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St. Louis Braces for Riots With Police Shooting Verdict Expected Friday

UPDATE: Former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley has been found not guilty of first degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley had waived his right to a jury trial and the judge hearing the case just announced his verdict.

“This Court, in conscience, cannot say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, or that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense,” St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson wrote in his ruling.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said she was “disappointed” with the judge’s decision.

Whether the city of St. Louis now sees the kind of violence that its suburb of Ferguson experienced after the Michael Brown shooting and grand jury verdict remains to be seen. Unlike his predecessor, Jay Nixon, current Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has already called out the National Guard in anticipation of the verdict announcement. Stay tuned.

St. Louis is on edge with Friday’s expected verdict in the trial of former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley. Officials have placed barricades at the courthouse and police are on mandatory 12-hour shifts. Missouri’s new law-and-order governor has placed National Guard troops on standby as well. Meanwhile, “community organizers” have pledged mass disruption if the former cop is acquitted.

Stockley stands accused of first degree murder in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. The reputed street pharmacist nearly ran over a police officer before leading officers on a chase. Smith died from police gunfire after he reportedly made furtive movements and would not comply with orders to show his hands.

Prosecutors decided last year to bring first-degree murder charges against Stockley, alleging that the white officer “executed” the black suspect Smith.

Police recovered a Taurus Model 85 from Mr. Smith’s vehicle after the gunsmoke cleared. The deceased’s family claims Stockley planted the gun.

With several large events scheduled for the Gateway City this weekend, violence could easily impact a tens if not hundreds of thousands of visitors. St. Louis is due to host the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, along with a U-2 concert and the annual Midnight Ramble Bicycle Ride.

The Cherokee Tribune and Ledger-News has the story from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

With courthouse barricades up, police presence expanded and National Guard troops on standby, St. Louis is braced for Friday’s anticipated verdict in the murder trial of a white police officer accused of executing a black motorist.

Former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley maintains the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith was in self defense. If he is acquitted of a first-degree murder charge, officials fear the inevitable protests could turn violent. Some activists have hinted as much.

Christina Wilson, Smith’s fiancee, appeared at a press conference with Gov. Eric Greitens Thursday evening to ask protesters to avoid violence if they demonstrate.

…The bench trial before St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson ended Aug. 9. Some St. Louis black clergy and activists have pledged “mass disruption” if Stockley is acquitted.

In a nutshell, if you or your family live in or plan to visit St. Louis for work or pleasure in the coming days, maintain good situational awareness. In addition, watch the news for reports of violence, depending on the verdict. And don’t forget to tool up as well, just in case.

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        • Ummmmm, because dealing drugs isn’t a capital offense……

          And not complying with cop demands isn’t a capital offense…..

          We don’t have summary executions in this country

        • Maybe if we did, we wouldn’t have this commie infestation to deal with?

          Oh, and as far as I am concerned, drug dealers deserve whatever they get.

        • Unless we create a Judge Dredd – based justice system, summary execution will always be a violation of due process. If we are to live as civilized people, we must abide by the Rule of Law and Equality Under the Law and apply both of them to the worst miscreants of our society.

        • I have no problem with anyone getting shot who, without reasonable cause, threatens the life of another person. Be it a drug dealer with a gun on a cop, or a spouse escalating an argument by grabbing a gun, or that sh**stain who pointed a gun at that lady on the road.

          As far as which criminals DESERVE to die, that is an argument requiring far more depth than the comment section here could give. However, the only three true crimes are assaults real and attempted, theft/damage to property, and libel. The mere selling of drugs doesn’t even raise a blip on my morality compass.

          In this specific case, a jury of 12, possessing far more information than me, found the cop Not Guilty.

          • In this specific case, a jury of 12, possessing far more information than me, found the cop Not Guilty.

            Point of clarification: it was a bench trial.

        • I have no problem with anyone getting shot who, without reasonable cause, threatens the life of another person. Be it a drug dealer with a gun on a cop, or a spouse escalating an argument by grabbing a gun, or that sh**stain who pointed a gun at that lady on the road.

