In the span of a week this summer, juries opted against convicting three police officers charged in high-profile shootings that were captured on video. In each of those cases, the video and the case prompted protests and unrest. In each of those cases, prosecutors filed charges and decried what had happened. Each case ended with an acquittal, showing what law enforcement officials and experts say are the limitations of video evidence.
Remember, Missouri is the only state since the Civil Rights Era to be issued a “Travel Warning” by the NAACP for persons of color travelling through the State.With the reinstitution of Jim Crow by other means in the State, the Republican politician have created conditions where – you best go armed, and be ready to use it in my view.
Further street violence in Saint Louis is probable as people protest yet another murder by cop, even though we hope this doesn’t get into full scale rioting. What happened in LA in ’92 after the Rodney King verdict riot was a period of nearly 5 years of low-level warfare between the Police and community.So we have ample precedent for the path the white-right in Missouri is pursuing. When the government reacts to complaints by the citizens by exacerbating or increasing the reasons for the complaints…
At some point theng get really bad.
Welcome to Watts.
Police and protesters clash in St. Louis after former officer who shot black driver acquitted on murder charges
Demonstrators clashed with police officers Friday night in St. Louis after the acquittal of a white former police officer who was charged with murder last year for fatally shooting a black driver after a car chase.
In a video tweeted after midnight on Saturday, St. Louis police chief Lawrence O’Toole said at least 23 people had been arrested as of 6 p.m., and 10 police officers had suffered injuries including a broken jaw and a dislocated shoulder.
“Many of the demonstrators were peaceful. However, after dark, many agitators began to destroy property and assault police officers,” O’Toole said in a joint video statement with Mayor Lyda Krewson.
O’Toole said the protesters assaulted police with bricks and bottles, and officers responded by using tear gas and firing pepper-spray balls as a “less lethal option.”
Roughly 1,000 protesters descended on the mayor’s home, throwing rocks and breaking windows, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They were met by about 200 police in riot gear who tried to disperse them with tear gas. The mayor did not appear to be home.
The night of violence began with peaceful demonstrations earlier in the day after a judge acquitted former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley for killing Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011.
In a court document submitted by the St. Louis circuit attorney, the investigator on the case said Stockley and another officer had been chasing Smith at speeds up to 80 m.p.h. when Stockley said he was “going to kill this motherf‑‑‑er, don’t you know it” and told the officer to drive into Smith’s slowing car.
The document said Stockley then approached Smith’s window and fired five times into the car, hitting Smith “with each shot” and killing him. In addition, prosecutors accused the officer of planting a gun on the victim: There was a gun found in Smith’s car, but it was later determined to have DNA only from Stockley.
Judge Timothy Wilson, the circuit judge who heard the case in a bench trial, acquitted Stockley on the murder charge as well as a charge of armed criminal action in a 30-page order released Friday morning.
Wilson wrote that he was “simply not firmly convinced” of Stockley’s guilt, saying that “agonizingly,” he went over the case’s evidence repeatedly. Ultimately, Wilson said, he was not convinced that the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley “did not act in self-defense.”
Following the verdict, Smith’s mother, Annie, said the judge made the wrong decision.
“Justice wasn’t served. I can never be at peace,” she told Fox2Now.
In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Stockley, 36, who relocated to Houston, acknowledged the hurt Smith’s family is feeling. “I know everyone wants someone to blame,” he told the newspaper, “but I’m just not the guy.”
When asked why he agreed to address the case, tears filled his eyes. “Because I did nothing wrong,” he said. “If you’re telling the truth and you’ve been wrongly accused, you should shout it from the rooftops.”
A West Point graduate who served with the Army in Iraq, Stockley said that his job as a St. Louis cop grew so dangerous, he began carrying unauthorized weapons with extra rounds.
“I accept full responsibility for violating the rules,” he said. “But it’s not a moral crime. It’s a rule violation.”
Local and state officials said they were prepared for potential unrest following the acquittal. Some schools in the St. Louis area were shuttered and events in the region were postponed as the verdict loomed.
In the afternoon, police used pepper spray on protesters blocking their path, while demonstrators smashed the front windshield of a police SUV, the Post-Dispatch reported.
On Friday night, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who had put the state’s National Guard on standby ahead of the verdict and potential protests, chastised those who engaged in violence, saying it “is not going to be tolerated here in the state of Missouri.”
Before the verdict was announced, Greitens stood with Christina Wilson, Smith’s fiancee, to deliver a joint message asking people to protest peacefully.
“If you feel like you want to speak out, speak how you feel,” Wilson said at the news briefing. “And whatever comes to you, just do it in a peaceful way.”
Greitens, speaking after Wilson, urged people who felt pain after the verdict not to “turn that pain into violence.”
“One life has been lost in this case, and we don’t need more bloodshed,” he said.
The problem Ms Wilson, is it isn’t just “one life” – there have been four trials of Police Officers in the area in 4 months…All of which have resulted in acquittals. It is now a Public and personal safety issue, created by a racist and corrupt government at every level. I am not advocating killing Cops or violence, no will I support that in anything but self defense…But if you must go there because you feel there is no other solution – then aim a little higher in the food chain. The Cops cannot commit crimes unless here are criminals supporting their actions. You can expect no support form a Jeff Sessions DOJ at the Federal level, because they are now in cahoots with local government racists and oppressors.