ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The judge who acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer in the death of a black man has a reputation among prosecutors and defense lawyers as being objective and thorough.
St. Louis Circuit Judge also has ruled both for and against police during his 28 years on the bench.
The judge wrote Friday that he was not firmly convinced that officer Jason Stockley was guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith following a high-speed chase. Stockley shot Smith five times, saying he saw Smith holding a gun. Prosecutors claimed Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car.
Wilson says he could not be swayed by public outcry or fear of criticism in the case, which reignited racial tensions that erupted after Michael Brown’s 2014 death in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.