The St. Louis and Webster community are on alert in preparation for the upcoming decision in the Jason Stockley trial. Stockley is a former St. Louis police officer accused of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.
In a Webster press release, President Elizabeth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster said this is a case with possible outcomes that make many uneasy.
“While we do not know when the verdict will be announced, there have been published reports of planned protests and civil disturbance, which could affect the region in various ways,” Stroble and Schuster said.
The State of Missouri v. Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year old Michael Brown took place in November 2014. The verdict in this case resulted in protests and civil disturbances across the St. Louis region, including demonstrations in the Webster community.
Webster University is continuing to monitor the situation and is prepared to take action to protect students and faculty, according to Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin.
“We have drafted messages to be distributed to students, faculty and staff in case a verdict results in a negative reaction from the community,” Giblin said. “We also have been working on an action plan in case the reaction to the verdict threatens the safety of our students, faculty or staff or interrupts our logistics, making it difficult to operate a campus under normal circumstances.”
Additionally, Giblin said Webster will have increased security at the Gateway Campus once a verdict is reached because of its location to the courthouse.
Webster University administration said students and faculty should pay close attention to social media, the Webster website and Webster alerts in case of any postponed or rescheduled classes.
The Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.