San Francisco, CA: The justice system has spoken and former police officer Jason Stockley has been acquitted. For those who rushed to judgment, the court ruled that this police officer’s actions were justified under the circumstances.
“This court, as a trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt.”
-Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson
A judge, that has been praised by both prosecutors and defense lawyers during his career, looked at all the evidence provided and ruled that the prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Stockley was guilty.
No matter what the outcome in this case, there is a great deal of healing and education that must take place. We understand that people on both sides of this issue will see the verdict differently, but we must remember that without the rule of law, our system will collapse.
We support every American’s right to protest the decision; however we do not condone those who move protest into violence and destruction of the community. This kind of action does not solve problems; it only seems to make things worse. Violence is not the answer.
Police work hard and put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. Police and others in law enforcement have millions of encounters with citizens each year. And while incidents like the Stockley case are tragic, they are an anomaly.
It is important that all sides learn from this moment. UCOPS will take the lead, developing educational programs for our communities and training programs for those who wear the badge.
All of us must focus on ways to work together to overcome the divisions in our community.
We also must urge our lawmakers into action because many of these policing issues happening stem from larger underlying societal and systematic problems— lack of jobs, economic opportunity, and cuts in mental health, just to cite a few.