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Government, Politics & Issues

Hawley wants independent counsel to review Anthony Lamar Smith civil suit

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley shares evidence included in a motion to dismiss Backpage's lawsuit against him.
File photo I Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio
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Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley

Updated Sept. 28 with name of attorney — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Monday he’ll hire outside help to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in connection with a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Smith, a 24-year-old black man, was shot and killed by then-St. Louis officer Jason Stockley in 2011 after a chase. Stockley, who is white, was acquitted Sept. 15 of first-degree murder.

The independent counsel will look into allegations that St. Louis and members of former Attorney General Chris Koster’s administration withheld evidence connected to the civil suit, which was settled in 2013. Smith's family wants to resume the mediation process. Hawley is a Republican, Koster is a Democrat. 

On Thursday, Hawley appointed Hal Goldsmith of Bryan Cave, LLC, as the independent counsel. Goldsmith was an assistant U.S. attorney for 20 years, the release said.

An attorney for Smith’s family said the evidence includes cellphone video taken by a witness after the shooting and documents that show only Stockley’s DNA was found on a gun retrieved from Smith’s car.

Prosecutors alleged Stockley executed Smith after a car chase and then planted a gun in his car. Stockley maintained that Smith reached for the gun and that he shot Smith in self-defense.

“As Mr. Smith’s family states, these allegations deserve ‘a full, accurate, and transparent’ accounting,” Hawley, a Republican, said.

Koster, a Democrat who now works for Clayton-based health insurance company Centene, and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's office didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

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