ST. LOUIS — Chris Sommers, who runs a chain of successful pizza restaurants here, has long supported both sides in the fierce standoff between police officers and black residents playing out in this city.

He donated to civil rights groups after the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which is just 10 miles away. He also backed officers, giving them discounts at his pizzerias and supporting the mayoral candidate endorsed by the police union.

But Mr. Sommers chose sides about a month ago…

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