Stockley case leads to fresh call for police to wear body cameras

Posted September 16, 2017

Assumption Parish in O'Fallon will offer prayers for peace and healing at the Assumption beONE Concert Series performance by Christian singer-songwriter PJ Anderson from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at Assumption Church, 403 N. Main St.in O'Fallon.

On Aug. 28, activists gathered outside the St. Louis courthouse where former police officer Jason Stockley's murder trial was held.

"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. However, prosecutors said Stockley carried out his premeditated plans to kill Smith by shooting him within 6 inches of his body and planting a revolver in his vehicle, which was found to have only Stockley's DNA on it.

The judge who decided the matter declared that he would not be swayed by "partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism". Governor Eric Greitens activated the state's National Guard on Thursday, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced that its officers would be working 12-hour shifts in case of unrest in the aftermath.

Wilson employed sound reasoning, said Bruntrager, who added that Stockley is grateful that "the judge took tremendous effort and pains to make sure that he explained exactly" why he found the former officer not guilty. According to the statement, Stockley is heard on police cruiser camera saying he was "going to kill this [expletive], don't you know it".

According to the court document, the state asked if Stockley was found not guilty to consider if he would be guilty of a lesser degree of homicide, not to consider lesser offenses. The prosecution, on the other hand, contended that Stockley committed a premeditated murder and planned to kill Smith, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The officer wasn't charged but later resigned.

Updated at 3 p.m. with announcement that all branches of St. Louis Library closing early.

During the subsequent pursuit, Stockley acknowledged under cross-examination that it sounded like he was "going to kill that (expletive)". Less than a minute later, the officer fatally shot Smith. A case in OH twice ended with hung juries, and prosecutors have decided not to seek a third trial.

Stockley killed Smith years before the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Smith had previously been convicted of gun and drug crimes.

Stockley, who is white, then shot Smith, who was black, five times through the driver's side window.

Four Catholic high schools in St. Louis closed in anticipation of the verdict: Bishop DuBourg, St. Mary's.

Mr Stockley said he was retrieving some equipment to administer first aid.

Prosecutors said that Bianchi never fired his weapon and that he approached Smith's vehicle without his weapon drawn.

The Chicago Tribune looks back at the case, which started when Stockley and his partner witnessed what looked like a drug transaction on December 20, 2011, in a fast-food restaurant parking lot.