Louis officer found not guilty of murder in African-American driver’s death
- Author: Leroy Wright Sep 16, 2017,
Sep 16, 2017, 16:25
Stockley then got out of the patrol vehicle and fired five shots into Smith's auto, killing him. Stockley said he saw Smith holding a gun, and felt like he was in danger. The statement reads, "We have been in touch with city and county officials, and the state of Missouri will continue to assist them".
A judge acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer of murder in the 2011 killing of a black drug suspect, sparking street demonstrations that put protesters face-to-face with police in riot gear.
At least one protester has been arrested outside court, and several protesters were pepper sprayed after officers say they were attacked with thrown objects. After the verdict was announced, groups of protestors gathered downtown and blocked roads before the police arrived to stop them. "I know there are better ways we can do this if we join together to make the system work for us all". "Cops can still kill us with impunity".
According to KTVI, government buildings, schools and events will be closed or halted for the day due the city expecting unrest in response to the decision. "I encourage St. Louisans to show each other compassion". But, not for Curcuit Court Judge Tim Wilson who has acquitted Officer Jason Stockley. "This Court.is simply not firmly convinced of the defendant's guilt", he stated.
Jason Stockley's first-degree murder trial concluded August 9 and St. Louis has been on edge awaiting Judge Timothy Wilson's ruling.
Stockley's attorney, Neil Bruntrager, said the ex-officer on Friday was relieved and would seek to rebuild his life. Defense attorney Neil Bruntrager said the officers were almost run over. According to the officers Smith had a gun; a gun was found on scene, but was never captured by any of the dash cams rolling on the scene. St. Louis City and County police officers are working 12-hour shifts beginning today in response to expected protests. "We have a right to disagree".
"However it goes, I ask for peace", Christina Wilson told a news conference this week alongside the governor.
St. Louis Circuit Judge finds Jason Stockley not guilty of killing Anthony Lamar Smith. "So I can understand how the family actually feels, you know".
During the trial, prosecutors argued that a revolver found in Smith's vehicle had been planted by Stockley to justify the shooting, but the gun was never seen from the multiple cameras that captured Stockley and other officers at the scene.
Stockley and his partner see what appears to be a drug transaction on the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.
About 30 seconds later, Stockley testified that he ordered his partner to hit Smith's auto and end the pursuit because the suspect had just driven into oncoming traffic and threatened other people.
Al Watkins, an attorney for the family of the man who was fatally shot by Stockley, called the verdict "appalling".
A gun found in Smith's auto only had Stockey's DNA on it, prompting the prosecution to allege it was planted. Nine St. Louis police officers and a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper have been injured, with Chief O'Toole indicating injuries ranging from a possible broken jaw to a dislocated shoulder.