KKKops Are Expensive: St. Louis Judge Awards Black Ex-Cop Beaten By White Officers More Than $23 Mil

KKKops Are Expensive: St. Louis Judge Awards Black Ex-Cop Beaten By White Officers More Than $23 Mil

Earlier this week, a St. Louis judge awarded nearly $23.5 million to a Black ex-cop who was beaten by white cops while working undercover during a protest against police brutality that resulted in the death of a Black man.

Source: Tetra Images / Getty

It was arguably the most ironic case in recent years, and, as usual, the criminal case resulted in cops getting off with slaps on their wrists. Well, the justice system in St. Louis won't hold brutal and racist police officers accountable by punishing them adequately, but the city and involved officers are having to say "I'm sorry" with their wallets.


As we previously reported, in September 2017, ex-officer Luther Hall was working undercover during a protest prompted by the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis officer who was charged with murder after shooting and killing 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith on Dec. 20, 2011. During the protest, Hall was approached and ultimately beaten by ex-officer Dustin Boone, who, on the same day the beating of Hall took place, had texted his fellow officers, "But it's gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these s**theads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart," and referred to Black people as "F***ing ni**ers" while talking to another officer. But despite all of the evidence indicating that Boone was an anti-Black lynching by a KKKop waiting to happen, and despite the evidence that he went into the protest planning to commit acts of police brutality, he got off with a light sentence of one year and one day.

According to the Associated Press, four other officers and ex-officers, Randy Hays, Christopher Myers, Bailey Colletta, and Steven Korte, were also involved in the attack on Hall. In fact, Hall had previously settled a separate lawsuit with the city for $5 million, and, in 2022, he sued Boone, Hays, and Myers over their roles in the attack.

AP reports that Hays, Boone, Myers, and another officer, Bailey Colletta, were indicted in 2018 in connection with Hall's injuries. A fifth officer, Steven Korte, was indicted on a civil rights charge and another count of lying to the FBI.

Boone was convicted of a civil rights charge and sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Meyers received probation after pleading guilty to a single felony charge. Colletta received probation for lying to the FBI and a grand jury about the attack. Korte was acquitted.

In addition to the settlement with Hall, the city of St. Louis last year paid nearly $5.2 million over allegations that police violated the rights of dozens of people by capturing them in a police "kettle" and arresting them. Some said they were beaten, pepper-sprayed, and attacked with stun guns in various downtown protests after the Stockley verdict.

Again, since it's such a steep uphill battle to hold violent police officers accountable, particularly when they're using unnecessary and excessive force against Black people and Black Lives Matter protestors, it's only right that victims have the option of making officials pay monetary damages through civil courts as criminal courts continue to do next to nothing about racist and brutal cops.

"Mr. Hall had to endure this severe beating and while that was happening, he knew it was being administered by his colleagues who were sworn to serve and protect," Circuit Judge Joseph Whyte said during the hearing Monday after Hall testified about the severe physical injuries and emotional trauma the beating caused him, which include "several herniated discs and a jaw injury that left him unable to eat," AP reported, and gallstones he developed that require surgeries.

Hays wasn't at the hearing as he was sentenced to more than four years in prison in 2021 after he pleaded guilty in 2019 to a felony count of deprivation of civil rights under the color of law for his role in the beating. The 52 months in prison Hays was sentenced to might seem significant compared to the light punishments and non-punishments his colleagues received until you realize that, like Boone, he was facing more than a decade in prison and prosecutors asked the judge for much more time than he received.

And that's why police officers will continue to be more aggressive, reckless, brutal, and deadly when dealing with Black suspects regardless of the financial burden their actions cost the cities they work in.

via: https://bossip.com/2641047/luther-hall-lawsuit/

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