As protests in St. Louis continue, the city’s aldermen unanimously approved a resolution on Friday honoring the life of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man killed by recently acquitted ex-cop Jason Stockley.
“[Smith’s] death has sparked a universal cry for justice and accountability throughout the City of St. Louis,” the resolution reads, listing Smith’s interests, accomplishments and his dream of one day becoming a clothing designer. It was signed by all 28 aldermen.
Alderman John Collins-Muhammad told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they introduced the resolution to help Smith’s mother, Annie Smith, cope with her grief.
“His mother had to wait six years for justice, which she still did not get,” he said. “So I invited her here today to let her know the city of St. Louis and the Board of Aldermen shares her pain, her frustration and her deep dissatisfaction with the turnout of everything that has happened.”
Mayor Lyda Krewson also shared a statement on Twitter Friday pledging to support the “strengthening” of the city’s civilian oversight board, which investigates complaints against St. Louis’ law enforcement.
She also called the Ferguson Commission report the city’s “path forward,” agreeing with the report’s “call to actions that we must change the way we handle use of force investigations and prosecutions.”
Local police expressed their outrage with the resolution and Krewson’s call for police accountability. Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, told the Post-Dispatch that cops are “furious” about Smith being honored.
“You’ve got yourself a go-it-alone mayor who thinks she can fix law enforcement without talking to law enforcement and who thinks police are the problem in a case where a convicted felon who absconded from parole and was in possession of a firearm and heroin tried to kill a police officer,” Roorda said.
Smith was killed in December 2011 after Stockley pursued him in car chase. Before firing his weapon, Stockley threatened that he was “going to kill this motherf****r,” as heard in footage obtained by St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Stockley approached Smith’s car and fired several shots into the vehicle.
Since Stockley was acquitted of first-degree murder charges on September 15, residents and activists have been in the streets protesting police brutality. Cops have clashed with protesters on a number of occasions, as demonstrators claim that police are using excessive force and being denied their right to free speech.
On Monday, about 400 protesters marched in a silent demonstration to police headquarters calling for the resignation of Acting Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole.