Here are a couple couple modest observations I made regarding the recent acquittal of white police officer killing a black man in St. Louis after reading the judge’s opinion:
TL;DR: Stockely could have easily been convicted of murder.
1) Jason Stockley probably shouldn’t have been an officer to begin with.
Stockley carried an AK-47 in violation of department policy, and knew it was violation of policy. He kept the weapon as a “deterrant” to those who might do him harm while on duty, but of course he was already provided a weapon. If someone is going to be so scared of their duty that they’ll violate policy, they shouldn’t put on the badge.
2) Anthony Smith posed a real threat to others.
When Smith was approached by Stockley and Bianchi, Stockley’s partner, Smith drove into Stockley’s police car, another vehicle, and sped off at speeds close to 90 mph. Bianchi says that he saw a gun at the time Smith drove off. In those circumstances, Stockley’s decision to prepare for lethal force is justified by established criminal procedure and civil rights law, but…
3) That being said, Stockley committed first degree murder.
State law provided that first degree murder had been committed when a person i) knowingly causes the death of another after ii) deliberation on the matter. Deliberation, being a period of cool reflection no matter how instantaneous.Once the police chase began Stockley is heard on tape saying “we’re killing this motherfucker, don’t you know.” Stockley had reflected after Smith drove off, and decided then and there that there would not be a peaceful solution to this encounter. This was not just an officer neutralizing a threat; Stockley decided Smith had to die and acted accordingly.
4) Stockley’s self-defense argument is bogus.
Stockley justifies shooting Smith five times on his subjectively reasonable view that Smith had a gun. A gun was found in Smith’s car, but it had no traces of Smith’s DNA. It seems abnormal for someone to own a gun, but leave absolutely no trace. The court opinion also provides no account for who owns the gun or registration, but notes that Stockley’s DNA was on the retrieved gun.
Stockley’s defense is that he commanded Smith to open the car door once the vehicle had been stopped, and then fired once Smith didn’t comply but instead reached for his gun. The defense focused on one of Smith’s bullet wounds being on his left side, and hence consistent with Smith reaching for a gun, but that’s also consistent with Smith merely sitting in the driver’s seat. Furthermore, the stop, commands, and shots all occurred within a mere 15 seconds! Smith’s car was stopped by Bianchi ramming into it with a police cruiser so forcefully that the airbags deployed. That is to say, Stockely expects us to believe that Smith had been hit on the highway, recovered from the shock, and was cognizant enough to obey Stockley’s commands from an armed officer all within a ¼ minute?
5) The judge was admittedly biased, and selectively weighed certain factors more than others.
Judge Wilson did believe Stockley though, but possibly for prejudicial reasons. The Judge makes great weight of the fact that no officers testified to Stockley planting a gun in Smith’s car, but of course this ignores the cultural problems of cover ups that police departments have had. Judge Wilson also recounts events from the video tapes as if he could see everything perfectly (”there was no bulge in any pocket indicating a gun within the pocket”), but cell phone and dash cam footage is far from pristine. Rather hypocritically, the Judge uses Bianchi’s judgment of seeing a gun to justify Stockely’s reaction, but ignore’s Bianchi’s perception that Smith wasn’t a threat.
Finally, the Judge finalizes his opinion with “The Court observes, based on its nearly thirty years on the bench, that an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly” to argue that Smith must have had a gun. Judges may make basic judicial observations based on commonplace knowledge, but to speculate that Smith must have had a gun because he was an “urban” (Read black?) drug dealer is pure prejudice and assumption. This admission is particularly dreadful given Judge Wilson speaks against speculation not one paragraph later.
@shamehouse asked for C2 griffin and B3 nick from this draw meme and i finished a full drawing for it today!! cell cam killed the colors a bit but i’m still kinda proud of myself. modern fantasy au because i did not want to draw high fantasy clothing, whoops
since I didn’t get good photos of my breads and reindeer pastries, here’s the sweet stuff I made for a work exam: glutein and milk free marzipan cake filled with raspberry jam and vanille buttercream, and chocolate-ginger-lime cakes with glisée and self-made chocolate decorations!
the dragon is called smöög and he’s smaug’s little bro. :-)
Erik was meant to fly home last night so I took the day off to be with him. However, his flight was cancelled so I was left by myself. I plopped onto the couch with a bowl of cereal and began flipping through random programs on TV.
“Five hundred channels and there is nothing on,” I grumbled to myself, unable to find anything of even little entertainment. Hearing my phone vibrate, I tossed the remote to the side and reached for my cell.
Cam: heyyyyy, when you get home I insist that you watch this cat video I’m about to send you
Y/N: I am home! But pls keep the cat video to yourself i still have nightmares about the last one
Cam: Whaaaaaat?! The workaholic took a day off??? Dear god you’re dying aren’t you
Y/N: nooo LOL, erik was supposed to fly in last night but his flight was cancelled L
Cam: ahh that sucks sorryyyyyy. I haven’t much to do today, up for a cup of coffee?
