Trial for officers accused of beating Black colleague begins

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The federal trial for St. Louis police officers accused of beating a Black undercover colleague during 2017 protests began Monday with jury selection.

Dustin Boone, Steven Korte and Christopher Myers are all charged with deprivation of rights under color of law connected to the attack on undercover officer Luther Hall, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Myers is also charged with destruction of evidence for allegedly smashing Hall’s cell phone. Korte faces an additional count of lying to the FBI.

Federal prosecutors say Hall was mistaken for a protester during a September 2017 demonstration after the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a former officer accused of killing a Black suspect. Hall claimed he was beaten “like Rodney King” by his colleagues. His injuries required multiple surgeries.

Five officers were indicted in connection to the case, including Randy Hays and Bailey Colletta.

Hays pleaded guilty in 2018 to one felony count of deprivation of rights under color of law and admitted hitting Hall with a baton and shoving him to the ground. Colletta pleaded guilty to making false statements to the grand jury about the assault.

Korte is still with the department, but the others have all left.

The trial is expected to conclude next week.