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NEA and Missouri NEA Presidents react to verdict of St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley

Acquittal of Stockley widens distrust in law-and-order institutions

WASHINGTON - September 25, 2017 -

Jason Stockley, a St. Louis, Missouri former city police officer, was found not guilty in the shooting death of black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith on Friday, September 15.

Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, and Charles E. Smith, president of the Missouri National Education Association, issued the following joint statement.

“Central to our mission as educators is the pursuit of social and racial justice. This is a moral and ethical imperative for our members and one that we must pursue at any cost in order to realize our vision for public education. Sadly, in many of our communities, and for far too long, this seems like a mirage.

“The latest in a long line of examples where justice was not served is the senseless acquittal of St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley. This type of injustice only widens the gap of distrust in our law-and-order institutions.

“For the sake of our children, our schools, and our communities, we must sharpen our resolve to fight for racial and social justice in our country. As educators, we owe it to our students and their families to continue to stand up and speak up when confronted with institutional racism and injustice wherever and whenever we see it.

“We will double-down on our resolve to build bridges between community leaders and law enforcement so that all are held to account and justice is served. Only then will we begin to make our schools and communities places of opportunity for all no matter their ZIP code. No path to peace exists until justice is served.”

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The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  202-822-7823,