The ongoing riots in St. Louis are predicated on the notion that former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley shot Anthony Lamar Smith in cold blood because of racial hostility. This does not seem to be the case.
The judge in the case has issued a step-by-step decision outlining why Stockley was ultimately acquitted, according to NY Post. These insights seem to show that the idea that Stockley premeditated Smith’s murder is impossible and does not line up with the facts.
Stockley, who requested that he be tried by a judge rather than a jury, escaped the possibility of spending the rest of his life prison. Many of the protesters calling for Stockley’s head believe that the fact that Stockley’s DNA was found on Smith’s handgun implicates Stockley in the “planting of evidence.”
These are the facts according to St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson.
First of all, after police officers were called to inspect a drug deal going done in a restaurant’s parking lot, Smith, one of the vehicles in question, sped away and engaged in a high-speed chase.
After ramming Smith’s car, Officer Stockley fired five times at Smith after he saw Smith grab or raise a silver revolver. This gun was later found in Smith’s car, but only Stockley’s DNA was retrieved from it.
Stockley testified that he removed the gun and unloaded it to make sure that the weapon was safe, thus explaining why his DNA was found on the weapon.
Judge Wilson found that a full-sized revolver is too large to conceal in someone’s pocket. Conversely, if Stockley had concealed the revolver in his belt, the gun would have been visible in the recording of the incident, which it isn’t. Both of these scenarios make the idea of planting evidence as unlikely.
Judge Wilson also said that it would be an “anomaly” for a suspected heroin dealer like Smith to not carry a firearm.
Next, Stockley’s explosive outburst before firing the killing shots, which have caused a lot of controversy, have been chalked as the emotional outpouring of someone caught in a highly dramatic situation.
The dashcam footage of the event shows Stockley saying, “[I’m]going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it” seconds before unloading on Smith.
Judge Wilson wrote, “People say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or while in stressful situations, and whether Stockley’s statement … constituted a real threat of action or was a means of releasing tension has to be judged by his subsequent conduct.”
Therefore, there is no evidence that Stockley’s outburst indicates premeditation.
Despite all of this logic, violent protests in the city continued for a second night last night. Most, if not all of these protestors, chanted the usual pablum of “black lives matter” and “white silence is violence.” If you look at Judge Wilson’s ruling, it seems clear that the argument that Stockley shot Smith in cold blood, then planted a gun on him is unfounded in fact or logic.
The rioters do not seem to have much interest in facts or logic either.