A year before the acquitting of a former St. Louis cop for allegedly shooting a black man to death, the Justice Department has resolved that were little or no evidence to punish him in a clear federal civil rights case.
Jan Stockley, an ex-cop was seen not guilty Friday in line with the death of Anthony Smith, 24, who was shot dead on Dec. 20, 2011, following a suspected drug traffic. His acquittal caused a 3-day protest in St. Louis.
Speaking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a DOJ spokeswoman said the decision by the agency was still under wraps while Stockley was still under trial. The decision was reached after prosecutors charged the former cop with first-degree murder armed criminal action in May 2016.
Decision of the Civil Rights Division
The U.S. Attorney’s Office debunked prosecution of the case in November 2012 and informed the family of late Mr. Smith of their agreement at that time. Lauren Ehrsam, a DOJ spokeswoman, informed the newspaper that the Civil Rights Division ended its internal analysis of the matter in September 2016, and decided that the evidence didn’t call for prosecution under the federal criminal, civil rights statutes.
Investigations by the office of the former U.S Attorney, Richard Callahan, and the FBI didn’t mete out any prosecution on Stockley but redirected the case to the Justice Department, which the former Attorney General, Loretta Lynch analyzed.
Smith led the cops who were investigating a drug deal on a car chase. The cops packed their car into Smith’s, and Stockley got out and shot Smith five times. Prosecutors argued that a gun that was discovered in Smith’s car showed Stockley’s DNA, rather than Smith’s. However, the defense argued that Stockley was trying to defend himself, thinking that Smith was going for a gun.