All-White Jury Acquits Cop Who Beat A Black Undercover Officer In St. Louis

A white St. Louis police officer was acquitted Monday (March 29) after being accused of brutally beating a Black officer who was working undercover at a protest in 2017. Officer Steven Korte is the third officer who received no convictions in connection with their colleague’s beating.

An all-white jury acquitted Korte who faced charges of deprivation of rights under color of law and lying to federal law enforcement about the beating of Officer Luther Hall

According to NBC News, Korte and other officers mistook Hall for a protester during a demonstration after former police officer Jason Stockley, a white man, was found not guilty in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a Black man, back in 2011. 

Officer Hall told the jury the beating he received by his colleagues was a “free-for-all.” 

Jurors also acquitted Officer Christopher Myles and Dustin Boone who were reportedly a part of the attack. 

Defense attorneys in the case said that the demonstration fueled dysfunction such that police supervisors didn’t know that undercover officers were working. They also questioned Hall on being able to accurately identify the people that attacked him. 

The decision brought up criticism about the all-white juror selected to hear and make a decision on the case. 

“If an undercover cop can’t get justice, how will the rest of us who have been maced, shot, beaten, and brutalized ever get justice?” Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted.

Other officers involved in the beating, Randy Hays and Bailey Colletta, entered pleas in 2018, admitting their guilt. Hays pleaded guilty to one felony count of deprivation of rights and hitting Hall with a baton. Colletta admitted his guilt in making false statements about the beating to the grand jury.   

Hall was beaten so severely that he had a hole in his lip that required stitches as well as injuries to his neck. He would later have to undergo a spinal fusion to repair the injuries. 

Hall sued the officers and the department. He recently settled his case with the department for $5 million. 

Photo: Getty Images

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