ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A resolution honoring police for their work on the streets since the Jason Stockley verdict causes a stir in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.
Alderman Joe Vaccaro, who has two sons on the police force, says he wants to honor the work police have done facing protesters for long hours after a judge acquitted then-officer Stockley of murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Some 30 officers have been injured by some protesters throwing rocks and bricks.
“There’s two sides to every story,” Vaccaro said. “This city needs to come together on all sides.”
Vaccaro’s resolution comes one week after the board passed a resolution honoring Smith, the suspected drug dealer shot and killed by Stockley.
Alderman John Muhammad, who sponsored the resolution honoring Smith, was not pleased with Vaccaro’s move.
“I don’t object to anything honoring police,” Muhammad said, “but I do object to the resolution, because of the motive and the intent behind it, which I think is undermining the resolution I presented last week.”
The resolution to honor police was assigned to the Public Safety Committee, which has been asking critical questions about police tactics since the Stockley verdict.
Mayor Lyda Krewson appeared on the floor of the board to show her support for Vaccaro’s pro-police resolution.
“The police make a difference in our lives every day,” Krewson told KMOX. “Let’s face it. All you have to do is read about those calls for service. The police are out doing their job every day.”
Krewson says her support of Vaccaro’s resolution does not contradict her actions last week, when she hugged the mother of Anthony Lamar Smith.
“She’s just a grieving mom whose son has died,” Krewson said, “and no matter what the circumstance of that is, mom to mom, I still think that was the right thing to do. It says nothing about our great police officers.”
Krewson says she’s still awaiting word from the U.S. Attorney on her request — and the police chief’s request — to launch an independent probe into allegations of police improperly pepper-spraying protesters, corralling them downtown with no way out, and using excessive force in arresting them.