Community activists promise civil disruption if Stockley acquitt - KMOV.com

Community activists promise civil disruption if Stockley acquitted

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Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley is charged with first-degree murder following a fatal shooting on December 20, 2011 (Credit: Harris County Sheriff's Office) Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley is charged with first-degree murder following a fatal shooting on December 20, 2011 (Credit: Harris County Sheriff's Office)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis community activists hoping for a conviction in the murder trial of Jason Stockley said to expect mass disruption if no conviction is given.

The bench trial for Stockley ended several weeks ago. Stockley is charged with first-degree murder of Anthony Smith. A verdict could come at any time; but the only deadline is by December 31, 2017, when Judge Timothy Wilson retires.

In a news conference on the steps of the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis Monday, activists warned of civil unrest if Stockley is acquitted.

"We want to see justice," proclaimed Rev. Clinton Stancil of St. Louis' Wayman AME Church. "We will no longer stand silent or divided. St. Louis has to wake up and stop killing people who look like us."

"In the streets we are being assaulted and then, in the Judge's chamber, we are being insulted," said Rev. Jimmy Brown.

"If we don't get it... shut it down," protesters chanted during the event Monday, adding they plan to shut down the airport, Cardinals game and other events if no conviction is handed down.

This is the first time an officer in St. Louis has faced a murder charge for an on-duty shooting in nearly two decades.

At the heart of the case is whether Jason Stockley intended to kill Anthony Smith or whether he was acting in lawful self-defense and that he was acting lawfully as an officer.

The incident began back in 2011 at the Church’s Chicken at Thekla and Riverview and ended with a crash and a shooting. Parts of the incident were captured on surveillance video, dash camera video and bystander cell phone video.

Barricades have been put up outside the city courthouse in case protests do occur when the verdict is announced.

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