          As far as which criminals DESERVE to die, that is an argument requiring far more depth than the comment section here could give. However, the only three true crimes are assaults real and attempted, theft/damage to property, and libel. The mere selling of drugs doesn’t even raise a blip on my morality compass.

          In this specific case, a judge, possessing far more information than me, found the cop Not Guilty.

        • ‘Ummmmm, because dealing drugs isn’t a capital offense……’

          So I guess it’s just fine that armed thugs are running around selling highly illegal and potentially toxic substances to anyone who can afford it.

          Yes, you’re right. It is actually illegal to shoot someone JUST for dealing drugs. But that doesn’t mean you get to walk away on any of the half dozen charges. And if part of that resistance involves violence then this is what you get.

        • Yes, a criminal actively attacking someone deserves to get put down like a rabid dog but that wasn’t the original statement. Serge was suggesting we go all Duerte on the public and start extrajudicially executing citizens.

        • I can argue, however, that is an affront to what this country stands for. It is an unconscionable violation of citizen rights and due process of the law.

        • “You can’t argue that Duterte isn’t getting results.”

          By “results”, do you mean actual reduction in drug use and trafficking, or just a bunch of dead people, many of whom are just bystanders in a campaign of extrajudicial government murder with no due process? My guess is the latter.

          As always, drug warriors are just psychopathic fascists hell-bent on total control of society.

    • Sounds like you would like it better living in some 3rd World hellhole instead of a nation founded upon the Rights of Englishmen and the rule of law.

      If anything we need to start disarming cops. Citizens should be armed, not the king’s men.

      • Did anyone watch the video? The cop in question had a freaking AK “pistol” with a drum in it as he approached the car. What would anyone do but flee out of there!

        I don’t care if the guy was dealing drugs or not. The use of force here was not warranted. The cops created the danger. Legalize drugs and this nonsense goes away. Will people still get high? yes. Will people still abuse drugs? Yes. But some will get help and they won’t fear that they will be shot or prosecuted. This is insane!

        Plus the video shows the cop go back and forth a few times to his vehicle, rummage in a duffle bag and he gets in the deceased man’s car! The gun that was found had no traces of the victim’s DNA on it, only the officers!

        He says right in the video: “I’m gonna kill this mother****** don’t you know it!”


        This is plain ol’ murder…

  1. “Not Guilty” verdict already made public. Within minutes already seeing rumblings on Twitter of yoots calling for or planning violence in St. Louis tonight.

    • The officer used his own personal pistol ,the A.k . From what I remember he got in a lot of heat because of such notion and led to his firing. I live in st Louis and I know of first hand cops that have planted pistols on people for hitting their personal cars without insurance. True story

  2. Could have not ended any other way. Gee… dealing drugs, fleeing from police, attempt to run over a cop, fail to comply with orders from police, Oh he was black, that explains it. He would still be alive if he would have pulled over and complied. It’s really that simple. The officer should file suit against the offender’s estate for endangering his life. Just glad juries and judges are making verdicts based on facts. Now BLM will riot and destroy their own neighborhood.

    • He’d also be alive if the cop didn’t shoot him and plant a gun on him. “Just comply” is the biggest load of crap ever. All the other things he did, none are capital crimes and he didn’t deserve execution.

      • Sounds like the prosecutor with tons of investigative resources at his/her fingertips did not have evidence to convict. Please tell the world what evidence you have that the prosecutor didn’t have.

  3. The judge, in his ruling, said that the State failed to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt, which is an entirely plausible conclusion, based on what is publicly known.

    Thus, the only logical outcome will be “unrest.”

    • This was the result from the moment the 1st Degree Murder charge was made. Everything after the SUV struck the perps car was really hinky, but still there’s just no way it would rise to the level of 1st Degree Murder. Malice and aforethought, during the chase? That was the charge? Huge prosecutorial overreach there.
      Asinine, unless the whole idea was that one way or another, the officer wouldn’t be found guilty.

  4. Will there be riots in St. Louis? I hope that calmer heads prevail. But if there are riots, I hope that the animals burn themselves and their neighborhoods down to the ground.

