BALTIMORE (September 21, 2017) – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the country’s original civil rights organization, calls for respect of the constitutional rights of protestors while calling for peaceful protest in response to the acquittal of Jason Stockley. The NAACP continues to condemn St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson’s acquittal of Stockley, an ex-police officer accused of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. The NAACP released the following statement.
“We share the St. Louis community’s outrage about Stockley’s acquittal. This is just the latest in a pattern which shows that African-Americans are subjected to a totally different justice system. Anthony Lamar Smith’s death, and the deaths of countless other victims of police brutality in Missouri, is exactly why the NAACP issued a travel advisory to the state in the first place,” said Derrick Johnson, interim President and CEO of the NAACP.
“In response to this miscarriage of justice, people throughout the St. Louis area have exercised their constitutional rights to make their voices heard. Despite the violence of a few, the police must fulfill their duty to protect and serve. When police chant about their ownership of the streets, the message is loud and clear: ‘We are an occupying force with no care for your rights, your lives, and your safety.’ This feeling of impunity is bolstered by the failure of cities to prosecute blatant acts of police misconduct, such as the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. This type of policing has no place in modern society. We need police that feel that they belong to communities not that they can demonstrate their ownership of communities through displays of force.”
“As peaceful protests continue, we join in calls for calm and non-violent protest. At the same time, we expect St. Louis area officers to respect constitutional rights and to intervene in ways that do not increase tensions and division. We will continue to work for justice for victims of police violence. Our nation has to keep disreputable police officers accountable for their actions, and that’s exactly what the NAACP plans to do.”
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