Officers have fatally shot eight people this year, the highest number in the past decade, with more than three months left in the year. Criminologist David Klinger of the University of Missouri-St. Louis said, “As crime rates go up and down, so do police shootings.”
The Georgia Tech police officer who shot and killed a student was on duty for one year and had not received crisis intervention training, which provides officers insight on those suffering behavioral health issues.
For the third consecutive night, peaceful daytime protests over the acquittal of a white former police officere in the shooting death of a black suspect descended into late-night violence in the St. Louis area.
“I’m just not the guy [to blame],” former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He said he understood that the video of the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith looked bad to investigators and the public. “Every resisting [arrest] looks bad, it never looks good,” Stockley said. “But you have to separate the optics from the facts.”
In a 30-page ruling, Judge Timothy Wilson acquitted former cop Jason Stockley of murder in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Smith following a car pursuit. The judge said the chase was prompted by “Smith’s perilous conduct.”
The fatal police shooting of Keith Scott got national attention a year ago in Charlotte. “I think we’re the same as we were,” said Willie Ratchford of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee. “I think we are still at a point in this community where the very thing that happened after that shooting can happen again.”
The first fatal New York Police Department shooting captured by body cameras raised questions about how the department will handle the recordings. Vague policies regarding the fledgling program were released in April. The police department sidestepped the issue of whether or not it will make footage public, something many other law enforcement agencies do.
Within three days, officers killed a man who was trying to disperse a rowdy crowd, and shot a man on a garage rooftop under unclear circumstances. “People feel like the police are around to go to trouble and then they cause more,” said one witness.