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Louis police shooting ruling may be imminent; National Guard on standby
16 Setiembre 2017, 02:29 | Crisanna Felipe
BREAKING: Judge acquits white ex-St. Louis police officer of first-degree murder in 2011 shooting death of black man
And then there was the recording, made during the chase, of Stockley telling his partner, "We're killing this motherfucker, don't you know".
Police said some demonstrators hurled rocks and water bottles, while witnesses and video footage showed police used pepper spray on at protesters about a block from the courthouse.
The protests heated up Friday night with hundreds taking to the streets, prompting the National Guard to be on standby, and shutting down several businesses, schools and banks early.
Violent protests erupted Friday following the acquittal of a white police officer in the 2011 shooting death of a black motorist.
Smith was 24, a new dad and engaged to be married when he was killed.
Stockley instructed his partner, who was driving the police SUV, to ram Smith's vehicle. Bruntrager said he was justified to use lethal force before the chase when the suspect's vehicle was a deadly weapon. The chase ended when Stockley instructed his partner to ram into Smith's vehicle. Stockley fired seven shots as Smith sped away.
St. Louis circuit Attorney Kim Gardner issued the following statement to the media after the verdict: "While officer-involved shooting cases are extremely hard to prevail in court, I believe we offered sufficient evidence that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Stockley meant to kill Mr. Smith".
"Needless to say, I'm disappointed with the court's decision", said Kim Gardner, St. Louis Circuit Attorney.
Prosecutors accused the officer of planting a gun to justify the shooting. Stockley had also been on a tour to Iraq during his time in the army and chose to be a police after that because "it's based on a foundation of service", he had said.
Mr Stockley said he was retrieving some equipment to administer first aid.
Wilson also said there was no evidence to suggest Stockley "planted the handgun found in the Buick".
Only Mr Smith's DNA was traced on a plastic bag of heroin that was also found in the vehicle.
But the investigation continued and Mr Stockley was charged a year ago after prosecutors cited unspecified new evidence.
Stockley left the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in August 2013.
Stockley's lawyer argued that his client acted reasonably at the end of a "near-death" police chase to arrest a drug suspect who endangered the officers' lives as well as innocent bystanders on St. Louis streets. Amid the growing uneasiness, the mayor and an attorney for Smith's fiance publicly urged for calm.
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Knezovich said the shooter was finally disabled by "a member of the Freeman community", before police arrived on the scene. He posted two photos, one of his nieces in her cheerleading uniform and the other from her hospital bed - smiling in each.