Missouri Judge Acquits Cop Accused of Murdering Black Man and Planting Evidence

| September 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. (MICHAEL B. THOMAS/GETTY IMAGES)

Hundreds marched throughout the city of St. Louis, chanting and holding up “Black Lives Matter” signs on Friday night after a judge found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

“Anthony Lamar Smith was an African American man from St. Louis, Missouri, who was killed by Stockley in December 2011. Police officer Stockley and his partner have stated they saw Smith engaged in a drug deal. Dashcam video from their police car recorded Smith reversed his car into their vehicle twice, before driving off. A three-minute high-speed car chase ensued, then Stockley told his partner to ram the other car. Stockley was recorded during the chase as saying “going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it”. After the car was stopped, Stockley and his partner, Brian Bianchi, approached Smith’s vehicle. Witnesses testified and dashcam footage showed that Stockley yelled at Smith through the driver side window of Smith’s vehicle to open the door. Stockley testified that Smith did not comply but rather appeared to be reaching around the interior of his vehicle in search of something which Stockley believed to be a gun. Stockley testified that Smith’s demeanor suddenly changed, which Stockley believed indicated that Smith had found the alleged gun. Stockley then opened fire through the window and shot five times, killing Smith. A handgun was later found in the vehicle between the driver’s seat and center console.  During the trial, the prosecution had argued that the revolver found in Smith’s car had been planted by Stockley to justify the shooting. However, in his ruling, the judge said the prosecution’s argument was not supported by the evidence. ”

Protests broke out immediately after Judge Timothy Wilson found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty on Friday morning.

Police declared an unlawful assembly and deployed tear gas around 10 p.m. local time.

A video captured by a KSDK reporter shows one cop collapsing to the ground after a brick hurtled toward a line of police officers in riot gear.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced in a tweet that two officers sustained a serious injury and had to be transported to the hospital from bricks being thrown.

At least nine cops were injured during the day of unrest, along with a trooper from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, according to interim police chief Lawrence O’Toole. The injuries included a possible broken jaw and a dislocated shoulder in another case, O’Toole said.

Protestors even crowded outside Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home chanting for her to wake up,  protesters broke a window and splattered red paint on the house. Local restaurants and the public library also sustained damage.

At least 23 arrests were made.

Protesters are blocked by police as they attempt to walk down a ramp to Interstate 64 in St. Louis, Mo., on Sept. 15, 2017. (WHITNEY CURTIS/REUTERS)

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