St. Louis, MO — The trial for three St. Louis cops who beat one of their own officers during an undercover operation begins this week, hoping to bring justice to several badge-toting thugs.
The three officers in question—Dustin Boone, Steven Korte, and Christopher Myers—were part of what was called a “civil disobedience team” to crack down on violence at protests. Their tactics, however, involved beating up innocent protesters for filming them and this was found out after they beat a fellow cop, Luther Hall, who was undercover as a protester.
In December 2011, St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley violated department policy when he grabbed his personal AK-47, premeditated, and then murdered Anthony Lamar Smith. The planning of the murder and the actual murder were captured on the officer’s dashcam. In spite of the overwhelming amount of evidence against him, a St. Louis judge in 2017 found Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Smith. Months of protests ensued immediately.
During the protests, undercover police officers were placed throughout the crowd in order to catch people who were attempting to instigate violence or destroy property. Police violence was so over the top, that four officers allegedly grabbed one of their own, a 22-year veteran of the department who was working undercover. Last month, Hall received a $5 million settlement from his lawsuit alleging that his colleagues slammed him down twice and then beat him with batons.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Hall’s suit says one officer who participated in the beating, Joseph Marcantano, has since been promoted to sergeant, showing that “misconduct is not only protected but rewarded by the City and Department.”
Marcantano’s privilege has apparently extended into the criminal realm, as he is not on trial with his fellow officers and he is still employed with the department.
After the initial incident, officers Dustin Boone, Bailey Colletta, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers all faced federal charges of civil rights violation, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators.
In 2019, Colletta pleaded guilty to one federal charge and has admitted to lying to the FBI and a grand jury about the nature of Hall’s arrest, while the other three officers have pleaded not guilty and are headed to trial this week. In her plea, Colletta said other officers tackled Hall as he was following her orders and dropped to his knees.