Thursday, September 29, 2016
St Louis cop accused of planting a gun on a black man he shot
Jason Stockley, now 35, was charged in May with first-degree murder for the December 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, who was initially stopped on suspicion of taking part in a drug deal.
Smith drove off, causing a car chase that ended with Stockley shooting the man five times with his own personal AK-47-style rifle, equipped with a high-capacity drum magazine, KPLR 11 reported.
The footage, which was dropped off by an unknown party at the station, is shot from two cameras inside Stockley's car: one showing the view through the windscreen, another showing the rear seat.
It begins with Stockley, who is the car's passenger, exiting the car, which is in a Church's Chicken parking lot, with his personal rifle - in contravention of department policy.
He walks over to Smith's car, which drives away fast, brushing by him, over a sidewalk corner.
CCTV footage of the event shared by the St Louis Post-Dispatch shows that Smith had hit the police SUV while trying to reverse away.
Prosecutors say Stockley fired his department-issued handgun at Smith as he drove away, but as there is no audio on this part of the footage, this cannot be confirmed.
Stockley then returns to the car. Audio on the interior cameras begins as he calls in 'Shots fired' and a high-speed chase begins.
The cops exceed 80mph on wet roads, with driver Brian Bianchi at one point missing a corner and hitting a tree full on.
Audio is unclear, but prosecutors say that during the pursuit Stockley shouted '...going to kill this mother-f****r, don't you know it.'
Toward the end of the video Smith slows and swings toward the sidewalk, at which point Stockley says 'Hit it' and the cop car slams into the back of Smith.
Stockley and Bianchi then exit the vehicle and surround the car, with Stockley firing five times into the car with a pistol, hitting Smith with each shot.
The shooting was originally ruled justified after a .38-caliber Taurus revolver was found on Smith's body, but prosecutors claim the gun only had Stockley's DNA on it.
That allegation casts the final scene of the video - in which Stockley returns to his vehicle and appears to rummage through bags in the back before returning to Smith's vehicle - in a curious light. The video ends there.
But footage recorded on a cell phone by a witness shows the details around that moment.
Police remove Smith - who appears dead - from the car and laying him on the road; Stockley walks away to talk to other officers before returning to his police SUV.
After rummaging in the car, he then returns to Smith's vehicle before getting into the driver's seat. It's claimed that he found the revolver there.
Stockley was known to have unloaded the gun, possibly explaining the DNA, and his lawyer says he was looking for a clot pack to stanch Smith's bleeding.
But Smith's fiancée told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that she believed he planted the gun on Smith. 'Anthony didn't have a gun with him that day, and if he had a gun, it wouldn't be that revolver,' she said. 'That's just not a gun that any young guy is going to carry.'
Prosecutors haven't made the same claim, but say Stockley's DNA was confirmed by lab analysis.
Although the shooting took place in December 2011, it was only on May 16 of this year that circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce charged him with first-degree murder.
The police chief at the time of the shooting, Dan Isom, said on May 18 his investigators gave Joyce's office evidence years ago.
'Police reports, forensic analysis, video and the autopsy have been available for four years, however the circuit attorney in a criminal investigation had not reviewed any of this information until three weeks ago,' he said. 'There is no new information that was not known four years ago or discovered by the current chief.'
Joyce said police only involved her in the case in 2012, and questioned why Stockley stayed on the force until he left in 2013 if Isom was concerned.
'There is a lot of evidence we have, including witness statements that were developed after (Isom) left the police department that he would have no knowledge of,' she added. 'He's just speculating as to what we're looking at.'
A federal judge has prohibited release of the videos and police reports by lawyers who obtained it as part of a civil case in which the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners paid a $900,000 settlement for Smith's young daughter.
Stockley is currently free on a $1million bond secured by the St Louis Police Officers' Association. Bianchi was not accused of wrongdoing and is still on the force.
Original report here
(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress. If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where posts appear as well as on the primary site. I have reposted the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts HERE or HERE
Posted by bussorah at 9:06 AM