February 24 2018

Ex-cop Jason Stockley found not guilty in death of Anthony Smith

February 24 2018, 05:43 | Van Peters

Jason Stockley Anthony Lamar Smith

Jason Stockley

Violent protests have broken out in St. Louis, Missouri, after former police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of murdering Anthony Smith in 2011 after a high-speed chase following a suspected drug deal.

Stockley, who is white, shot Smith, a 24-year-old black man, after a high-speed chase stemming from what appeared to be a drug transaction in a parking lot.

Stockley claimed he saw Smith with a gun earlier during the drug deal and felt he was reaching for the weapon when the auto crashed and he shot the suspect.

Police have blocked off some streets and prevented some protesters from getting on an interstate ramp. Members of the local law enforcement community, namely the Ethical Society of Police, a union that primarily represents black officers in St. Louis, have called for Shockley's conviction. Once was in mid-afternoon at Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue after people threw water bottles at a bus full of officers.

The comment sparked outrage by protesters on the street and on social media. She says the officers both rammed them with bikes, using the bicycles as makeshift barricades, and pepper-sprayed them. The officer returned to the police cruiser to locate a first aid kit, but by then Smith was already deceased.

At a news conference Friday, Gardner said she respected the judge's decision, but was disappointed and expressed sympathy to the victim's family.

ARNOLD: Like the protests that erupted in Ferguson following Michael Brown's shooting death at the hands of then-Officer Darren Wilson, activists vowed to protest throughout this weekend and into the coming weeks if necessary. Gov. Eric Greitens signed an order Thursday that would allow him to easily mobilize the National Guard. I understand and appreciate the many challenges that face our city's police officers. "He violated multiple department regulations, and he showed a total disregard for the life of my constituent, Anthony Lamar Smith".

Scott Kampas, legal observer/independent paralegal, observes the early stages of Friday's protest from the sidewalk in downtown St. Louis.

US police have come under heightened scrutiny after killings of numerous unarmed black people in recent years triggered widespread protests.

"It is our choice now to continue to yell past each other and keep our minds closed or to consider how we might acknowledge what we've inherited and what we perpetuate and how we might learn about it, and how to choose a different way forward", she said in a statement this month.

"The fact that Anthony Smith was shot and killed by Stockley is not in dispute".

The statement comes as protesters increased near the courthouse in downtown St. Louis where the verdict was announced. "We rise and fall together". "For anyone who protests, please do so peacefully". He goes out of his way to note that Smith's auto "did not "gently strike" the police vehicle", then describes the officer's conclusive ramming to end the chase as the auto being "bumped from behind by the police vehicle".

Police dashcam video and surveillance footage shows Mr Smith reversed his auto into the police vehicle twice during his attempt to drive off.

Stockley's attorney, Neil Bruntrager, said the ex-officer on Friday was relieved and would seek to rebuild his life.

Wilson said that the gun was too large to be hidden by Stockley if he was trying to plant it and that the location of Smith's wound seems to corroborate that he was reaching to his right when he was shot.

Before the auto chase began on December 20, 2011, Smith's Buick was parked in a Church's chicken restaurant.

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