Louis ex-police officer not guilty in killing

St. Louis protest forces closure of Kingshighway as marchers roam and projectiles thrown at police

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase in 2011. "I know if we continue to have hard conversations in a candid, peaceful, and constructive way, we can make the kind of progress everyone in our state craves and deserves". "Cops can still kill us with impunity". Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens activated the National Guard in anticipation of the ruling on Thursday to assist law enforcement.

Several businesses in and near downtown closed early in response to the Jason Stockley verdict.

The mayor encouraged St. Louis residents to show each other compassion and recognize that they all "rise and fall together".

"What the country needs to know is, every single person in our country, we have a right to be mad", said Al Watkins, an attorney for Smith's fiancée, Christina Wilson, after the verdict.

The prosecution also said that Stockley's self-defense claim lacked credibility when juxtaposed to his partner's actions during the pursuit.

"This court, in conscience, can not say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt or that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense", Wilson wrote.

Stockley is relieved at the verdict, said his attorney, Neil Bruntrager.


"In light of the verdict, it's time to take a harder look at how officer-involved shootings are addressed in our city", Gardner said Friday. Baltimore police officers also were not convicted in the case of Freddie Gray, who died from a broken neck suffered in a police van in 2015.

"Right now, I'm just going to be honest, I pray for my city, man", Michael Brown said outside the courthouse Friday morning.

St. Louis had waited with bated breath, restless and on edge, as it awaited the judge's ruling, as CNN notes. "Like we don't mean nothing, like we're rats, trash, dogs in the streets". Our city is hurting, our citizens are searching for answers, and people are justifiably angry. At one point, protesters headed toward an interstate ramp, but police blocked them from getting on. "What do you say to people here when they have no faith in the system and these buildings", said Kevin Nevels, 50, of St. Louis, pointing to the courthouse.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce's office meets with then-U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan and both agree there isn't sufficient evidence to prosecute Stockley. "Destruction of our community is not the answer".

Stockley testified he shot Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011 because he thought the drug suspect was reaching for a gun. "What prosecutors worked to do was present evidence in court that they believe proved Stockley violated Missouri law when he shot Smith and then planted a gun in Smith's auto to justify the killing". That's where he was seen going back and forth between the restaurant and his auto; Stockley testified that he saw what he believed to be a drug sale. Stockley shot Smith five times, saying he saw Smith holding a gun. Stockley opened fire only after Smith refused commands to put up his hands and reached along the seat "in the area where the gun was", Bruntrager said. Stockley opted for a bench trial, which was overseen by Veteran Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson and lasted from August 1 to August 9.

Stockley resigned from the department in 2013.

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