Hundreds of protesters in St. Louis have gathered in the streets to demonstrate against police and a verdict that ruled officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree manslaughter.
Watch a live stream of the protests in the video at the top of the page.
Many of the protests have remained peaceful so far, police said. However, that changed when a group of “agitators” started to throw rocks at buses attempting to leave an area being blocked by protesters. When police moved in to try and disperse them, some of the protesters threw water bottles at officers.
As a result, authorities closed numerous streets throughout the downtown area and encouraged motorists to find alternate routes.
Judge Timothy Wilson ruled on Friday that Stockley was not guilty of manslaughter in the 2011 death of Smith.
Stockley and a partner said they saw Smith take part in drug sale in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on December 20, 2011. As the officers approached Smith, he fled in his vehicle, leading police on a high-speed pursuit.
A police dashcam video shows Stockley saying he’s “going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it” while in pursuit of Smith.
Smith’s vehicle eventually slowed, and the two officers struck his vehicle with theirs. Immediately after, Stockley got out of his var and fired five shots at Smith, which killed him.
After the ordeal, prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun that was found on Smith afterward. Subsequent DNA found Stockley’s DNA on the firearm, not Smiths.
An official from the F.B.I. testified in court that one shot struck Smith from just 6 inches away.