Judge reopens fact-finding in St. Louis police shooting suit

Anthony Lamar Smith

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A federal judge has ordered fact-finding to reopen in a civil lawsuit over a former St. Louis police officer’s fatal shooting of a black man.

Officer Jason Stockley, who is white, was acquitted in criminal court of killing Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Stockley said Smith was moving his hand toward a gun found in his car, while prosecutors insisted Stockley planted the weapon.

Attorney Al Watkins, who represents Smith’s daughter, on Wednesday confirmed U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton’s decision to reopen discovery in the civil case. It comes after an attorney general’s office report found DNA evidence was withheld.

The report says Stockley’s DNA was found on a gun at the scene of the shooting. Smith’s DNA was not.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, which represents Stockley, acknowledged the judge’s move but didn’t comment further.