A judge may be close to a ruling in the case of a white former St. Louis police officer charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 death of a black man who was a drug suspect, and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said he has put the National Guard on standby in case unrest breaks out.
Testimony in Jason Stockley’s trial in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith ended Aug. 9. Media reports and preparation announcements from officials indicate that Judge Timothy Wilson may rule Friday.
Activists have threatened civil disobedience if Stockley is acquitted. St. Louis police said officers will begin working 12-hour shifts starting Friday in anticipation of a ruling. Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a video statement that the Missouri State Highway Patrol and St. Louis County police will provide support, with the patrol handling any protests on state highways.
All three downtown courthouses, including the federal courthouse, will be closed Friday.
Greitens and Krewson urged protesters to be peaceful, a sentiment echoed by Smith’s fiancee, Christina Wilson.
Here’s a look at the case:
Stockley and his partner saw what…