In the moments after firing five bullets into the body of a runaway driver, then-St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley seemed to be in no hurry, newly released cell phone video shows.
The footage, a series of three recordings obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
, shows the West Point grad and decorated Army vet on December 20, 2011, walking almost casually back and forth between the rental car where Anthony Lamar Smith was slumped behind the wheel and a police SUV.
One of the first things Stockley does is take the AK-47 rifle authorities say he wasn't supposed to be carrying and stash it in the back of the SUV. He is later seen returning to the SUV's back seat before walking back to the rental, waiting for other officers to pull Smith's lifeless into the street and then crawling inside the car where he remains for about 30 seconds.
If he was really looking for first-aid supplies in the SUV and trying to save Smith's life, as his defenders contend, neither he nor the growing number officers who arrived on the scene showed any signs in the recording of needing to act quickly.
"There is no urgency in any of those officers who are circling (Smith's vehicle)," the Rev. Phillip Duvall told the Post-Dispatch
. "They're just casually walking."
It was Duvall, acting as an intermediary, who provided the video clips, the paper reported. The unidentified videographers shot the footage from an upper floor of a building at the corner of West Florissant and Acme avenues, offering an overview of the scene.
Stockley, who was charged last month with murder
, is seen just after the the gunfire ends. He and Officer Brian Bianchi claimed they had spotted the 24-year-old Smith making a drug deal earlier on the day of the shooting. As they moved in, Smith allegedly backed up toward Stockley, and Stockley fired once at him, setting off a mile-long chase through the Walnut Park neighborhood in north city.
Image via SLMPD
Ex-St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley is facing a murder charge in a 2011 killing.
A dashboard camera recorded Stockley saying "Going to kill that motherfucker, don't you know it" during the pursuit, according to prosecutors. He's later heard telling Bianchi to "hit him right now" as Smith slowed to a stop at West Florissant and Acme, prosecutors say. Bianchi rammed the rental from behind.
Stockley hopped out and shot Smith five times through the driver's side window.
The dashcam video was cited in court papers when Stockley was arrested last month, but the cell phone videos are apparently new to investigators.
They're likely to be important as prosecutors from the Circuit Attorney's Office and Stockley's attorney battle to define the ex-cop's actions following the shooting.
A lab analysis of a revolver recovered from the rental shows DNA only from Stockley, and police critics suspect he planted the gun to justify killing Smith. Investigators already knew from the dashcam video that Stockley entered the rental after the shooting, but the cell phone video shows a new angle and wider view of the scene and events.
Stockley resigned from the force in 2013 and was living in Houston, Texas, when he was arrested. He was extradited to St. Louis shortly after and released this week on $1 million bond.
We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at email@example.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.