New video footage has surfaced of a 2011 deadly shooting for which a former St. Louis police officer is facing a murder charge, showing the cop during a high-speed pursuit threatening to kill the man he was chasing. Relatives of the slain man, who was black, have accused the cop of planting a gun after the killing.
Videos obtained and published this week by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch show the entire December 2011 incident, including police dashcam footage of Officer Jason Stockley’s attempted arrest of 24-year-old drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith, the ensuing high-speed pursuit and the fatal shooting that led to a first-degree murder charge this year.
Stockley, who left the police force in 2013, has claimed he fired his weapon in self defense after Smith reached for a revolver police said was found in the vehicle, according to Post-Dispatch reports. Smith’s family, however, maintains that Smith was unarmed and that the gun was placed in his car after the fact.
Tests of the weapon showed only Stockley’s DNA, officials said. The officer said he handled the weapon to unload it after the shooting, the St. Louis newspaper reported.
Stockley was charged with murder in May ― more than four years after the shooting ― in light of new, undisclosed evidence. In August, a federal judge ordered that the records related to the shooting, including video, audio recordings and reports, remain sealed.
The newspaper said it obtained the videos from someone not involved in the legal proceedings.
Warning: The following video may be disturbing to viewers.
As seen in the video above, the incident begins in a restaurant parking lot, where officers attempt to arrest Smith following a suspected drug deal. When Smith flees in his vehicle, Stockley opens fire.
Stockley and fellow officer Brian Bianchi then pursue Smith, reaching speeds of more than 80 mph. Around the 4:10 minute mark of the video, Stockley says he’s “going to kill this motherf****r, don’t you know it.”
Soon after, Stockley tells Bianchi, who’s driving, to “hit him, hit him right now!” Bianchi rams Smith’s sedan with a police SUV, and Stockley jumps from the passenger seat and runs up to the suspect’s vehicle. Seconds later, he fires five shots into the vehicle, killing Smith.
The Post-Dispatch video shows separate footage taken by a witness, which the paper first published in June. That footage shows Stockley return to his vehicle two times, first to place an unauthorized, personally owned AK-47 into the back seat, and later to rummage through a duffle bag. After Smith’s body is dragged from the car, Stockley gets into the front seat, where he stays for roughly 30 seconds.
The Post-Dispatch reports Stockley is free on $1 million bail secured by the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association. A hearing in his murder case is reportedly scheduled for Oct. 3.
In 2013, the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners paid a $900,000 settlement as part of a wrongful death suit filed on behalf of Smith’s young daughter.
Find the full report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.