"You all know this ain't right and you all continue to do this to us", he told a St. Louis Fox television station.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner told KMOV she was disappointed by the judge's decision and believed that Smith's death was a premeditated murder."While officer-involved shooting cases are extremely hard to prevail in court, I believe we offered sufficient evident that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Stockley meant to kill Mr. Smith".
St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley is seen stepping into the auto following the fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith on December 20, 2011.
"This court, in conscience, can not 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 the decision.
The court did not set a public date for its verdict, and Stockley waived his right to trial by jury.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said she was disappointed. I encourage you to participate in ongoing conversations as we work together to create a strong foundation for our University. Following the verdict, protesters took to the street and began blocking parts of downtown St. Louis. Also asking for peace is Smith's fiancée, Christina Wilson. "Ask ourselves if we can turn this anxiety and distrust into something constructive", the mayor said. "We know that people will feel pain and hurt". One life has been lost in this case, and we don't need more bloodshed.
"As governor, I am committed to protecting everyone's constitutional right to protest peacefully while also protecting people's lives, homes, and communities", Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said in a statement.
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"This Court, in conscience, can not 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", Wilson wrote in the ruling, which was published by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Krewson said that police will follow proper protocol to stop unlawful behavior and deescalate situations as needed.
With Bianchi at the wheel, the officers chased Smith at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour before the crash, according to the criminal complaint.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published videos in 2016 that showed the high-speed vehicle chase, and the moment Stockley shot Smith five times.
After Smith's auto slowed down near the intersection of Goodfellow and West Florissant, Stockley told the other officer to ram the vehicle, the probable cause statement said. The defense argued that Stockley and Smith struggled before the shooting, leading to the cop firing in self-defense.
And, yet, this is the justice that was served.
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.