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A white former police officer was acquitted Friday in the 2011 death of a black man who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase, with the judge declaring that he would not be swayed by "partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism".

ARNOLD: Immediately following the verdict, protesters took to the streets in downtown St. Louis.

Stockley reported that he felt his life and the lives of his fellow officers were in jeopardy and had to act. The former policeman said Smith fled in his auto when he attempted to arrest him on drug charges.

Protesters also demanded that police resign, while also calling for an economic boycott of St. Louis.

Greitens has taken initial steps to activate the Missouri National Guard in St. Louis if needed. At least nine officers have been injured and 23 people have been arrested as a result of the chaotic clashes on the St. Louis streets.

However, prosecutors pointed out that the gun didn't have Smith's DNA on it.

Stockely says he approached Smith's auto and saw the 24-year-old reaching for a gun.

According to St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Timothy Wilson, the court wasn't "convinced" of Stockley's guilt. Smith then allegedly put the auto in gear and drove toward them, and they fired.

"We ain't done with this case", Johnson said. The officer, Jason Stockley, had maintained he shot at Anthony Lamar Smith five times because he thought Smith was reaching for a gun, but prosecutors argued Stockley planted the gun in Smith's Buick after it crashed.

Governor warns protesters about property damage

Two protesters jump on top of a St. Louis Police vehicle. I understand and appreciate the many challenges that face our city's police officers.

Wilson's verdict also says the state did not prove that Stockley acted beyond a reasonable doubt of self-defense, and that the judge saw no proof of Stockley planting a gun in the auto.

However, Stockley claimed that he shot Smith in self-defense following a short police pursuit after Smith was suspected of selling drugs in the parking lot of a Church's chicken. After crashing into the auto, he then shot at Smith five times, according to the documents.

"We are saddened [about the acquittal], we are frustrated", St. Louis Alderman John Collins-Muhammad told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Smith's family settled a lawsuit against the city for $900,000 in 2013, Watkins said.

The St Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced in a tweet that one officer sustained a serious injury from a brick thrown at Kingshighway and Waterman.

A peaceful protest over Friday's not guilty verdict turned violent in the early hours of Saturday after police confronted a small group of demonstrators - three years after the police shooting of another black suspect in the nearby suburb of Ferguson stirred nationwide anger and debate.

The footage captured on dashcam of the police vehicle and a cell phone video of the shooting aftermath played a key role in the trial that began August 1, CNN reported.

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