has issued a statement regarding the situation in St. Louis after protests in the city in part forced the cancellation of U2's Saturday concert. Credit: David Wolff - Patrick Redferns

Bono has issued a statement regarding the situation in St. Louis after protests in the city in part forced the cancellation of U2's Saturday night concert.

"Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight," Bono wrote on Instagram next to a sketch of the city's Gateway Arch. "I found myself reading Dr. King's speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017?"

Bono then shared the quote from Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech: "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."

Saturday night's U2 concert at the Dome at America's Center was canceled over safety concerns: With the St. Louis Police Department monitoring the continuing protests throughout the city and thus unable to police the concert, both the band and Live Nation felt the venue would be understaffed security-wise.

"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," the band said in a statement Saturday morning.

On Friday, a judge found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder in the brutal 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley was also accused of planting a gun at the scene in order to claim self-defense.

Following the verdict, protesters gathered throughout the city. However, by nightfall, the protests turned violent, with rocks thrown in the direction of law enforcement. Nine officers were injured and over 32 people were arrested during the unrest, which came two years and one month after the Michael Brown decision sparked in a similar situation in nearby Ferguson.