Jason Stockley was maybe the most guilty cop in any of these police-shooting trials in the past few years, even more so than the cop who was caught on video shooting Walter Scott in the back.
I later read that there's some law in South Carolina that says if you think the perp has a weapon you can legally shoot him in the back, and Scott supposedly grabbed for the officer's taser. Granted, I may have read that on Breitbart, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not a law.
Stockley broke all kinds of laws, in addition to popping several caps in Anthony Lamar Smith's ass for no apparent reason.
He was riding around with his own personal AK-47 and 100 rounds of ammo, maybe because he saw the movie Heat on cable and was afraid that, with his service revolver, he'd be overpowered by a team of bank robbers. As I recall, something like that really did happen in LA in the late '90s. Stockley is the same age as me, so he's probably drawing from a lot of the same pop culture references (which are increasingly lost on the culturally illiterate 2017 Internets).
I'm pretty sure there's a law in the city that cops aren't even supposed to chase criminals around in their cars. They ran over a few too many eight-year-olds in the late '90s/early '00s, when you could easily steal Chrysler products by jamming a screwdriver in the ignition.
Initially, Stockley tries to shoot Smith as he drives away, after supposedly having been caught dealing drugs in a Church's Chicken parking lot. (Is nothing sacred?) Then he hops in his own car and calls in a report of shots fired, as if Smith were the one who shot at him, not vice versa.
Shortly thereafter, near the end of a fairly brief pursuit, Stockley's car crashes into a tree, even though there was no reason to drive up onto the sidewalk. Stockley may have been high on crack, like Harvey Keitel in the movie Bad Lieutenant. Alas, there's now way (yet) of going back in time and drug-testing him.
Oh, and at some point during the chase Stockley literally announces that he's going to kill Smith. He says something to the effect of, "I'm going to kill this motherfucker!" How much more clear does premeditation have to be? What else could the judge in this case have possibly thought Stockley meant?
Before he was 5-0, Stockley was in Iraq and probably used to kill random civilians (even the "insurgents" were really just regular people) for shits and giggles. A lot of people came back from that war all fucked the fuck up in the head. If Stockley's mind wasn't right, that would explain both the AK-47 and the executing people in the street as if that's (explicitly) allowed here.
When they finally caught up to Smith, Stockley says he ordered him to get out of his car, but he refused. Instead, Stockley says Smith looked like he was trying to reach under his seat for something. It doesn't make sense why Stockley would be standing there in the street next to Smith's car, if he really thought he was at risk of being shot, nor does it make sense that he ordered him to get out of the car. Aren't they supposed to order you to put your hands on the wheel?
After Stockley pops several caps in Smith's ass, he's more or less caught on video planting a "ham sandwich" in Smith's car. You can't see what he's pulling from his bag, because he purposely blocks his car's dash cam. Whatever it is, he appears to take it to Smith's car and stash it in between the seats. The gun was later examined and found to have Stockley's DNA all over it but nothing at all from Smith.
There were several signs that the fix was in, aside from the fact that cops are never convicted in these trials. The trial has been over since like August, but they waited until this past weekend to announce the verdict, probably hoping it wouldn't be 90 degrees out. (It was.) The weekend before, I saw Run the Jewels at a festival in Forest Park (our equivalent of Central Park). They missed having performed during two riots in St. Louis by a week.
It's likely that this past weekend was selected in part because the Cardinals weren't in town. The trial was downtown, and the game almost certainly would have been targeted by protesters. If 5-0 had to pull a Kent State, they might have accidentally wasted a few CACs from the part of town where I grew up, i.e. white people who could care less about Anthony Lamar Smith. Concerts by U2 and Ed Sheeran had to be canceled, which I can't imagine will be good for race relations. White people fuxwit "The Shape of You."
Protests spilled over to the following day, when windows were smashed up and down the Delmar Loop, not far from where I live. Between the property damage and the canceled events, the city, collectively, must be out quite a bit of money. Supposedly, the protesters have 30 days of events of disruption lined. It'll be interesting to see how much of this 5-0 is willing to put up with before they start cracking skulls.