UPDATE: St. Louis Ex-officer has been acquitted in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge may be close to a ruling in the case of a white former St. Louis police officer charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 death of a black man who was a drug suspect, and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said he has put the National Guard on standby in case unrest breaks out.
Testimony in Jason Stockley’s trial in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith ended Aug. 9. Media reports and preparation announcements from officials indicate that Judge Timothy Wilson may rule Friday.
Activists have threatened civil disobedience if Stockley is acquitted. St. Louis police said officers will be working 12-hour shifts starting Friday in anticipation of a ruling. Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a video statement that the Missouri State Highway Patrol and St. Louis County police will provide support, with the patrol handling any protests on state highways.
All three downtown courthouses, including the federal courthouse, are closed Friday and some St. Louis schools have been shuttered in anticipation of the verdict.
Greitens and Krewson urged protesters to be peaceful, a sentiment echoed by Smith’s fiancée, Christina Wilson.
Here’s a look at the case:
Stockley and his partner saw what appeared to be a drug transaction in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on Dec. 20, 2011. As the officers sought to corner Smith, he drove away. Stockley’s defense attorney, Neil Bruntrager, said the officers were nearly run over. Stockley fired at the fleeing car, then a car chase began.
Police dashcam video captured Stockley saying, “going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it,” in the midst of the chase. As Smith’s car slowed, Stockley told his partner to slam the police SUV into it, and his partner did so. Stockley then got …read more