Missouri politicians react to Stockley verdict - KCTV5 News

Missouri politicians react to Stockley verdict

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to the media after meeting with clergy at Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church ahead of a verdict in the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Sept. 11 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to the media after meeting with clergy at Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church ahead of a verdict in the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Sept. 11 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

State politicians are reacting after a judge in St. Louis acquitted former police officer Jason Stockley in case of the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Smith. Here is what they had to say. 

Governor Eric Greitens:

“We know this verdict causes pain for many people. We have been in touch with city and county officials, and the State of Missouri will continue to assist them. I'm committed to protecting everyone's constitutional right to protest peacefully, while also protecting people's lives, homes, and communities. For anyone who protests, please do so peacefully.”

Attorney General Josh Hawley:

"The First Amendment guarantees the right of every American to peaceably assemble and express their views and their grievances. I encourage protestors to demonstrate peacefully, mindful of their safety and the safety of others. I know our law enforcement will work to keep them safe."

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill:

“Some Missourians are sure to be pained by today's decision, and others will agree with the ruling, but the fact is that none of us can let it detract from the goals that we all should share—safer streets, where police have the trust of the communities they serve, and a system of justice that's fair to all of our citizens. The events in Ferguson shook our region to its core and forced us to face some tough realities. But since then, our law enforcement and the families and businesses they serve have begun talking and hearing each other. We can't let today's decision send us back to our respective corners. I know if we continue to have hard conversations in a candid, peaceful, and constructive way, we can make the kind of progress everyone in our state craves and deserves.”

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt:

“The family of Anthony Lamar Smith suffered a tragic loss. This is a difficult day for them, and for all St. Louisans who sought a different outcome in this case. The response to this verdict will have a lasting impact not just on the community, but the country. Every American has the right to protest peacefully, and should have no doubt that right will be protected. However, if this verdict is met with violence and destruction, it will do nothing but reignite the fear and anger that law enforcement and community leaders have worked tirelessly to address since Ferguson. If it is met with a renewed commitment to continuing the work that is needed to rebuild trust between law enforcement and those they serve, it will show the world how we, as Americans, move forward.”

State Senator Jake Hummel:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Anthony Lamar Smith, as today's verdict fails to provide the justice they sought and the closure they seek. Our city is hurting, our citizens are searching for answers, and people are justifiably angry. We must remain committed to protecting every citizen’s constitutional right to protest publicly without interference and acknowledge that while protests do not have to be polite, anger must not give way to violence, and destruction must not replace dialogue. After all, peace can only be achieved by the peaceful, and I know the people of St. Louis are ready to lead the way.”   

State Representative Brandon Ellington:

“The very definition of premeditation is to think about an action and then carry it out. If I made a statement saying, ‘I’m going to kill this individual’ and I fatally shoot and kill that same individual less than two minutes later, I would be guilty of premeditated murder. In the case dealing with Anthony Lamar Smith and ex-officer Jason Stockley, it appears as though the courts in the city of St. Louis are participating in premeditated collusion of the law.

“I wish I could say that I was shocked by the decision, but history has shown time and time again that St. Louis police officers are allowed to continue to murder black men on camera with no guilty verdict in court. I'm calling on Gov. Greitens to show as much concern towards the lack of accountability and action taken in the criminal justice system as he does regarding the protection and safety of law enforcement.

“I am calling on the governor to instruct the National Guard to ensure the safety of protestors. My fear is that law enforcement has been given a free pass to murder and this again can be proven by the lack of verdicts in the city of St. Louis.”

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