ST. LOUIS — Newly-leaked dash camera video shows a St. Louis police officer shooting and killing a driver with a personal rifle that department policy forbids officers from carrying.
Former police officer Jason Stockley is now charged with first degree murder because of what happens in the video from 2011.
The video was dropped off by an anonymous person who brought a thumb drive to Fox 2’s studios in St. Louis. While the video has not been released publicly, Fox 2 has confirmed it is authentic.
It begins with a police stop after a reported drug sale. You can see Officer Stockley exit the patrol car with his personal AK-47-style rifle. It's a violation of St. Louis police policy to carry a personal weapon.
The driver, Anthony Lamar Smith, speeds away over a sidewalk. Prosecutors say Stockley shot at Smith`s car. The audio at this point on the dash camera has not yet activated.
Stockley returns to the patrol car and the audio activates.
“Get him,” you can hear Stockley say.
Then the chase is on. You can hear the speed.
”Shots fired,” Stockley yells over the sound or sirens.
The left side of the screen shows the dash cam pointing forward. The right side shows the inside of the police car. Stockley is the passenger.
It`s often hard to see the front dash camera because it`s pointing into the sun. A speed monitor clocks the officers exceeding 80 mph on wet streets in North City. They speed past stop signs.
At one point, driver Brian Bianchi fails to make his turn and hits this tree.
”Back up,” Stockley yells.
It`s hard to hear exactly what they`re saying, but according to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney`s Probable Cause Statement, Stockley says something that foreshadows what`s about to happen. Prosecutors believe he said “…going to kill this mother-******, don`t you know it.”
The officers blow through a red light at 69 mph.
It appears the man they`re pursuing slows down to pull over when you hear Stockley yell, “Hit him right now.”
Then - impact.
Both officers surround the car. According to the probable cause statement, Stockley fired five shots into the car, each of them hitting Smith.
You get a clear picture of the officer`s weapon as he tosses it in the back seat. The personal rifle is equipped with a drum magazine. Again, St. Louis Police policy does not allow officers to carry personal weapons.
Right after the shooting, police reported finding a gun on Smith, but prosecutors claim it “was later determined by lab analysis to have only (Stockley`s) DNA on it.”
That leads to questions about what`s happening at the end of the video. It`s not clear as you see Stockley rummaging through a bag in the back of the squad car. This lasts about 25 seconds before Stockley walks back towards Smith`s vehicle and the video freezes.
The Circuit Attorney's Office responded with this statement.
"The people of the City of St. Louis have a right to determine whether the State has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The courtroom is the appropriate forum for this matter. "
Stockley's attorney Neil Bruntrager called to say the video is just one piece of the evidence. He says another surveillance video that’s not available, shows a different perspective. He also points out that the Feds had this same video and declined to prosecute or even pursue the case in civil court.