4 St. Louis cops indicted in brutal beating of undercover Black officer 

A brutal beating by rogue cops on a rampage to hunt and beat protesters during demonstrations in St. Louis has resulted in their indictment. A federal grand jury has indicted Dustin Boone, 35, Randy Hays, 31, Christopher Myers, 27, and a female officer, Bailey Colletta, 25, over their involvement in the beating of a Black undercover officer.

St. Louis has not been the same since the 2014 police shooting of an unarmed Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. It exposed a racist police culture that sparked investigations by the U.S. Justice Department. In November 2017, the Justice Department and FBI announced that a joint investigation was underway in the St. Louis area over possible civil rights violations by police during protests in 2017.

In 2016, officer Jason Stockley was charged with first-degree murder in the death Anthony Lamar Smith, who was shot in 2011. He was later acquitted of the charges in September 2017 when a White judge ruled he was not guilty. The acquittal sparked wide protests in the city. As part of the police response, veteran Black officer Luther Hall went undercover as a protester. Prosecutors released text messages from Boone and others that showed they were ready to abuse protesters for amusement. One text from Boone reads, “It’s gonna get IGNORANT tonight!! … It’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these s—heads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart!!!!”

Boone, Hays and Myers had their fun that night when they picked out a Black man, who turned out to be Hall in his undercover role. The cops beat Hall with riot batons and kicked him even though he was complying with their commands, According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hall’s beating caused damage to his tailbone, lips and jaw. The injuries to his face and jaw prevented Hall from eating solid food for two months and he lost a significant amount of weight. The cops involved in the beating initially stated that Hall was noncompliant and resisting arrest. However, when Hall’s identity as an undercover cop was revealed it was proven that there was a cover-up. In the time leading up to the indictment, the rogue cops tried to convince Hall to not press charges. In addition, prosecutors have stated that Myers also destroyed Hall’s cellphone.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Boone, Haysand Myers face charges of depriving Hall of his constitutional rights and conspiring to obstruct justice. Myers also faces a charge of destroying evidence, and Colletta is charged with obstructing, influencing or impeding a grand jury.

 

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.