Former St Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, was recently found not guilty of murder. Stockley was on trial for fatally shooting Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011 and had his name cleared last Friday.
Stockley shot Smith, a drug dealer suspect, after he allegedly fled from the officers who were trying to arrest him. Stockley stated that he was acting in self defense, as Smith had a gun. Stockley’s DNA was found on the gun, however, Smith’s was not. As a result, prosecutors said that Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car. There is also dashcam footage in which prosecutors say that Stockley told his colleague “I’m going to kill this motherfucker”. A few minutes later, Smith was shot five times. During the verdict, Judge Timothy Wilson said “It’s important to look at the video, but that’s not all of the evidence” and that the comment lacked context.
In response to the verdict, many people took to the streets, with several hundred protesters marching downtown near the police headquarters. For the most part, the protests were peaceful. In the early hours of saturday morning, Chief Lawrence O’Toole posted a tweet which said “many of the demonstrators were peaceful, however after dark many agitators began to destroy property and assault police officers.” He went on to say that “orders to disperse were given numerous times,” and that “tear gas was deployed after officers were assaulted with bricks and bottles.”
In a Facebook post early on Sunday, Missouri governor Eric Greitens wrote: “Saturday night, some criminals decided to pick up rocks and break windows. They thought they’d get away with it. They were wrong. Our officers caught ’em, cuffed ’em, and threw ’em in jail”. He added “in the past, our leaders let people break windows, loot, start fires. They let them do it. Not this time. Tonight, the police arrested the vandals. At this moment, they’re all sitting in a jail cell. They’re gonna wake up and face felony charges.”
Since the protests began on Friday, the police have received reports of “significant property damage” and more than 80 people have been arrested.
Image Credit: Christian Gooden
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here