During the trial, prosecutors grilled law enforcement witnesses on why Stockley was allowed to return to his police SUV and search Smith’s silver Buick without wearing gloves and why the other responding officers did not give Smith first aid at the scene. Smith a suspected drug dealer led police on a vehicle chase that ended when officers crashed into Smith’s auto disabling it. Officer Stockley could be seen in the video heading towards the driver side of Smith’s vehicle and firing.
Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, allowing the judge to decide.
A recent Guardian investigation also found that in 2016, USA police killed Black people at a rate of 6.66 per 1 million people, compared to 2.9 per 1 million for their white counterparts.
The former policeman believed Smith was armed, defense attorneys said, and a gun was found in the vehicle.
At Stockley’s direction, his partner, who was driving, slammed the police cruiser into Smith’s vehicle and they came to a stop.
He said the ruling showed prejudice, pointing to a line where the judge wrote that an “urban heroin dealer” without a weapon would be an anomaly.
Right after the not guilty verdict was handed down, demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse.
“I pray for my city, man, because people are exhausted of this”, Michael Brown told CNN. The New York Times reports that the city erected barricades around the courthouse where Stockley’s trial took place, and that Missouri governor Eric Greitens placed Missouri National Guard soldiers on standby.
“We need for folks to work with the department to make sure that not only our officers are safe, but that protesters are unharmed and their rights are observed”, said Jeff Roorda, the Police Officers Association’s Business Manager.
After protesters broke a front window and splattered red paint at St Louis mayor Lyda Krewson’s home, police in bulletproof vests and helmets arrived and demanded they get off the lawn and out of the street in front of the house. Stockley was charged with murder and tried in a bench trial that ended August 9.
“The fact that Anthony Smith was shot and killed by Stockley is not in dispute”.
Look for more coverage from FOX 4 Kansas City throughout the day and from sister station FOX2Now in St. Louis.
Stockley and his partner see what appears to be a drug transaction on the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.
In dash cam video obtained by Fox 2 News, you can see Stockley exit the patrol auto with his personal AK-47 style rifle.
On Friday, Stockley was acquitted of the crime.
The defense pointed to the dash cam video as proof Stockley’s life was in danger. Stockley, they said, shot Smith four times before moving closer for a “kill shot”.
By early evening, police said the protests were no longer peaceful and that demonstrators who didn’t obey their commands would be arrested, and violence would not be tolerated.