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Ex-officers acquitted in beating of Black colleague who was undercover at St. Louis protests

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A jury on Monday acquitted three white St. Louis police officers accused of beating a Black colleague who was undercover at a protest.

In December 2017, a trio of officers were on duty at a protest following the acquittal of another former police officer, Jason Stockley, who was involved in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.

The three officers allegedly beat a Black, undercover colleague, Officer Luther Hall, so badly that he had to undergo several surgeries, The Associated Press reported.

Following the attack, Hall, who remains employed at the department, described the attack to jurors as a “free-for-all,” the AP wrote.

Officer Steven Korte of the St. Louis Police Department was acquitted of charges of deprivation of rights under color of law and of lying to the FBI in connection to Hall’s attack.

Korte, according to the AP, is still employed by the department but has not returned to work since he was charged.

Former Officer Christopher Myers was also acquitted on a deprivation of rights count, according the wire service, but the jury could not determine a verdict regarding the charge of destruction of evidence. Myers was accused of smashing Hall’s cellphone.

In the case of the third defendant, former Officer Dustin Boone, the jury was deadlocked on the deprivation of rights charge, according to the AP. As a result, the judge ruled a mistrial where the jury could not come to a consensus.

The defense lawyers in the case maintained that because of the chaos and dysfunction that ensued that night, officers and supervisors on the street were unable to discern who were undercover officers, the AP noted. They also questioned Hall’s ability to determine his attackers.

The decision from the jury renewed criticism that an all-white jury examined the case, the AP noted. 

Two other officers involved in the incident, according to the AP, previously entered pleas in the case.

Tags Lamar Smith St. Louis Police Department

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