Stockley Trial Ends

Insights of the Stockley Trial by John Chasnoff, CAPCR Co-Chair

My projections for closing arguments:


1) Stockley was out to get Anthony Smith from the beginning. Even before the car chase he was shooting at Smith even though Stockley’s partner saw no threat. Stockley made up the fact that the partner, Brian Bianchi, saw a gun in Smith’s car, as evidenced by the fact that Bianchi holstered his gun.

2) Stockley said during the chase, “I’m going to kill the motherfucker.”

3) After the chase, when Stockley and Bianchi were at Smith’s car window, Bianchi holstered his gun for the second time that day. This was a strong indication that he saw no threat. While Bianchi was holstering, Stockley fired his shots unnecessarily.

3) The last shot from Stockley was at close range, indicating that he intentionally went in for the “kill.”

4) Stockley went repeatedly to his car after the shooting to get a throw down gun, took off his gloves so he had an explanation that his DNA was on the gun, and planted it when he went into Smith’s car. His story is contradicted by blood on the gun, which contained DNA consistent with Stockley. The blood could only have gotten there previous to the shooting, since Stockley was not cut that day.


1) Stockley had no preconceived goal and did not know Smith. At the Church’s Chicken, before the chase, Stockley justly shot at Smith because Smith had hit him with his car and had a gun on his passenger seat.

2) Stockley does not remember the “motherfucker” statement but does not deny it. He cannot place it in context and does not consider it an actual threat.

3) At Smith’s car window, his shots were justified because he saw Smith searching for “the gun” with his right hand. When that hand went between the seat and the console, Smith’s expression changed. Stockley took that as a sign that Smith had found the gun, and fired.

4) Stockley went to his patrol car first to stow his “personal gun,” then to get a blood clotting agent for Smith, and later found the gun in Smith’s car. The supposed “blood” on the gun was actually not blood—the test indicating blood was only provisional. The DNA it yielded, like other DNA on the gun, was there because Stockley had unloaded the gun to render it safe.


The evidence presented by the prosecution might be enough to convict a black man in America, but is unlikely conclusive enough to convict a white police officer “beyond a reasonable doubt” for the murder of a black man. This is double standard we can’t allow.


August 8, 2017

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