Aldermen Remind Officials of Engagement Rules Before Stockley Verdict

By S. Christopher Emerson6761208911_19d3958d41_z

The St. Louis African American Aldermanic Caucus has penned a letter to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Commissioner of Police Lawrence O’Toole on Thursday, ahead of the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of ex-cop Jason Stockley, rendered Friday.

The letter reminds city leaders of the Rules of Engagement guidelines for police conduct that were developed by the Don’t Shoot Coalition along with law enforcement officials including former police chief Sam Dotson. They were created after violent police responses against peaceful Ferguson protesters following the shooting death of Michael Brown by former officer Darren Wilson.

Stockley fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, after a police chase in 2011 before which the officer declared his intent to kill the Black man. The chase and shooting was captured on dash cam.

The letter encourages law enforcement to exercise restraint in light of police discretion in addressing protests. “It is our opinion, that there should be a balance between authorities trying to maintain “order” and peoples’ right to expression and peaceful civil disobedience,” the letter, signed by senior Black alderman Terry Kennedy states.

The caucus also tells city officials that they support the implementation of rules in advance of the release of the Stockley verdict.

Many suspect the verdict may cause more protests because of mounting racial tensions over police killings of unarmed Blacks. Demonstrators have declared that protests will occur if the verdict came back not guilty. Gov. Greitens has begun mobilizing the National Guard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *