32 Arrested, 9 Officers Injured After Protests Erupted In St. Louis In Wake Of Former Officer Jason Stockley's Acquittal
Stockley was found not guilty in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
According to multiple reports, 32 protesters were arrested and nine police officers were injured in Friday's protests after former Officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
In 2011, Stockley was recorded while in pursuit of Smith stating that he intended to kill the victim. Smith was shot five times after a high-speed chase and crash after officers tried to apprehend him for a suspected drug deal at a Church's Chicken restaurant.
Blavity reported that the former officer allegedly planted a gun on the victim to cover up wrongdoing. Stockley was found not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges by presiding St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson on Sept. 15.
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Protesters took the streets immediately after news broke of the acquittal. Many felt there were overwhelming amounts of evidence indicating a miscarriage of justice. While protesters partook in demonstrations, critics on Twitter made their voices heard.
Allegedly, there was a number of agitators who threw rocks and bottles at St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's home according to St. Louis Police.
Agitators have converged on Mayor Krewson's house. Throwing rocks and breaking windows, despite being instructed not to. #STLVerdict— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) September 16, 2017'
ABC News reported that nine St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers and one Missouri Highway Patrol officer were injured in the unrest – two of whom were transported to a hospital with injuries sustained after being hit by a brick.
To disperse crowds, police fired off rounds of pepper pellets and tear gas. Despite the negative press, many of the protesters were peaceful and orderly.
“Orders to disperse were given numerous times," Chief Lawrence O'Toole said. "Tear gas was deployed after officers were assaulted with bricks and bottles. Officers did deploy pepper balls as a less-than-lethal option after agitators continued to assault officers with objects and destroy property.”
The St. Louis Dispatch reported that there was one arrest at the mayor's home and damage at other public places such as several restaurants and a St. Louis Public Library branch.
Judge Wilson wrote in his verdict that the court "is simply not firmly convinced of [Stockley's] guilt."