Y/N: yes omg save me from cable reality show hell
Cam: Heyyy -__- you know how I feel about the Kardashian <3
Y/N: shut up I’ll see you in a few
I rolled my eyes at my goofball of a best friend and set my phone on the table. I changed out of pajamas and into clothes that were about as comfy but more socially acceptable to wear in public. Grabbing a jacket and my purse, I was out the door in a jiffy. Our standard coffee shop was just a short walk down the block from Erik and I’s apartment. Upon entering, I immediately saw Cam sitting at a table with two drinks, two croissants and his phone hovering above.
“You’re instagramming again, aren’t you?” I sighed.
“Don’t say it like that,” he exclaimed. “It’s an art form.” He finished his picture and slid me one of the cups.
“Are you not going to offer me a croissant?” I scoffed.
“You don’t even like them,” he retorted, mouth full.
“I was just checking to see if you remembered,” I laughed, taking a sip of my drink. “But you know who does like croissants? Erik,” I sighed pathetically. “He always gets the ones with chocolate inside and then he ends up with chocolate on his lips. It’s really adorable,” I explained.
Cam looked at me with disgust before setting down his half eaten pastry. “Well, there goes my appetite,” he mumbled. I kicked him under the table gently, but laughed.
“I just miss him,” I whined, pouting dramatically.
“Well I’m sure he misses you too,” Cam said, “but I doubt he’s sitting around moping like you are. You should do something with your free time.”
“Like what?” I questioned.
“Well, what do you want to do?” Cam asked. I hesitated momentarily, but then spoke.
“You know that really big hiking trail in the countryside? The one where when you reach the top you can see the entire city and all the lights? Erik always said he’d take me, but he’s never had the time. I really want to climb it,” I said excitedly.
Cam looked down at his watch then tossed his empty cup into the trash as he rose from his seat.
“Where are you going?” I asked confusedly.
“If you want to see the sunset, we’ll have to leave now,” he said nonchalantly. I looked at him with happy surprise.
“Come on then,” he rushed, tugging at my hand, “this is going to make such a good Instagram post.”
We returned to our respective apartments to change into suitable hiking attire and then met back up at the coffee shop. Cam agreed to drive and we set off on our adventure.
“You know what this reminds me of?” I said, turning down the radio. Cam raised his eyebrows and waited for me to continue. “When we were like 10 or 11 and we wanted to go up to that big treehouse in the woods, but—“
“but your parents forbade you so we had to sneak over in the middle of the night,” he finished, laughing as he spoke. I nodded nostalgically and sighed.
“We haven’t done something like this in a long time. Growing up sucks,” I grimaced. “Agreed,” he sighed, turning the radio back up for the remainder of the drive. With no traffic, we flew across the highway, reaching our destination in no time.
This hike itself was not near as easy, but just as fun. We made it to the top with only minor bumps and bruises. “This is unbelievable,” I gasped, placing my hands on my hips and admiring the vast scenery in front of us.
“It’s like a painting,” Cam huffed, mirroring my stance. I took a seat on a flat rock as Cam whipped out his phone and began taking shots as the sun began to set.
“This has been such an amazing day,” I said, “thanks for not letting me mope, Cam.”
“Ahh,” he shrugged, “what are best friends for?” He took a seat beside me and swung an arm around my neck.
“I can’t wait to take Erik here,” I sighed, imagining how much he would love this.
“Y/N?” Cam said softly. I turned to look at him. “You really love him, right? Like Erik is definitely the love of your life, right?”
I smiled and slowly nodded. “He’s the one, Cam. I know it, Erik is who I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Cam studied me carefully for a moment then grinned.
“I’m really happy you found him,” he admitted.
“Me too,” I laughed. “Now we just have to find you someone,” I teased. Cam looked down and blushed slightly.
“Well, there may be someone,” he whispered.
“What, who?” I questioned excitedly.
“Remember that business trip I took? I met a girl. And she’s, I don’t know, she feels different. I miss her all the time. She’s so beautiful and funny. It’s all still new, but I think there’s something there,” he mumbled shyly.
“Ya know, maybe growing up doesn’t suck that much,” I joked, at peace with the fact that the both of us had found happiness. He nodded as we got back on our feet and headed home. We didn’t get back to the city until around midnight so Cam dropped me off right in front of my apartment. I waved goodbye sleepily as I got out of the car. When I opened the door to the apartment, I was confused as the why all the lights were on.
I hardly took one step inside before Erik surprised me by popping out from the kitchen.
You guysss, it’s finally here. My favorite weekend of the year… COACHELLA!!! I’m sooo excited. The line-up is killer (can’t wait to see Disclosure!)! I’ve spent this past week packing for Coachella (yes, a week… it gets serious over here). I get asked a lot about what I’m going to wear, but I decided to shake things up a bit and share with you what’s INSIDE my bag when I’m frolicking around the grounds of Indio. Ok, here goes….
1. Camera: This is essential! In addition to the musical performances, there is dope art at Coachella, so def bring a camera to capture the moments. Cell cams work great too, but be sure to bring a battery pack b/c you’ll def drain your phone’s battery.
6. Good Energy: I carry this rose quartz heart and these special healing oil blends with me throughout the weekend. :)
7. Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream: Since the weather is scorching in Indio, there’s a lot of skin showing at the festival. So in addition to sun block, you want to make sure your skin is hydrated and looks flawless.