Sometimes it takes a minute to right the wrongs of police brutality, but the feeling can be incomparable when justice is actually served. That’s what many people are feeling right now in reaction to news that an ex-St. Louis police officer was found guilty for his part in the brutal beating of an undercover Black officer, sparked by a protest over the acquittal of police officer Jason Stockley for the 2017 shooting death of 24-year-old Black man Anthony Lamar Smith.
In case some of you need a reminder of this heinous story, Black detective Luther Hall was severely assaulted by St. Louis police officers Steven Korte, Christopher Myers and Dustin Boone as he posed undercover as a protester. While Korte and Myers were found not guilty after being charged with deprivation of rights under the color of the law, Boone didn’t get off so easy although it almost looked that way. His original trial ended in a mistrial earlier this year, but after being tried again was found guilty of the charge, a felony civil rights offense at that, which comes with a potential 10 years behind bars at sentencing.
Take a look at how The Root broke down court proceedings:
“In her closing arguments Tuesday, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Costantin said that Hall had committed no crime during the 2017 protest and that the officers had no probable cause to arrest him in the first place, let alone beat him. She also said that “Boone had a history of sending racist texts and celebrated the use of violence against protesters and others,” according to the Post-Dispatch. As we previously reported, Boone was accused of sending texts to his fellow officers the day of Stokley’s acquittal that read, “It’s gonna get IGNORANT tonight!!” and “It’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these shitheads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart!!!!”
Costantin also argued that Myers was captured in Hall’s cellphone video standing over him shortly before using his baton to try and destroy the phone and then taking the battery out of the phone because he thought it was a memory card. Rosenblum denied the allegations, saying that it was another officer who damaged the phone and that, while part of Hall’s arrest was caught in photos and on video, Costantin was speculating on what happened off-camera. He also claimed that officers were forced to lie about what happened during the protest due to a faulty investigation into the beating (whatever that means).”
Constantine confirms that it may be up to several weeks before her office reaches a decision to put Myers back on trial for tampering with evidence. Boone’s sentencing is set to take place in about three months.
We pray this leads to a trend in crooked cops everywhere being taken down. Fingers crossed!
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