St. Louis Braces For Violent Protests After Ex-Cop Was Acquitted Of Killing A Black Man

Setting up a potential repeat of the Ferguson unrest from the summer of 2015, St. Louis is bracing for another round of violent protests after an ex-cop was acquitted for the alleged murder of a black man.

As Reuters reports, on Friday, a Missouri judge found a white former St. Louis police officer not guilty of murder in the shooting death of a black man, "stirring feelings of anger and frustration in the black community." Ex-cop Jason Stockley, 36, was acquitted of first-degree murder for killing Anthony Lamar Smith, 24. Stockley, who was arrested in May 2016 and accused of planting a gun in Smith’s car, testified he acted in self-defense.

Judge Timothy Wilson’s highly anticipated ruling was announced Friday, more than five weeks after the bench trial ended. “This court, as a trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt,” the judge wrote in his ruling.

 

Wilson said prosecutors also asked the court to consider a lesser degree of homicide but they did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley’s use of deadly force was not justified in self defense.

As a result, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has placed the National Guard on standby with officials fearing the verdict could set off violent protests, as in similar incidents involving police and minorities around the United States in recent years. As Reuters adds, "St. Louis and state officials were braced for violent protests and racial tensions similar to those that followed the 2014 fatal shooting by police of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, near St. Louis."

This is how the shooting went down according to Reuters:

Smith tried to flee from Stockley on Dec. 20, 2011, following an alleged drug deal, authorities said. During the pursuit, Stockley could be heard saying on an internal police car video he was going to kill Smith, prosecutors said.

 

Stockley, riding in the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle with his personal AK-47 in one hand and department-issued weapon in the other, shot at Smith’s car, according to St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Susan Ryan and charging documents.

 

At Stockley’s direction, the driver of the police car slammed into Smith’s vehicle and they came to a stop, court documents said. Stockley then approached Smith’s car and shot him five times with his service weapon.

 

Stockley’s lawyers said he fired in self-defense because he believed Smith was reaching for a gun but prosecutors said the only gun recovered from the scene had only Stockley’s DNA on it.

Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, allowing the judge to decide. He left the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 2013 and was arrested last year.

“I’m sad, I’m hurt, I’m mad,” the Reverend Clinton Stancil of the Wayman AME Church in St. Louis said by telephone. “But this was expected. We haven’t made any progress since Ferguson, that’s clear. Cops can still kill us with impunity.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson appealed for calm. ”Frustration, anger, hurt, pain, hope and love all intermingle,“ she said in a statement. I encourage St. Louisans to show each other compassion.”

Echoing the appeal for calm, Christina Wilson, Smith’s fiancée, pleaded at a news conference on Thursday evening for protesters to avoid violence if they demonstrate.

The Stockley case is the latest in a series of recent grand jury decisions which have declined to charge officers involved in the deaths of black people: the most vivid recent examples include the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson and the choking death of Eric Garner, 43, in New York. Baltimore police officers also were not convicted in the death of Freddie Gray, who died from a broken neck suffered in a police van in 2015.

* * *

After the verdict, Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., voiced his frustration with the outcome: “You all know this ain’t right and you all continue to do this to us,” he told a St. Louis Fox television station. “Like we don’t mean nothing, like we’re rats, trash, dogs in the streets. Right now, I‘m praying for my city because my people are tired of this.” Smith’s family in 2013 settled a lawsuit filed against the city for $900,000, the family’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, said.

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, in a statement listed the names of several black people fatally shot by police in different cities and said little has changed. “It is past time for Missouri and the country to say in one voice: ‘This cannot continue,'” Mittman said.

Prosecutor Kimberly Gardner said in a statement she was disappointed with the verdict and believed she had presented proof that Stockley intended to kill Smith. “However, in this case it was the judge’s duty to evaluate the evidence and deliver his findings,” she said. “That’s how our system works.”

Meanwhile, the local protests are already starting to form:

Comments

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah (not verified) AllTimeWhys Fri, 09/15/2017 - 13:27 Permalink

1) Cut off ALL welfare and FREE $HIT that enables this kind of crap when they should be working for a living instead of demanding shit from other people who DO work for a living.

2) Let them get violent, driving honest people and businesses out of their neighborhoods.

3) Police stand down, letting the apes destroy their neighborhoods.

4) Do #1, period.

In reply to by AllTimeWhys

JimmyJones MagicHandPuppet Fri, 09/15/2017 - 13:36 Permalink

“You all know this ain’t right and you all continue to do this to us,” Who is you all?  He couldn't be grouping all whites together for the actions of one right?  Isn't that racist?Whats interesting is that Blacks want Black police officers to police their neighborhoods but Black Cops don't want to do it because they say its racist against them.  The Paradox.

In reply to by MagicHandPuppet

Pop3y3too Nekoti Fri, 09/15/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

I walk my dog daily at 0600-0700 in a town with 30% demographics of "other than white". The ONLY people I see at that hour are white folk heading off to work.  If I don't make the walk before noon I don't even bother to try anymore because for some reason dog likes to growl at darker skinned folk and there are plenty of those distractions hanging out on porches. Winter is another story.  I can walk him any time of the day during the winter because, well, some folk don't like the cold. 

In reply to by Nekoti

greenskeeper carl Nekoti Fri, 09/15/2017 - 15:06 Permalink

We shall see. I just heard a funny quote from one one the radio, promising to completely shut down the city of St. Louis. Something like "until there is justice, there will be no economic movement in this city" which I found to be hilarious, in several ways. First, that he said 'movement' rather than 'growth'. There will be plenty of economic movement, movement downwards. Also because the idea that there will be economic growth in a decrepit city full of blacks under any circumstances. Those people turn functional cities into piles of bricks, this will simply accelerate it.

Funny, too how try as they might, they keep giving the alt right more ammo. They just can't help themselves.

In reply to by Nekoti

HRH Feant2 (not verified) Creepy_Azz_Crackaah (not verified) Fri, 09/15/2017 - 16:25 Permalink

For anyone that didn't get the notification, an excellent interview was posted this morning by Colin Flaherty with Tommy Roboinson, on location in the UK. Must watch this video! If you can record it, please do. It is only a matter of time until this video is flagged by the muzzies and removed.

https://youtu.be/_fjs6vFnsMU

In reply to by Creepy_Azz_Crackaah (not verified)