The murder acquittal of Jason Stockley means that St. Louis residents must live in fear.
I have no idea if the murder acquittal of Jason Stockley was just. The prosecution told a good story but they weren’t able to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt to a judge. So, the former police officer was found Not Guilty in a 2011 (!) shooting. That’s the way our system works when the state can’t prove their case, whether the accused is an ex-con or an ex-cop.
Now the entire region has to worry about what comes next because a portion of the population is angry.
The Washington Post reports, “St. Louis tenses after former police officer acquitted in murder trial.”
Some schools were shuttered around the St. Louis area and events set for the region were postponed as the verdict loomed and media reports suggested it could arrive Friday. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) on Thursday put the state’s National Guard on standby in advance of the verdict and potential protests.[…]
The potential for unrest has gripped the St. Louis region, which was rocked in 2014 when an officer in suburban Ferguson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager.
That shooting prompted intense, sometimes violent protests, as did the decision months later not to federally indict that officer, Darren Wilson. The case, and the protests that followed, garnered worldwide attention, and in many ways it kick-started the intense nationwide focus on how police officers use deadly force, particularly against black men and boys.
Since Ferguson, police shootings or other uses of force — and ensuing decisions not to charge the officers in most of the cases involved — have set off heated protests in New York, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte and scores of other cities across the country.[…]
Before the verdict, some activists in the St. Louis region pledged “mass disruption” should Stockley wind up getting acquitted, vowing that the outcome would “look a lot like Ferguson.”
At the very end of the story came a virtual admission that the case should have not been tried.
The decision to charge Stockley last year came as the number of law enforcement officers charged for deadly on-duty shootings has increased, which experts have attributed to an increase in video evidence and public pressure. But the increased number of charges have not led to more convictions, which remain very rare in cases involving officers charged for shooting someone or using deadly force while on-duty.
Yes, it came years after this increase, but the incident came with no additional video evidence. The case wasn’t prosecuted earlier, so why was it prosecuted now? Was the DA’s Office hoping that recent political shifts would influence the judge?
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