Greitens puts National Guard on standby; Stockley ruling may be imminent
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens plans to make a statement Thursday night with Christina Wilson, the fiancee of Anthony Lamar Smith. He hopes to quell unrest around the imminent verdict in the killing of Smith by an former police officer in 2011.
Greitens has put the National Guard on standby in preparation for possible breakout events in St. Louis.
According to the Associated Press, a ruling is expected Friday in the first-degree murder case of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley. Testimony in Stockley's trial ended Aug. 9 and it had been unclear when Judge Timothy Wilson would rule.
KOMU-TV reported on Sept. 10, 2017 that a group activists and clergy members warned of civil unrest if Stockley is acquitted. In a letter to Wilson, the Rev. Clinton Stancil said the clergy doesn't condone violence, but predicts protests in response to the case.
In a press release on Thursday, Greitens said, "As Governor, I am committed to protecting everyone's constitutional right to protest peacefully while also protecting people's lives, homes, and communities. Taking the steps to put the Missouri National Guard on standby is a necessary precaution.”
Stockley fatally shot drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. He testified Smith was reaching for a gun in his car. Prosecutors say Stockley planted the gun after killing Smith.