ST. LOUIS - A former St. Louis City police officer whose not guilty decision led to massive protest and riots filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday.
Jason Stockley is suing Jennifer Joyce, the former city prosecutor who charged him with the 2011 murder of Anthony Lamar Smith.
In the 45-page lawsuit, Stockley’s Clayton based attorney Dan Finney argued that Joyce and internal affairs detective, Kirk Deeken misrepresented and intentionally disregarded evidence during Stockley’s prosecution.
“Jennifer Joyce and Deeken lied to the judge to get him arrested in the first place,” said Finney.
Finney went on to say that during prosecution, Joyce and Deeken deliberately left out a list of key facts. That includes failing to mention there was a warrant out for Smith’s arrest or that Stockley spent 15 seconds at the driver side of Smith’s car giving verbal commands which Smith ignored prior to any shots being fired.
In another instance the lawsuit claims that no one mentioned, Stockley suspected Smith was conducting drug sales when he was first approached by the former police officer and his partner.
“They (prosecutors) said things to the City of St. Louis that people believed because they were coming from prosecutors that were lies like the execution shot,” Finney went on to say.
Finney believes those lies led to riots and arrests across the city for weeks last September costing the city a ton of money.
“We are doing this to stop that,” he said, “this isn’t going to happen again. The City didn’t fix it after the riots, they did nothing to address it.”
Joyce released a statement in response to the lawsuit saying:
“I believe the circuit attorney’s office had sufficient evidence to pursue charges against Jason Stockley for the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith.
I believe these types of frivolous lawsuits are designed to discourage prosecutors from considering charges against police officers for violating the law.
Our community deserves better than this. While this lawsuit may achieve a goal of headlines today, I have confidence that this will be resolved in my favor in a court of law.”
Finney added that what Joyce did, exposes her to prosecution and disbarment for lying to the court.
Fox 2 also reached out to Smith family attorney, Al Watkins who said, “We are committed to everything that is justice, justice for the Smith family and justice for Mr. Stockley.”