People have completely been shocked by the verdict in the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley. The officer has been accused of not just murdering Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man, and then trying to plant evidence that it was he who threatened the police officer.
There are reports that the former police officer who has been acquitted by the court told his partner that he was “going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it”.
St. Louis Police says that the police officer and his partner saw a drug deal taking place and approached the victim’s vehicle. It was December 20, 2011 and the incident happened at Church’s Chicken in Northwest St. Louis. When the police officer and his partner, Brian Bianchi, reached the spot, Jason Stockley fired from his Beretta.
The black man reportedly fled the spot in his vehicle and the two officers followed him at a very high speed reaching 80 miles per hour. Court documents reveal that during the chase the cop on dispatch radio said that he was “going to kill this motherf*****, you know it”.
As the police SUV reached caught up with the suspect’s car that was trying to stop, Stockley fired five shots into the car, killing Smith.
Reports suggest that against the law, the police officer was reportedly carrying his personal AK-47 in addition to his police-issue Beretta.
Notwithstanding the fact that the killing took place in the year 2011, it took almost five years for the charges to be filed against the police officer. It was done only in May 2016. City Attorney Jennifer Joyce first filed a complaint to officially charge Stockley with first degree murder, which was later approved by a grand jury and an indictment was issued:
Despite all efforts from the police officer to prove otherwise, forensic testing of the gun found in Smith’s car found only Stockley’s DNA on the weapon. This gave rise to speculation that it was actually Stockley who planted the gun in the victim’s to make his case look strong.
A report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that, videos show Stockley going back to a police vehicle to go through a duffel bag. Then Smith, who’s dead at this point, is pulled out of his car, and Stockley goes into Smith’s vehicle. Prosecutors suggested that was when he allegedly put the revolver in Smith’s car.
But the judge Wilson said he wasn’t convinced after “[a]gonizingly” going over the evidence. He argued that the gun was too large for Stockley to have successfully hidden it from the cameras, and, citing expert witnesses, that the lack of DNA evidence doesn’t mean Smith didn’t own the gun. And he said it would be strange if Smith didn’t have a gun, given that he was believed to be a drug dealer: “Finally, the Court observes, based on its nearly thirty years on the bench, that an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”