Political News

The Latest: Greitens: Peaceful protesters will be protected

Posted September 11

— The Latest on the Missouri governor's meeting with black faith leaders ahead of a ruling in a fatal police shooting (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has assured black faith leaders in St. Louis that the rights of peaceful protesters will be protected if unrest occurs after a judge rules in a former police officer's murder trial.

But after the meeting Monday at an AME church in St. Louis, the Republican governor stressed that any protest veering into violence will not be tolerated.

Former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley's trial ended last month, but Judge Timothy Wilson has yet to rule in the case. Activists have threatened civil disobedience that could include shutting down highways, airports or businesses if Stockley is acquitted in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Stockley is white. Smith was black.

Greitens declined to offer specific details about protest security but said all options are on the table, including use of the National Guard.

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4:05 p.m.

A black pastor in St. Louis is urging police to avoid a military-style response if protests break out following the verdict in the trial of a white police officer accused of killing a black suspect.

Former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley's trial ended last month, but Judge Timothy Wilson has yet to rule. Activists have threatened civil disobedience that could include shutting down highways, airports or businesses if Stockley is acquitted in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens met Monday with several dozen black faith leaders at an AME church in St. Louis.

Linden Bowie, president of the Missionary Baptist State Convention, says a military-style police response would only serve to incite some protesters.

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1:40 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is reaching out to black faith leaders in St. Louis in advance of a judge's ruling in a former police officer's murder trial, saying the time for dialogue is now.

The Republican governor met Monday with several dozen people at an AME church. He said before the private meeting that elected leaders too often begin dialogue too late.

Former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley's trial ended last month, but Judge Timothy Wilson has yet to rule. Activists have threatened civil disobedience that could include shutting down highways, airports or businesses if Stockley is acquitted in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

The shooting of a black suspect by a white officer reignited racial tensions in a region still healing from the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

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