Missouri political officials react to Stockley ruling

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay of Missouri says he’s outraged by a judge’s verdict acquitting a white St. Louis police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

Clay is a Democrat who represents the St. Louis area. He said in a statement Friday that former officer Jason Stockley violated several police department regulations and showed a “total disregard” for Anthony Lamar Smith. He says justice has been “cruelly denied” for Smith, his family and the community.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri both issued statements Friday expressing hope that people will come together to avoid the divisions that occurred after a white police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014.

And Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens acknowledged the verdict causes pain for many people but asked those who choose to protest the verdict to do so peacefully.