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St. Louis agrees to $5 million settlement with Black officer beaten by police at protest
Tue, February 16, 2021, 6:31 AM
Luther Hall was undercover at a ’17 protest after the acquittal of a cop charged with killing a Black suspect.
The city of St. Louis has agreed to a $5 million settlement with a Black police officer who was beaten by five white officers while working undercover at a protest.
Luther Hall was participating in a 2017 protest, working undercover following the acquittal of another St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, who had been charged in the 2011 murder of a Black man suspected of selling drugs.
Demonstrators confront police while protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on September 16, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis policeman Luther Hall was working undercover at these protests when he was beaten by five white officers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
According to his lawsuit, which was detailed by a local news outlet, Hall suffered a tailbone injury and a two-centimeter laceration above his lips, plus he had to undergo surgery to repair herniated discs in his neck and back.
Four officers involved in the attack — Christopher Myers, Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Bailey Colleta — have been indicted on federal civil rights violations charges. Colleta was also charged with lying to a grand jury. A fifth officer, Steve Korte, was also charged with civil right violations and of lying to the FBI.
Hall remains a member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, where he is a 22-year veteran. However, reports are unclear if he ever returned to duty after the incident.
Myers, Boone, Hays and Colletta all left the SLMPD; Korte is still employed by the department.
Colletta pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury about the assault. Hays pleaded guilty to deprivation of constitutional rights. Both are awaiting sentencing. The remaining officers pleaded not guilty and will be tried next month.
In addition to the vicious beating, the officers also destroyed Hall’s cellphone and were charged with the destruction of evidence.
The Ethical Society of Police, an organization that represents primarily Black police officers, released a statement supporting their brother-in-arms.
“Nothing will make Det. Luther Hall whole again. What he experienced was the epitome of evil from St. Louis City Police Department Officers,” officials said. “We hope this settlement will help him heal somehow, and there will be settlements for the citizens who were also brutalized by SLMPD very soon. “
“We also look forward to the officers in Luther’s criminal case,” they added, “and other criminal trials from the 2017 Jason Stockley protest to be held accountable for their criminal actions.”
The city of St. Louis has 45 days to disburse the $5 million settlement to Hall.