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White cop acquitted in death of a black man, violent protests ensue

Violent protests have broken out in St. Louis, Missouri, after former police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of murdering Anthony Smith in 2011 after a high-speed chase following a suspected drug deal.

  • Four officers have been injured and one police car has been vandalized.
  • Protestors have been pepper sprayed for attempting to block police travel.
  • Police blocked protestors from getting on a major highway, so they marched to police headquarters.
  • Local businesses closed and sent employees home early due to the protests.

What happened in 2011?

  • Stockley and his partner attempted to arrest Smith during a suspected drug deal.
  • Smith fled and a chase that reached speeds of 90 mph ensued through local neighborhoods.
  • Officers stopped Smith by ramming his vehicle, and Stockley, believing Smith was concealing a weapon, shot Smith five times, killing him.
  • A handgun and a bag of heroin was found in the vehicle. The handgun only had Stockley’s DNA on it. The heroin had Smith’s DNA on it.

Why was Stockley accused of premeditated murder?

  • Prosecutors accused Stockley of planting the weapon in Smith’s vehicle after the fact.
  • During the chase, Stockley was heard on the in-car camera saying he was “gonna kill this [expletive], don’t you know it.”
  • Prosecutors said Stockley shot Smith four times quickly, then shot him “execution style” at close range to kill him.

Why was he acquitted?

  • Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, and his case was decided by bench trial by Judge Timothy Wilson.
  • “This court, as the trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt. Agonizingly, this court has pored over the evidence again and again … This court, in conscience, cannot say that the state has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt or that the defendant did not act in self-defense,” Wilson said in his decision.

(H/T St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

This post is from TheBlaze. Click here to read the full text

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