ST. LOUIS (AP) – A white former St. Louis police officer whose acquittal in the death of a black suspect set off weeks of protests has filed suit against the prosecutor who charged him and a police investigator.
Jason Stockley’s lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges defamation and malicious prosecution. The lawsuit names former Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and police Lt. Kirk Deeken.
A police spokeswoman declined to comment.
Jennifer Joyce released the following statement:
“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.”
Stockley was charged in 2016 with first-degree murder in the shooting death of drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith. Joyce’s office filed the charge. She did not seek re-election in 2016 and the case was prosecuted under new Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
A judge in September found Stockley not guilty. Sometimes violent protests led to hundreds of arrests.