Protesters march in St. Louis after not guilty verdict

Protesters march in St. Louis after not guilty verdict

Protesters march in St. Louis after not guilty verdict

Gardner would not elaborate on the evidence she's referring to.

Stockley pleaded "not guilty" to a first-degree murder charge a year ago and waived his right to a jury trial - utlimately handing Wilson the power to decide his fate.

Prosecutors concluded that the credibility and reasonableness of Stockley's actions be judged through the simultaneous actions of his partner Officer Bianchi.

From looking at footage from the scene, the judge wrote that "Stockley did not perceive Smith to be an imminent threat while he was initially interacting with Smith through the driver's window after the pursuit, but only after fifteen seconds had passed during which Smith was ordered to show his hands and open the door, and only when Stockley believed Smith had located the gun". And activists backed by many of St. Louis' black clergy had vowed to staged protests in Wilson acquitted Stockley.

"What the country needs to know is, every single person in our country, we have a right to be mad", he said. Every American has the right to protest peacefully, and should have no doubt that right will be protected.

"Exploit that right, don't compromise it", he said. As Smith quickly accelerated, there would not have been time for him to then grab a firearm and point it at Stockley.

The probable cause statement said a gun was recovered from Smith's auto but was later found to only have Stockley's DNA on it. That was when Stockley retrieved the weapon, they argued. However, forensics analysis only found Stockley's DNA on the revolver.

But in his ruling, Wilson said the prosecution's argument was "not supported by the evidence".

Noting that state law "requires the trier of fact to be "firmly convinced" of the defendant's guilt in order to convict", Wilson added, "This Court, as the trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of the defendant's guilt".

Ultimately, during the chase, the police vehicle crashed. He also said Smith's "threat to society was so high, you have to do whatever you can to stop it".

Stockley was charged with first-degree murder. "Antonio French, a witness for the state, testified that the gun shots were in rapid succession and that one shot was not separated in time from the other shots".

The death followed a almost three-mile vehicle cash as Jason Stockley and his partner Brian Bianchi pursued Anthony Lamar Smith in their police cruiser at speeds close to 90 miles per hour.

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In his ruling, Wilson wrote that "people say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment" and that Stockley's statement - "we're killing this motherfucker" - was ambiguous in the context of the situation. Some held "Black Lives Matter" signs. Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., voiced his frustration after Friday's verdict. "Because my people are exhausted of this".

Updated at 3 p.m. with announcement that all branches of St. Louis Library closing early. "And whatever the verdict is, we'll also protect people's lives, their homes and our communities".

Greitens said the Missouri National Guard has been activated to protect residents and property after the verdict.

Greitens put the National Guard on standby in the days leading up to the verdict as a precautionary step ahead of possible unrest.

At the time of his death, Smith was 24 and had a 1-year-old daughter.

Initially, state and federal authorities did not prosecute Stockley, but in Ferguson's aftermath, then-St.

But the investigation continued and Mr Stockley was charged past year after prosecutors cited unspecified new evidence. He left the St. Louis police force in 2013 and moved to Houston.

Stockley was the first officer in the St. Louis region to be charged for an on-the-job shooting since 2005.

Bianchi told him Smith was reaching for a weapon, the report said.

Barricades were placed around the civil and criminal courthouses as well as the police department to prepare for protests. Reed said the Jason Stockley case may have unfolded differently if the officers had been wearing body cameras.

In Smith's case, the encounter 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.

"Stockley claimed he fired in self-defense". Prosecutors say Stockley planted the gun. Missouri law requires that prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley was NOT acting in self-defense or the defense of others when he killed Smith.

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