To our Washington University community,
We learned just moments ago that the judge in the murder trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley has rendered his decision. I am sure the decision is painful and disturbing for many. I do not know everything that was considered by the judge, but I am struggling with the outcome myself and what it means for our region. The judgment ends a legal proceeding. Nevertheless, what must carry on is our resolve – as individuals and as a community – to use the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith and other similar tragic incidents as channels for working together to overcome the divisions in our region. There is a lot of healing to do. It is my hope that the emotional jolt from today’s decision brings peaceful and constructive movement forward. And I hope for demonstrable, meaningful action in addressing the deep-seated issues, disparity and social inequity in our region. We are as determined as ever to work toward that goal.
I recognize that this may be a difficult time for you on a personal level and I want to remind you that we have resources available to support our students on the Danforth and Medical Campuses, and our faculty and staff. Additionally, we will be organizing opportunities for our community to come together for reflection about the challenges we continue to face as a university community and as a St. Louis region.
Mark S. Wrighton