    • You realize that means you’ll be paying for their relocation, new housing an new stuff, then, right?

      Not too bad a deal from the rioters’ standpoints, come to think of it…

  5. I want to make clear from the outset that I have not been following this case and have no idea if the not guilty verdict was wrong or right, but…

    An urban drug dealer with a hammerless, 5-shot snub nose revolver seems… unlikely.

    I wonder if the officer normally carries a BUG and if he had one with him at the end of that day.

    • The judge partially based his decision on his experience that “an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly”, apparently more of an anomaly than one with a 5-shot revolver.

      Mind you, to my ears it sounds more like prejudice than evidence.

    • “An urban drug dealer with a hammerless, 5-shot snub nose revolver seems… unlikely.”

      Maybe that’s all he could steal.

  6. Another cop getting away with murder, premeditated this time, if you listen to the comments he made during the chase.

    • It’s not the clearest cut case we’ve seen but I tend to agree. The cop had his killin’ mood on and it was only ever going to go that way.

      I also wouldn’t argue against anybody who said the deceased asked for it though… Even if he hadn’t threatened/assaulted anyone (if he actually did at all), seriously, when has running from the police worked out well? Like they’re just going to give up and let you keep driving.

    • You’ve got to love this quote from the judge:

      People say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or while in stressful situations, and whether Stockley’s statement that ‘we’re killing this (expletive),’ which can be ambiguous depending on the context, constituted a real threat of action or was a means of releasing tension has to be judged by his subsequent conduct. The court does not believe Stockley’s conduct immediately following the end of the pursuit is consistent with the conduct of a person intentionally killing another person unlawfully.

      There you have it, according to the judge, you have to judge his statements based on his subsequent actions, and killing the motherf**ker is apparently not consistent with truly intending to kill the motherf**ker.

  7. Hmm. The death occurred in 2011 and the trial was in 2017 — six years later? That alone is a problem. (Records, witnesses, and memories have a way of disappearing or becoming inaccurate over such a long time span.)

    The next problem: trying the cop for first degree murder which requires that the prosecution prove the cop planned well in advance to murder the victim (or at least a victim). That can be an extremely high hurdle. The prosecution should have charged the cop with second degree murder which is intentional and spur-of-the-moment.

    Finally, the cop asked for the judge rather than a jury to provide the verdict.

    This whole thing smells raunchy and seems like a serious miscarriage of justice. (Had a jury acquitted the cop of second degree murder, I would be much more willing to accept it.) And why would it be a surprise? Do we really expect the ruling class to go after their own enforcers?

    • Would you put your future in the hands of any type of jury selected from St Louis post Ferguson? Especially as white cop who shot a black perp?

      • And there you have it. The cop did not want to face 12 people because he figured that they would find him guilty. Well too bad. Don’t do something that 12 random people agree is murder and you don’t have anything to worry about.

        Instead, the government employee asks another government employee to declare whether he was innocent or guilty. That is NOT justice.

        • While I understand your point, lets be absolutely real here. If this guy had the cleanest good shoot that ever did pop off in the history of shoots, he would be an absolute mad man to want a jury trial in post Ferguson St. Louie after winning a gunfight against a perp while being white. ESPECIALLY if that perp was black.

          I mean shit just putting myself in the theoretical position of relieving a home invader of his mortal coil, which happens to be black, whilst I happen to be white and residing in the greater St. Louis area? I’d probably request a bench trial too.

          As to his actual guilt or innocence I can’t say, but he does seem like a cowboy and probably an idiot.

    • After an investigation by the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office declined to indict, the State Attorney General’s office declined to indict and the Circuit Attorney’s office originally declined to indict.New Circuit Attorney, new indictment.

        • Ah, the grand conspiracy. You know, the notion that tens of thousands of people from different government agencies have conspired to protect a single, low waged cop that means nothing to them personally or politically. This may be a liberal area of the country, but common. The conspiracy is that politicians looking to boost their numbers at the next election pushed a prosecutor to take this to trial knowing they didn’t have evidence for a conviction.

