After ex-police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of murder for a shooting that occurred back in 2011, Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets to launch assaults and cause havoc. So far 13 people have been arrested and at least four officers injured as the mob converged on St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.
The mob gathered ostensibly as a result of the ruling in a case where Stockley was found not guilty of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith, a known drug dealer, after a high-speed chase. They threw bricks and bottles at officers, and as the night wore on, they began burning the American flag.
Protests began peacefully with people linking arms and chanting “No, justice, no peace” in what seems like a rallying call to riot. This soon degenerated into violence.
Facing The Facts
The main point of contention is that Smith’s lawyers argued that the gun found in his car was not his, and they suggest that it was planted by Stockley after he shot him. The judge’s verdict was that it would be highly unlikely for a drug dealer (a bag of heroin was found in his car) to not own a gun. Smith’s lawyer called the decision “appalling,”, but the facts of the case seemed to the judge to weigh in Stockley’s favor.
Judge Wilson said in his statement:
“Finally, the Court observes, based on its nearly thirty years on the bench, that an urban heroin dealer not in
possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”
Stockley said after being found not guilty:
“It feels like a burden has been lifted, but the burden of having to kill someone never really lifts,” he said in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday.
“The taking of someone’s life is the most significant thing one can do, and it’s not done lightly. … My main concern now is for the first responders, the people just trying to go to work and the protesters. I don’t want anyone to be hurt in any way over this,”
“I can feel for and I understand what the family is going through, and I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy.”
What needs to be questioned is why is a known drug dealer being favored by the protesters over a police officer? It comes down to a choice for the protesters: Do they believe that a known drug dealer did not have a gun over two police officers (Stockley and his partner) and the verdict of a St Louis judge?