Yesterday, following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, protests flared up in the downtown and Central Wet End areas of St. Louis. Nine officers were reported injured in the protests, which turned violent.
The verdict came about three years after rioting broke out in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson when a black teenager was shot dead by a white police officer.
The outcry was prompted by Friday's verdict, rendered five weeks after the conclusion of a non-jury trial, finding former city policeman Jason Stockley, 36, not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24.
After falling down, people can be seen trying to help the lady, who was wearing red blouse and a skirt, but are pushed back by the police officers. Some protesters hurled objects at officers and vandalized property.
The prosecutor said that she is disappointed but recognized that officer-shooting cases are especially hard.
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"Our officers have been very tolerant and have used great restraint", O'Toole said. "However, this evening we've had some incidents". Over 30 people were arrested by police. At one point, protesters shut down an entire highway.
The encounter with Smith began when Stockley and his partner tried to corner Smith in a fast-food restaurant parking lot after seeing what appeared to be a drug deal. As the two officers approached Smith, he fled in his vehicle, almost clipping the pair, photos from surveillance cameras show.
Smith's vehicle eventually slowed, and the officers chose to crash into his vehicle.
Stockley has said he saw Smith reaching for a silver revolver in his auto, but the police dashcam, a witness's cellphone video and surveillance film from a nearby restaurant do not show the gun, and prosecutors argued that Shockley had planted it. Stockley claimed it was self-defense, that Smith was reaching for a gun.
He wrote in his ruling: This court, as a trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant's guilt.