Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase.
He shot Smith 45 seconds after that, prosecutors said.
St Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson wrote in Friday's ruling: "This Court, in conscience, can not say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, or that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense".
During the trial, which began with opening statements on August 1, the prosecution argued that Stockley meant to kill, fired a "kill shot" and planted a gun following the fatal shooting. The officer plead not guilty to the crimes and made a decision to wave his right to a jury trial, giving full discretion to Judge Timothy Wilson to decide the outcome.
But the judge noted in his decision that "people say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or while in stressful situations".
"The Court does not believe that Stockley's conduct immediately following the end of the pursuit is consistent with the conduct of a person intentionally killing another person unlawfully", Wilson wrote. The incident started as a police stop following a reported drug sale. Missouri law requires that prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley was NOT acting in self-defense or the defense of others when he killed Smith.
The vehicle cash came to a close when Stockley order his partner to ram his police cruiser into Smith's SUV.
Fearing potential protests, city officials have scheduled officers to work 12-hour shifts and have set up barricades around the courthouse.
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In May 2016, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office charged Stockley with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. "Signed, Unnamed Civilian", outside Missouri Governor Eric Greitens press conference, Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri, in this social media photo taken September 14, 2017. "We ask that citizens who choose to demonstrate, do so peacefully".
During the trial that began on August 1, prosecutors said that the actions of Stockley's partner, Officer Bianchi, "were in stark contradiction to Stockley's own words and claims of self-defense". Prosecutors say Stockley planted the weapon.
Wilson said that based on his almost 30 years on the bench, "an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly".
US Bank said it was closing six of its downtown St. Louis locations at noon Friday including its branch on Tucker Boulevard.
Bianchi told him Smith was reaching for a weapon, the report said.
According to the probable cause statement, Stockley shot at Smith's vehicle before pursuing him in a auto chase. Both officers got out, Stockley carrying a duty pistol and an AK-47 rifle, which he wasn't permitted to carry by the department.
Stockley, who shot Smith five times, was charged with first-degree murder. Stockley testified at his own trial and the defense presented only one other witness. "In light of the verdict, it's time to take a harder look at how officer-involved shootings are addressed in our city".
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