Anthony Lamar Smith’s brother, Antwan Johnson, expressed his outrage about a judge’s decision to acquit the former St. Louis cop who fatally shot Smith in 2011.
In an interview with Fox 2 Now on Friday, Johnson accused Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson of not paying attention during the trial and having his mind about the case made up “way before the trial even started,” noting the barricades around the courthouse that were put in place weeks ago to prepare for protests.
“We ain’t done with this case,” Johnson said. He added, “Stockley committed a murder and he gotta be withheld for his actions. All the actions that he did he gotta be held accountable for... We need justice for Anthony Smith.”
Johnson also called Stockley’s partner, Brian Bianchi, an accessory to murder and condemned him for pleading the Fifth.
Johnson said the community would use their economic power to shut the city down in response to the decision.
“The justice system, they don’t care about us. We out here, these laws not made for us,” Johnson said. “They made for y’all,” he told the reporter, who is white.
Smith was killed in December 2011 when Stockley and Bianchi pursued him in car chase. Stockley, who was carrying his duty pistol along with an AK-47 (which he wasn’t permitted to carry by the department), threatened that he was “going to kill this motherf****r” before Smith’s car crashed, as heard in footage obtained by St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Stockley approached Smith’s car and fired several shots into the vehicle.
Ahead of Friday’s long-awaited verdict, local activists promised “mass disruption” if Stockley was found not guilty. City officials began preparing for unrest in late August. Smith’s fiancée, Christina Wilson, and Gov. Eric Greitens held a press conference the evening before the verdict calling for peace no matter the outcome.
As folks demonstrated after the verdict on Friday, social media users shared images of police in riot gear confronting protesters, some with pepper spray.
Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a statement that she was “appalled” at Smith’s death and “sobered by this outcome.” She encouraged community members to recognize each other’s differences and vowed to continue working “to create a more equitable community.”
Smith’s case is the most recent in a cycle of cops not being held legally accountable for the death of black victims. In 2017, the officers responsible for the deaths of Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Tyre King, Alton Sterling and John Crawford III walked free.