MORE POLICE OFFICERS BEING CRIMINALLY CHARGED IN UNJUSTIFIED SHOOTINGS
An article in usuncut.com is reporting that a video was released in 2011 that shows a St. Louis police officer shooting an African-American suspect. According to the article, the suspect, Smith, was shot by the officer, and afterwards, the officer planted a gun at the scene. The video captured the officer saying, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker.” The video also appears to show the officer, Stockley smashing into the suspect’s car, and shooting 5 times at the driver’s seat after the car had already stopped running.
Now, in 2016, a new video has surfaced showing a gun being taken out of a duffel bag by Stockley. The duffle bag was from the back Stockley’s own car, and after removing it, it appears he planted it on the suspect’s body. In his report, Stockley claimed the shooting of the suspect was justified because the suspect had pointed a gun at him.
The article further states “Subsequent DNA evidence on the gun, however, did not contain any DNA or fingerprints from Smith. Stockley will be tried for first-degree murder. One of his initial hearings takes place on Oct. 3rd.” Below is a video that captured the incident. You can read the full article here
As many of you know I have a lot of ties to the St. Louis, Mo area. So, I decided to pick up the phone and call my friend Bob Block, owner of Bob Block Bail Bonds in St. Louis and ask him what he thought of the video and what was the public sentiment.
Bob told me he was disgusted by what he saw on the video and believes the officer should have been charged. He said he saw the story on the local news channels and heard people talking about it around the police and court buildings. He said there were no real protests or demonstrations about it and believes that is because the case happened more than 5 years ago.
Bob is a long-time friend of mine and the most honest bail bondsman you will probably ever meet. If you ever find yourself in needing bail posted in St. Louis or anywhere else in the country simply google bail bonds St. Louis Mo and you will find Bob’ company. Bob Block Bail Bonds is located at 36 Four Seasons Shopping Center #104 Chesterfield, MO 63017
Meanwhile, a few hundred miles away in Oklahoma, another case of police brutality has been reported. Terence Crutcher’s killer, police officer Betty Shelby, was booked at a county jail and released on bail. On a dash cam and helicopter video, the officer was seen shooting at Crutcher who was unarmed and had his hands up at the time of the shooting. Shelby was charged with manslaughter.
The Bet.com article says the whole incident started out this way: “Last week, Crutcher’s vehicle broke down in the middle of the road. When he was approached by Shelby, she called for additional officers to assist her with Crutcher. Although she felt as if his behavior was disorderly, prosecutors felt that she let her own bias negatively affect her decision-making skills.”
The article also reports that “On Thursday, Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler announced Shelby will face a manslaughter charge. Not long after, Shelby turned herself in and was booked at the Tulsa County Jail. Records indicate that she was booked at 1:11 a.m. and was released at 1:31 a.m. on a $50,000 bond.”
The Mayor of Tulsa released the following statement: “These are important steps to ensure that justice and accountability prevails,” Bartlett said in a statement. “We will continue to be transparent to ensure that justice and accountability prevails.”
You can read the entire article at bet.com
For the family of these victims and their communities, the issue of police brutality has been a problem they have had to deal with for most of their lives. For the most part, it is caused by prejudices and biases against people of certain races and social status. For most people that live sheltered lives, such incidents are way in the past, until they hear or read about it; in some cases, even see it on video, and then they all realize society still has a long way to go.
This problem will not simply go away. All society needs to be educated – the guilty must be held accountable, even more so when they are in uniform. We all need to be vigilant about where the police’s authority ends and our human rights begin. As one of the victims’ sister aptly expressed: “This is a small victory. The chain breaks here. We’re going to break the chains of police brutality. We know the history.”