Jason Stockley: White Cop Who Said ‘We’re Killing This Mother******!’ Found Not Guilty In Black Man’s Slaying

Jason Stockley, a St. Louis, Missouri, police officer who chased down and killed 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011, was found not guilty by a judge of first degree murder in Smith’s death on Friday — even though Stockley shot Smith five times, Smith did not fire a gun and may not have even possessed one, and Stockley was heard during the 90 miles-per-hour chase telling his partner, “We’re killing this mother******!”

Stockley also planted a gun on Smith after shooting and killing him, prosecutors charged. But the judge said on Friday that he was not persuaded by evidence that the police officer planted the gun.

Judge Timothy Wilson’s decision set off immediate protests in the streets of St. Louis Friday afternoon, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported. Stockley, who quit the police force about two years after he killed Smith, had waived his right to a jury trial when he entered a not guilty plea, giving Wilson the full power to decide his fate after a trial which began on August 1.

Stockley claimed that Smith was reaching for a gun in his car after the chase which started when Stockley and his partner intervened in what they said was a suspected drug deal. The officer said that he killed Smith in self-defense, according to a CNN report. According to the court document announcing the judge’s verdict, Stockley made his statement in which he said, “we’re killing this mother*****” just 45 seconds before the high speed chase came to an end.

Just moments later, after what appeared to be a brief struggle between Stockley and Smith as the officer leaned into Smith’s car, the officer drew his service weapon and fired five shots at Smith, into the car. Read Judge Wilson’s entire, written decision in the Jason Stockley case at this link.

Wilson said that once Stockley claimed self-defense in the slaying, the burden of proof was on prosecutors to demonstrate that the officer was acting in a premeditated fashion, and not in self defense. But according to Wilson, the prosecutors failed to disprove the self-defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt, according to a Post Dispatch breakdown of the judge’s verdict.

Watch protesters take to the streets of St. Louis in the following CBS News video.

“This Court… is simply not firmly convinced of the defendant’s guilt,” Wilson wrote. “Agonizingly, this Court has (pored) over the evidence again and again.”

But Wilson’s claims to have “agonized” over his decision to acquit Stockley in the killing of Smith did not satisfy protesters who gathered immediately after the verdict was made public — and even St. Louis residents who were not protesting, but were caught in the traffic jams caused by the protesters.

“I think the verdict is disgusting,” 52-year-old Damone Smith, an electrician on his way to work when the protests broke out, told the Post Dispatch.

“I’m proud of these people protesting. If you look like me, then you feel like there is no other way to express yourself in the face of this kind of verdict. Time and time again, African-American men are killed by police and nobody is held accountable,” he said.

The judge dismissed Stockley’s statement, made moments before he killed Smith, that “we’re going to kill this mother******,” saying that the officer was merely responding to the tension of a high-speed chase.

“People say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or in stressful situations,” Wilson wrote.

[Featured Image By St. Louis Police Department/AP Images]

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