WATCH: Protesters Burn the American Flag and Clash With Police After Ex-Cop Who Shot Black Man Acquitted on Murder Charges


Former St. Louis police Officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty Friday of murdering a man while on duty, sparking hours of angry protests that continued overnight.

At least 32 people were arrested and nine city officers were injured as hundreds took to the streets in largely peaceful demonstrations against the verdict, Interim St. Louis Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said early Saturday. In addition, a St. Louis County police officer and a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper were hurt.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson’s highly anticipated verdict found the white former St. Louis police officer not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the December 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black drug suspect, after a high-speed pursuit and crash.

Protesters began gathering downtown immediately after the verdict was announced Friday morning. The demonstrations were largely peaceful at first, but as the night went on, protesters seriously injured two police officers and vandalized buildings, including the home of the city mayor.

What happened in 2011?

  • Stockley and his partner attempted to arrest Smith during a suspected drug deal.
  • Smith fled and a chase that reached speeds of 90 mph ensued through local neighborhoods.
  • Officers stopped Smith by ramming his vehicle, and Stockley, believing Smith was concealing a weapon, shot Smith five times, killing him.
  • A handgun and a bag of heroin was found in the vehicle. The handgun only had Stockley’s DNA on it. The heroin had Smith’s DNA on it.

Ten law enforcement officers have been injured during protests in St. Louis after a judge acquitted a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.