PROTESTS in the US city of St Louis continued for a third day yesterday following the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley for killing Anthony Lamar Smith there in 2011.
Mr Stockley was found not guilty of murder on Friday, six years after having shot 24-year-old African-American Mr Smith five times after a car chase, on the grounds that he believed he was reaching for a weapon.
A gun was found in Mr Smith’s car after the event but the prosecution alleged it was placed there by Mr Stockley, who predicted the shooting during the car chase with the words: “Going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it.”
But Judge Timothy Wilson said the court could not say it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the killing was not self-defence.
The ruling sparked immediate demonstrations in St Louis on Friday evening and a march of thousands on Saturday.
Some protesters attacked police vehicles and buildings on Friday night while “a few dozen” did not disperse after Saturday’s march and then clashed with riot officers who moved against them.
Electrician Damone Smith told reporters as his car was rerouted away from the demo that he was “proud” of protesters against a “disgusting” verdict.
“If you look like me, then you feel like there is no other way to express yourself. Time and time again, African-American men are killed by police and nobody is held accountable,” he explained.
Mr Stockley said: “I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy.”