JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- Today, Governor Eric Greitens took the initial steps to activate the Missouri National Guard in anticipation of possible events related to the Jason Stockley verdict he said in a statement

“As Governor, I am committed to protecting everyone’s constitutional right to protest peacefully while also protecting people’s lives, homes, and communities. Taking the steps to put the Missouri National Guard on standby is a necessary precaution,” said Governor Eric Greitens.

Greitens says the Missouri National Guard may be needed to help protect critical infrastructure and free up civilian law enforcement to protect people’s right to protest peacefully. “These resources take time to get ready. The Missouri National Guard is preparing now to keep people safe, ” the Governor explained.

A verdict is anticipated Friday for the former St. Louis Police Officer charged with first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Smith, who was killed following a 2011 police pursuit. During the chase, Stockley is heard saying, “Going to kill this “mother f*****”, don’t you know it.” The pursuit ended in a crash and Stockley then shot and killed Smith. A gun was recovered from inside Smith’s but Prosecutors said Stockley “executed” Smith and planted a gun in Smith’s car to justify killing him. The subject was shot five times.

Former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley (Credit: Police)