Protests Continue in St. Louis after Acquittal in Police Shooting of Black Man

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said that “the vast majority of protesters are nonviolent” as demonstrations continued throughout the weekend.


Protests took place throughout the weekend in St. Louis, Mo., following the acquittal of a police officer in the fatal shooting of a Black man six years ago.

In December 2011 Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, shot Anthony Lamar Smith to death after a high-speed chase. Stockley and another officer pursued Smith in a car chase and reached speeds over 80 miles per hour, according to court documents. At one point the police vehicle crashed, records state, but then continued to chase Smith.

At one point Stockley is heard saying to his partner he’s “going to kill this motherf***er, don’t you know it,” referring to Smith. Then, according to court documents, Stockley said to the other officer, “Hit him right now” when Smith’s car started to slow down. The police car then crashed into Smith’s car and Stockley exited the vehicle and approached Smith’s window. Stockley shot Smith five times, killing him.

Stockley alleged that he saw Smith reaching for something and assumed it was a gun, which was why he shot him. A gun was later found in Smith’s vehicle but the only DNA found on it was Stockley’s. Prosecutors accused Stockley of planting the gun because video footage of the incident shows Stockley going back to his police vehicle after shooting Smith and then returning to Smith’s car.

Stockley was charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action. In a 30-page verdict Judge Timothy Wilson wrote that the court “is simply not firmly convinced” of Stockley’s guilt.

“No one promised a rose garden, and this surely is not one,” Wilson wrote, adding that the court “agonizingly” analyzed the evidence “again and again.”

Protests broke out Friday almost immediately after the verdict was announced.

The St. Louis Police Department was active on Twitter throughout the weekend with updates about the demonstrations, which were largely nonviolent. Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole confirmed in a media briefing that 80 arrests were made and that all injuries that police officers suffered were “minor or moderate.” The department’s Twitter referred to some of the protesters as “criminals” and “agitators.”

At one point an unmarked police car backed into a group of protesters.

The St. Louis police department confirmed on Twitter that there were no injuries in connection with the incident, which was caught on video.

A St. Louis reporter posted video footage of the incident on Twitter.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens took a much different tone than St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson (D). He wrote on Facebook:

“Saturday night, some criminals decided to pick up rocks and break windows. They thought they’d get away with it. They were wrong. Our officers caught ‘em, cuffed ‘em, and threw ‘em in jail.

“In the past, our leaders let people break windows, loot, start fires. They let them do it. Not this time. Tonight, the police arrested the vandals. At this moment, they’re all sitting in a jail cell. They’re gonna wake up and face felony charges.

“These aren’t protestors, these are criminals.

“Criminals, listen up: you break a window, you’re going to be behind bars. It’s that simple.”

Krewson stated that “the vast majority of protesters are nonviolent.”

More protests are reportedly scheduled to take place today.

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  • A reporter who was included among those arrested reported that the police — rather than only arresting those engaging in violence — surrounded an entire group of protesters, preventing them from dispersing, and arrested all of them.

  • Gov. Eric Greitens should be writing on FB that if an officer kills unlawfully they’ll be behind bars. His priority seems to be the protection of windows instead of life! he needs to step down asap.

  • I’m a business owner and I understand someone destroying your property. But the other side of me which never goes away, “Being Black” speaks to me saying “who the hell cares about the property?”

    A little something for you all regarding Gov. Eric Greitens. He’s a pretentious White bred butthole out of Chesterfield in St. Louis. His few and only encounters with anyone Black is someone cleaning his alma mater high school and college (Duke). He’s from an area of St. Louis with little to no diversity (80+% White and literally nothing else remaining). He went to Duke that’s mostly White. He couldn’t find the understanding of the Black experience if it was subconsciously fed to him in his dreams for him to remember.

    He’s telling people St. Louis NI–ERS stay in your place. Don’t mess up this money in St. Louis because if you’ll do, you’re going to jail. But if a cop kills one of you with evidence, I’m good with nothing happening.

    White Missourian DNA to the “t”

    • It really is not amazing that Luke allows your vile and vicious comments on his website. If this is how his screeners screen, then he and the screeners support your written conduct.

      • I think Lee’s comments are right on target. Your comments, on the otherhand, are baffling- why do you continue to come here when you disagree with my publication?

        I’ll admit to watching the sex offender network (fox) from time to time and I subscribe to the WSJ (to see what the billionaires are bamboozling the bozos with), but I don’t bother to comment there.

      • What’s more vile is how you do nothing to destroy White supremacy. Who’s the threat to democracy and freedom? Me who believe all people should be treated with fairness and receive subsequent equality and is willing to lay down my life or you who believes in White supremacy and isn’t willing to invest in absolutely nothing to stop it and discontinue receiving its benefit?

    • lee demonstrating and breaking windows in U-City, which was developed by Joe Edwards who has done tremendous things for Blacks including Chuck Berry, was ill advised or just ignorant. Chesterfield or say Clayton would have been my choice if I was in the planning.

      • Theeir actions aren’t about Joe Edwards. It’s frustration period… You or others see them as something now when destroying something you or others treasure. But fail to see Black people or people other than White in everyday life.

        Take the time to view everyone who isn’t like you as a human and you won’t be even a bit appalled by their actions if this happen or best case scenario it won’t happen because people will start seeing others as humans view their condition as less than adequate.

        Preventative measures not reactive…

  • The decision passed down by Judge Timothy Wilson, I think, was wrong. Even former circuit court attorney Jennifer Joyce (who Blacks have had issues with) found enough wrong with the incident to file charges against this Cop. That was surprising.

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