Louis ex-officer acquitted in killing of black man

Pauline Gross
September 16, 2017

Protests broke out in downtown St. Louis on Friday afternoon hours after a judge found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith. The former officer said he and his partner followed him after spotting what they believed was a drug deal in the parking lot of a restaurant.

Stockley shot Smith following a police chase on December 20, 2011.

Meanwhile, defense attorney Neil Bruntrager argued the lack of evidence wasn't evidence.

A two-minute chase begins.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele emphasized during the trial last month that police dashcam video of the chase captured Stockley saying he was "going to kill this (expletive), don't you know it".

St. Louis police tweeted that "agitators" were engaging officers at Tucker and Spruce, with officers being hit with water bottles.

During the trial, which began with opening statements on August 1, the prosecution argued that Stockley meant to kill, fired a "kill shot" and planted a gun following the fatal shooting.

Forensic analysis revealed that Stockley's was the only DNA present on the gun he said belonged to Smith, the criminal complaint said.

Wilson ruled that that the prosecutor's contention that Stockley planted a gun in Smith's vehicle was not supported by evidence because the gun was too big to hide and would not have fit in Stockley's pant pockets without being obvious.

The prosecutor said police should not be able to investigate themselves and asked for an independent investigative body under the supervision of the Circuit Attorney to investigate the 25 cases under review by her office. Stockley is placed on desk duty.

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Anthony Lamar Smith and in an undated family photo with his daughter. And once again, St. Louis will be left confused, betrayed, shellshocked and more than likely enraged. He leaves the company in January 2016.

"I'm sad, I'm hurt, I'm mad", the Reverend Clinton Stancil of the Wayman AME Church in St. Louis told Reuters by telephone.

A white former Missouri policeman has been found not guilty of murdering a black man by shooting him five times after a vehicle chase.

Joyce announces first-degree murder charges against Stockley. Stockley is arrested at his home in Houston.

Authorities had set up barricades around the courthouse and intensified security in preparation for protests, according to CNN affiliate KMOV in St. Louis.

Stockley waived his right to a jury trial leaving his fate to be determine by 22nd Judicial Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson despite prosecutors' objections.

Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, meaning the decision rested exclusively with St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Timothy Wilson. Stockley fired seven shots as Smith sped away.

The trial concluded with closing statements on August 9, with the judge stating it would be days or weeks before a verdict was reached.

With the National Guard on standby in case of violence, authorities appealed to protesters to march peacefully in a state where racially charged clashes in the nearby city of Ferguson spawned the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014. Organizers say they'll shut down highways, Lambert Airport or downtown businesses. Media reports had warned of threatened disruptions if Stockley was found not guilty.

Other reports by GizPress

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