Mayor Krewson issues video statement regarding Stockley verdict

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Police said a few protesters threw rocks and water bottles, while witnesses and video showed officers used pepper spray on at least five people about a block from the courthouse.

"Stockley's DNA profile was on every weapon he touched", the St. Louis Circuit Attorney said in a press release. "Because my people are exhausted of this". Stockley requested that the case be heard by a judge rather than a jury despite objections from prosecutors. 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. "As the Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis, I remain committed to holding people accountable for violating the law, regardless of their race, gender, occupation, or station in life".

"It's a sad day in St. Louis, and it's a sad day to be an American", Stancil said.

"While officer-involved shooting cases are extremely hard to prevail in court, I believe we offered sufficient evidence that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Stockley meant to kill Mr. Smith", Gardner said in a written statement. "We have a right to protest", Watkins added. The New York Times reports that the city erected barricades around the courthouse where Stockley's trial took place, and that Missouri governor Eric Greitens placed Missouri National Guard soldiers on standby. Police officers who testified during the trial said they wouldn't take off gloves if they were about to handle evidence.

Prosecutors believe Stockley's claim that Smith had a gun and was reaching for it at the time of the shooting was not corroborated by any of the videos or scientific evidence, nor by the actions and reactions of his partner.

The case was among several in recent years in which a white officer killed a black suspect.

In 2011, Jason Stockley, 36, fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, after a auto chase following what Stockley said was a drug transaction. Stockley ran after the suspect's vehicle, firing seven shots with his service pistol.

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The acquittal "does not change the facts: Anthony Lamar Smith died unnecessarily, another casualty of excessive and deadly force by police against people of color", the ACLU of Missouri said in a statement.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Anthony Lamar Smith, as today's verdict fails to provide the justice they sought and the closure they seek".

Gardner said she understands and appreciates "the many challenges that face our city's police officers".

After the killing, homicide detectives from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department deemed it justifiable. When Smith did not stop, a high-speed chase began.

Smith was alive after the crash when the officers approached his vehicle with their weapons drawn. Prosecutors say Stockley planted the weapon.

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

The defense argued that Smith created the violent encounter and fled from Stockley and his partner.

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