  8. Based only on watching the video….

    He backed into a police vehicle, brushed past two police officers, and went on a high speed run from the police. It did not matter whether or not he had a gun. He was shot as part of resolving the incident.

    Charging the police officer for dropping a gun… if you believe that actually happened…. is not murder.

    • “As part of resolving the incident”?

      When did that become the standard for the use of deadly force by police?

    • So, shooting the guy was extremely convenient. When did convenience for law enforcement become a proper reason to violate our rights?

  9. You do not want to get caught in a demonstration, aka riot. If you were planning a trip to Saint Louis, postpone or cancel it or go someplace else. If you live there, now would be a good time for a trip out of town. If your route for a trip goes through Saint Louis, find a different way.

    I’ve heard it said that, if you are innocent, you want a bench trial but, if you are guilty, you want a jury that your lawyer can bullshit. Stockley and Smith are both flawed characters. Stockley’s behavior put him on trial. Smith’s behavior created just enough doubt to get Stockley acquitted. By comparison, the Wilson/Brown shooting was a clear cut case of self defense.

    What’s with this nonsense of running up to a vehicle that contains someone likely to try to murder you? Once he’s stopped, get behind cover and wait him out. In my city, a convict killed one police officer and wounded another in the process of escaping custody. Next, he wounded one motorist in an attempted car jacking and successfully car jacked a second. He stopped only because he crashed the car. The local cops took him into custody at gunpoint but didn’t find it necessary to shoot him. In the news video, you could see that nobody got near him until he had complied with commands to get face down on the pavement with his empty hands in pain sight.

  10. Living in St. Louis we had already heard last week that protesters/ rioters had arrived from out of town.
    So it’s not the locals that burn their places down.
    What needs to be found out thru some under cover work, is who pays and arranges for these out of town thugs to come in and destroy cities and our democracy.

  11. I have no idea if the cop planted a Taurus on the dead drugdealer. I DO know it’s absurd to charge him with 1st degree murder. It’s happening in Chiraq right now to the cop who shot one LaQuan McDonald even though youngLQ was on a crime spree and brandished a knife. Be safe St. Louis…

  12. Unless there is a kidnapping or some other very serious crime, it is my opinion that cops should not chase suspects. While no one else was hurt in this video – this chase nearly ended in a fairly high speed high-on collision with an innocent bystander in a separate vehicle. For what, drugs? Get the guy at another time. A huge percentage of high speed chases end in crashes, and many of those in severe injuries to either the perp, cop, or innocent bystanders.

    • Truth, more and more departments are going towards only chasing up to a certain speed and then only continuing to purse past it if the crime was serious enough or they happen to know the suspect and he has existing warrants or criminal history making it worth while.

  13. let’s add a few more points to consider.

    1. the cop was acting in an unreasonable manner.
    a. he had been told by his police supervisor NOT to take his AK-47 with him on patrol. as you can see, he ignored his supervisor and was doing it anyway.
    b. he violated several rules of engagement regarding motor vehicle chases.

    2. he was recorded saying “I’m gonna kill that mother#&^@ don’t you know it” and 45 seconds later, ends up doing that; and claims self-defense.

    3. Stockley had told investigators that he yelled that the suspect has a gun. but in the part of the video where he says that occurred (more than once), his partner is either putting his gun back in his holster or doesn’t take it out at all.

    4. on the face of it, not finding the suspect’s DNA on the gun does not seem sufficient to imply that the gun was planted. but really? people get their hands all over a gun, inside and out. on the bullets, thumbing the hammer (it was a revolver), deep in the grip checkering, behind the trigger, on the cylinder face from opening and closing it, etc. I find it hard to believe that if it truly was his gun there would be no traces of DNA whatsoever. so yes, the gun was planted.

    5. if this is not a case of “police protection”, why was Stockley not charged with anything at all? he disobeyed his supervisor and was riding with an unauthorized AK-47 on the street, disobeyed rules of engagement regarding motor vehicle chases and put the public at risk and did get his own cop car smashed, which also might result in a negligent homicide or manslaughter charge. the judge could have found him guilty of a lesser charge. so why wasn’t the charged with anything at all?

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