Stockley says ‘It feels like a burden has been lifted’ after ruling

WARNING: Stockley uses some language in this video that may be objectionable to some viewers.

ST. LOUIS, MO — Former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley sat down with a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Friday. He told Christine Byers that, “It feels like a burden has been lifted, but the burden of having to kill someone never really lifts.”

He got emotional when he told Byers why he agreed to an interview, “Because I did nothing wrong. If you’re telling the truth and you’ve been wrongly accused, you should shout it from the rooftops.”

He tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he understands that the video of the shooting looks bad to investigators and the public.

“I can feel for and I understand what the family is going through, and I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy,” Stockley said.

Now that the ruling has been made he is concerned about violence from demonstrators.

“It feels like a burden has been lifted, but the burden of having to kill someone never really lifts,” he said during an interview Friday. “The taking of someone’s life is the most significant thing one can do, and it’s not done lightly. … My main concern now is for the first responders, the people just trying to go to work and the protesters. I don’t want anyone to be hurt in any way over this.”

A judge has acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black man following a high-speed chase in 2011.

Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson issued his ruling Friday against 36-year-old Jason Stockley. Stockley could have been sentenced to up to life in prison without parole had he been convicted.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Stockley says he saw Smith holding a gun before the chase began, and that he felt he was in imminent danger when he opened fire.

Prosecutors alleged that Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after he shot him. A gun in the car had the officer’s DNA on it,but not Smith’s.

Stockley left the police force in 2013 and moved to Houston.