Louis Ex-Cop Acquitted on Murder Charges After Killing Black Man

Ed Sheeran arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Forum on Sunday

Ed Sheeran arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Forum on Sunday

Stockley pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense and believed Smith was reaching for a gun in his auto. After crashing into the vehicle, he then shot at Smith five times, according to the documents. On Friday, September 15, 2017 Wilson made his decision, finding Stockley not guilty of murder. St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson issued the ruling after Stockley waived his right to a jury trial.

Gardner wants independent investigations of officer-involved shootings. According to the statement, Stockley is heard on police cruiser camera saying he was "going to kill this [expletive], don't you know it".

Wilson said it wouldn't be unusual for Smith to have a gun, writing, "Finally, the Court observes, based on its almost thirty years on the bench, that an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly". Stockley's lawyer dismissed the comment as "human emotions" uttered during a risky police pursuit. And once again, St. Louis will be left confused, betrayed, shellshocked and more than likely enraged.

It is unusual for officers to be charged with killing suspects while on duty, and few officers have been convicted in such deaths.

She later said that in such shootings "we must re-examine not just how we prosecute these cases but how investigate them".

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Activists vowed a Ferguson-like, drawn out protest if Stockley was found not guilty. Al Watkins, an attorney for Smith's fiancée, Christina Wilson, urged people to protest - but do it peacefully. Barricades went up last month around police headquarters, the courthouse where the trial was held and other potential protest sites. Dozens of police officers on bicycles blocked the protesters from reaching the freeway. The officer wasn't charged but later resigned. Bianchi reportedly informed Stockley that it appeared as if Smith was reaching for a weapon. They also claimed a gun was not planted and that Stockley acted in self-defense and reasonably.

Stockley told investigators he had unloaded the revolver as a safety precaution, and his attorneys argued that action could have transferred his DNA to the gun. Stockley fired seven shots as Smith sped away. Stockley says he saw Smith holding a gun before the chase began, and that he felt he was in imminent danger when he opened fire.

Stockley's DNA, not Smith's was found on the revolver found in Smith vehicle, according to police reports.

The case was among several in recent years in which a white officer killed a black suspect. A case in OH twice ended with hung juries, and prosecutors have decided not to seek a third trial.

The judge also referred to Smith as an "urban heroin dealer" and said that it would not be "an anomaly" for him to possess a gun.

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On Thursday, Gov. Eric Greitens took steps to summon to Missouri National Guard while police officers in the area were put on 12 hour shifts. The video is said to show protesters after being sprayed by police.

After the verdict, protesters gathered outside the courthouse.

Stockley killed Smith years before the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. It was the first time the prosecution publicly revealed their belief that Stockley planted the gun, which only contained Stockley's DNA.

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