St. Louis Police Officers Association furious over charges against former policeman in 5-year-old case

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INVESTIGATORS at the scene of a police chase, crash and a fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith by St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley near the intersection of Goodfellow Boulevard and West Florissant Avenue in 2011. –Post Dispatch photo by Erik Lunsford
INVESTIGATORS at the scene of a police chase, crash and a fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith by St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley near the intersection of Goodfellow Boulevard and West Florissant Avenue in 2011.
– Post Dispatch photo by Erik Lunsford

The St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) has charged St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce with “practicing politics” not “practicing law” in a call for her to recuse herself from a five-year old case in which she is now charging a former St. Louis police officer with first degree murder.

In a strongly worded rebuttal to Joyce’s recent issuance of a murder charge against police officer Jason Stockley after FBI and the police department investigations found no wrongdoing, SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said:

“Circuit Attorney Joyce is unfit to handle this prosecution. She has demonstrated a penchant for politicizing prosecutions of police officers and for yielding to the handful of radicals that terrorized the streets of Ferguson and the Shaw Neighborhood. Ms. Joyce isn’t practicing law; she’s practicing politics.”

The union is calling for an independent special prosecutor to handle the case.

“No impartial prosecutor anywhere would issue charges in a case five years after the fact where both she and the Feds have previously declined to prosecute, a case investigated by both the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI where no criminal wrongdoing was determined,” Roorda stressed.

“Jason Stockley and his partner were victims of attempted murder that day. They did what they had to do to end a deadly threat. That’s what all of the evidence would tell an impartial observer. Joyce is simply pretending that there is new evidence in this case. It’s appeasement politics at its very worst,” Roorda added.

The issue is the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011 after a suspected drug transaction and high-speed chase. State and federal prosecutors had filed no charges.

Stockley currently lives in Texas. He has been arrested and jailed there. He resigned from the St. Louis police department in Aug. 2013.

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