ST. LOUIS ( --Saturday marks the first anniversary since the not guilty verdict in the Jason Stockley trial was announced. 

Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith after a car chase through north St. Louis in 2011.

In September, demonstrators took to streets for several days following the judge's verdict.

READ:Family of man killed by Jason Stockley seeks $5 million settle 'cover-up' claims

State Representative Bruce Franks says there is still work to be done but added there has been positive changes such as the appointment of St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden. 

"The way he's kinda ran things in the police department this past year. I think that's one of the positives," said Franks. "On the negative side, we still have transparency issues and holding officers accountable."

News 4 reached out to Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards who commended Hayden. 

Edwards says he believes relations between police and the community have improved. 

"I certainly believe the trust gap has closed a bit between citizens and police. Citizens understand that police officers are necessary and in order to have a safe community they need police officers," said Edwards.

Edwards says he believes officers understand that Edwards and Hayden will support them and they will not be vilified when they are doing their jobs as long as they act within the constitution.


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