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St. Louis ex-cop found not guilty of murder

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User Info: Kradek

Kradek
8 months ago#1
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jason-stockley-verdict-st-louis-officer-acquitted-anthony-lamar-smith/

ST. LOUIS -- A white former police officer was acquitted Friday in the 2011 death of a black man who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase, with the judge declaring that he could not be swayed by "partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism."

The acquittal of Jason Stockley in the death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith had stirred concerns about possible civil unrest for weeks. Several hundred protesters were marching in the streets of downtown St. Louis within hours of the verdict.

Some protesters shouted, "If we can't get no justice y'all can't get no peace" and burned a St. Louis Cardinals sweatshirt, according to a reporter for CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV.

Stockley was charged with first-degree murder but insisted he saw Smith holding a gun and felt he was in imminent danger. Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after the shooting. The officer asked the case to be decided by St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson instead of a jury. Prosecutors objected to that move.

"This court, in conscience, cannot say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt or that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense," Wilson wrote in the decision.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said she was disappointed.

"While officer-involved shooting cases are extremely difficult to prevail in court, I believe we offered sufficient evidence that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Stockley intended to kill Mr. Smith," Gardner said in a written statement.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele emphasized during the trial last month that police dashcam video of the chase captured Stockley saying he was "going to kill this (expletive), don't you know it."

Less than a minute later, the officer shot Smith five times. Stockley's lawyer dismissed the comment as "human emotions" uttered during a dangerous police pursuit. The judge wrote that the statement "can be ambiguous depending on the context."

Stockley, 36, could have been sentenced to up to life in prison without parole. He left the St. Louis police force in 2013 and moved to Houston.

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

Ahead of the verdict, activists in St. Louis threatened civil disobedience if Stockley were acquitted, including possible efforts to shut down highways. Barricades went up on Aug. 28 around police headquarters, the courthouse where the trial was held and other potential protest sites.

The St. Louis area has a history of unrest in similar cases, including after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014. Protests, some of them violent, erupted after the unarmed black 18-year-old was killed by a white police officer. The officer was not charged but later resigned.

In Smith's case, the encounter began when Stockley and his partner tried to corner Smith in a fast-food restaurant parking lot after seeing what appeared to be a drug deal. Stockley testified that he saw what he believed was a gun, and his partner yelled "gun!" as Smith backed into the police SUV twice to get away.

Stockley's attorney, Neil Bruntrager, argued that Smith, a parole violator with previous convictions for gun and drug crimes, tried to run over the two officers. Stockley fired seven shots as Smith sped away. A chase ensued.

User Info: Kradek

Kradek
8 months ago#2
At the end of the chase, Stockley opened fire only when Smith, still in his car, refused commands to put up his hands and reached along the seat "in the area where the gun was," Bruntrager said. Stockley said he climbed into Smith's car and found a revolver between the center console and passenger seat.

But prosecutors questioned why Stockley dug into a bag in the back seat of the police SUV before returning to Smith's car.

The gun found in Smith's car did not have his DNA on it, but it did have Stockley's.

"The gun was a plant," Steele said.

The case was among several in recent years in which a white officer killed a black suspect. Officers were acquitted in recent police shooting trials in Minnesota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. A case in Ohio twice ended with hung juries, and prosecutors have decided not to seek a third trial.

User Info: Kradek

Kradek
8 months ago#3
So...isn't saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them less than a minute later literally the definition of premeditated murder? Another source I read this one (not sure if they mention it here) had the prosecutor saying that another officer said Stockley had said he was going to ram his car with theirs. Isn't that vehicular assault? Not sure exactly what the legal term would be for a vehicle being used to intentionally hit another vehicle.

If the dashcam footage said that then this judge deserves to be disbarred for not finding it sufficient. That's bulls***. If cops being recorded saying, themselves, that they're going to kill someone isn't sufficient evidence then nothing is.

User Info: SPMcGuilicutty

SPMcGuilicutty
8 months ago#4
Kradek posted...
So...isn't saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them less than a minute literally the definition of premeditated murder?

Not if you're a cop, evidently!
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User Info: Clutch

Clutch
8 months ago#5
Kradek posted...
So...isn't saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them less than a minute later literally the definition of premeditated murder?


No, it's literally the definition of doing something in the moment. Which is the opposite of premeditated.
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User Info: Kradek

Kradek
8 months ago#6
Clutch posted...
Kradek posted...
So...isn't saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them less than a minute later literally the definition of premeditated murder?


No, it's literally the definition of doing something in the moment. Which is the opposite of premeditated.


So saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them isn't premediated?

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/premeditation

premeditation
n. planning, plotting or deliberating before doing something. Premeditation is an element in first degree murder and shows intent to commit that crime. (See: malice aforethought, murder, first degree murder)

Says he's going to kill this guy, and then does it less than a minute later. He literally narrated that he was going to commit a crime and then did it. Are you really going to excuse that?

User Info: Gradieus

Gradieus
8 months ago#7
ITT TC doesn't understand due process.

The defendant showed reasonable doubt that it was premeditated murder. How? Because he approached the vehicle without a gun drawn and was there for a minute before taking out his gun and firing.

Ergo not premeditated, case dismissed.

Perhaps prosecutors should stop over-reaching in these type of proceedings and maybe they'll actually win a case.

User Info: Atombender

Atombender
8 months ago#8
Kradek posted...
Clutch posted...
Kradek posted...
So...isn't saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them less than a minute later literally the definition of premeditated murder?


No, it's literally the definition of doing something in the moment. Which is the opposite of premeditated.


So saying "I'm going to kill this person" and then killing them isn't premediated?

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/premeditation

premeditation
n. planning, plotting or deliberating before doing something. Premeditation is an element in first degree murder and shows intent to commit that crime. (See: malice aforethought, murder, first degree murder)

Says he's going to kill this guy, and then does it less than a minute later. He literally narrated that he was going to commit a crime and then did it. Are you really going to excuse that?


There is a different legal standard for black people.
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User Info: Kradek

Kradek
8 months ago#9
Gradieus posted...
ITT TC doesn't understand due process.

The defendant showed reasonable doubt that it was premeditated murder. How? Because he approached the vehicle without a gun drawn and was there for a minute before taking out his gun and firing.

Ergo not premeditated, case dismissed.

Perhaps prosecutors should stop over-reaching in these type of proceedings and maybe they'll actually win a case.


He said he was going to kill this guy and less than a minute later he did. What the actual f*** is wrong with you? Ok, maybe it's not premeditated because I guess it requires an amount of "time", which seems arbitrary and bulls***, but he still narrated that he wanted to kill this guy and then shot him 5 times. 1 bullet is usually enough to stop a person from doing what they're doing with the lowest chance of killing them. 5 is to make sure they die and don't tell anyone.

User Info: Stonedwolfed

Stonedwolfed
8 months ago#10
Atombender posted...
There is a different legal standard for black people.


Exactly. OJ Simpson was clearly innocent and they convicted him of murder anyway.

Michael Jackson too. Except for gay kiddie rape not murder.
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