Ex-St. Louis Cop Acquitted in 2011 Shooting of Black Driver

Laurie Skrivan  St. Louis Post Dispatch via AP

Laurie Skrivan St. Louis Post Dispatch via AP

Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was charged with murder in the shooting of drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith on December 20, 2011.

In 2011, Jason Stockley, a 36-year-old, white policeman, shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, a 24-year-old African, after a vehicle chase following what Stockley said was a drug transaction. "And whatever the verdict is, we will also protect people's lives, homes, and communities", said Governor Greitens. Prosecutors claim Stockley planted that gun.

There is no official indication from court officials of when a ruling is expected.

Joyce announces first-degree murder charges against Stockley.

Killings of unarmed black people by USA police in recent years triggered widespread protests and activists promised disruptive demonstrations if Stockley was acquitted.

Barricades went up on August 28 around police headquarters, the courthouse where the trial was held, and other sites of recent or potential protests.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele emphasized during the trial last month that police dashcam video of the chase captured Stockley saying he was "going to kill this (expletive), don't you know it". The killing of the black, unarmed 18-year-old by a white officer and the November 2014 grand jury decision not to indict Wilson sets off sometimes-violent unrest and leads to scrutiny of police treatment of blacks in the St. Louis region. Stockley testified that he saw what he believed was a gun, and his partner yelled "gun!" as Smith backed into the police SUV twice to get away.

Stockley's attorney, Neil Bruntrager, argued that Smith, a parole violator with previous convictions for gun and drug crimes, tried to run over the two officers. Smith then allegedly put the auto in gear and drove toward them, and they fired. Stockley then approached Smith's vehicle and shot him five times, court documents said.

This undated family photo supplied by Christina Wilson shows Anthony Lamar Smith holding his daughter Autumn Smith. Smith was fatally shot by St. Louis police in 2011 following a auto chase.

The release went on to state that "the Missouri National Guard may be needed to help protect critical infrastructure and free up civilian law enforcement to protect people's right to protest peacefully". Louis police officer Jason Stockley reaching into a duffle bag in the back seat of the police SUV after fatally shooting Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man who was a drug suspect with his department-issued handgun after a high speed chase.

The ruling would decide whether a former St. Louis police officer is guilty of murder.

Stockley told officers over radio Smith had fired a gun. It was the first time the prosecution publicly revealed their belief that Stockley planted the gun, which only contained Stockley's DNA.

On Thursday evening, Republican Governor Eric Greitens said compassion, love, peace and understanding need to prevail over violence.

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