St. Louis Officer Stockley Acquitted of Murder of Alexander Smith

Last Friday St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley was acquitted at a bench trial of first-degree murder charges in the 2011 shooting death of Alexander Smith.

Stockley is white, Smith was black.  The shooting occurred after Smith led Stockley and other officers on a high-speed chase following an apparent parking lot drug transaction, and as Smith reached for a gun after crashing to a stop.

The acquittal, as per SOP, has led to professional and amateur rioters engaging in their usual masturbatory ultra-violence in St. Louis. CNN and other sources reported on the “mostly peaceful” protest, including breaking the windows out of the Mayor’s house:  “St. Louis ex-officer acquitted in fatal shooting of black driver.”

One benefit of a bench trial from an analysis perspective is that the trial judge typically writes an opinion explaining the rationale behind his verdict, something jury trials do not produce.  Judge Timothy Wilson’s opinion is embedded below:

About the Author

Andrew Branca
Andrew F. Branca, Esq. is currently in his third decade of practicing law, and is an internationally-recognized expert on the law of self-defense of the United States. Andrew is a Guest Lecturer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, a former Guest Instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, an NRA Life-Benefactor Member, and an NRA Certified Instructor. He also teaches lawyers how to argue self-defense cases as a certified instructor with the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) system in numerous states around the country. Andrew is also a host on the Outdoor Channel’s TV show “The Best Defense” and contributor to the National Review Online. Andrew has been quoted as a SME (subject-matter expert) on use-of-force law by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and many other mainstream media, including nationally syndicated broadcast media. Recently, Andrew won the UC Berkeley Law School debate on “Stand-Your-Ground,” and spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting Law Symposium on self-defense law. He is also a founding member of USCCA’s Legal Advisory Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Andrew is also a competitive handgun shooter, an IDPA Charter/Life member (IDPA #13), and a Master-class competitor in multiple IDPA divisions.

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