From [HERE] A federal judge is reconsidering whether to reopen a previously settled wrongful death suit against a former St. Louis police officer.
On December 20, 2011, Jason Stockley shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, at West Florissant and Acme after a mile-long chase through the area.
Stockley was eventually charged with murder in the case. He was acquitted on September 15, 2017.
Smith’s family filed a civil suit against the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department before the murder trial began. The family settled the case out of court for $900,000.
The federal judge is now weighing the option to reopen the case because he said the attorney for Smith’s family did not have access to DNA evidence at the time, our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that the judge had, in fact, reopened the case. However, the Clerk of Court at the US District Court in downtown St. Louis released a statement Wednesday afternoon, clarifying that judge was only considering such action.
During the criminal trial, prosecutors alleged that Officer Stockley shot into Smith’s car at Riverview and Thekla in St. Louis then he and his partner, who was driving the SUV, chased Smith at speeds over 80 miles per hour. During the pursuit, the defendant is heard on an internal police car video saying “Going to kill this m/f, don’t you know it.”
As Smith’s car was slowing to a stop, Stockley was heard telling the other officer to “Hit him right now,” at which point the driver slams the police SUV into the victim’s car. Stockley approached Smith’s car on the driver’s side and shot five times into the car, striking Smith with each shot. He died as a result of the gunshot wounds. A gun was recovered from the victim’s car but was later determined by lab analysis to have only Stockley’s DNA on it.
St. Louis Police first requested that the U.S. Attorney’s Office review the case in 2012. Evidence was gathered, but no charges were filed. In March 2016, SLMPD Internal Affairs investigators contacted the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office to review the matter with additional evidence developed by both the department and the FBI.
Protesters took to the streets for the next several days following the acquittal.