Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was in St. Louis on Friday night, speaking after a judge's ruling acquitted former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith, sparking protests.

"I was really heartened today to see so many people who were upset by and hurt by this verdict who came out to peacefully protest and who did so with dignity and with disciplined. Really heartened to see that."

PHOTOS | Protests in downtown St. Louis after Stockley decision

The governor then went on to say it's the law enforcement officers' mission to support and protect everyone's Constitutional right to peacefully protest.

At the same time, he says violence will not be tolerated, and officers will work to protect lives, homes and communities.

Click the video above to watch the entire interview with the governor.