Officer Convicted in Beating of Black Undercover Colleague

Luther Hall was attacked by white police at protest
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2021 7:10 PM CDT
Jury Convicts Ex-Officer in Attack on Black Colleague at Protest
Police chase vandals as demonstrators march in response to an acquittal verdict in the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley in 2017.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

A St. Louis jury has convicted a former police officer of a felony civil rights charge in the beating of a Black undercover officer at a protest in 2017. Dustin Boone, who aided other officers in their attack on Luther Hall, a detective, was found guilty of deprivation of rights under color of law Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He faces a prison term as long as 10 years. The jury could not reach a verdict on the other defendant in the case. Former officer Christopher Myers was charged with trying to destroy Hall's cellphone to sabotage a future investigation. Earlier Thursday, jurors told the judge they were stuck but were sent back to keep deliberating, per KMOV. It was the second trial for both defendants, after the first ran into similar deadlocks with a different jury. A third officer has been acquitted in the case.

Hall was attacked during protests after a white police police officer, Jason Stockley, was acquitted of murder in the death of a Black suspect in September 2017. Boone and Myers are white. As the protest ended, prosecutors said, the officers encountered Hall on a downtown street and mistook him for a protester, per the AP. Hall didn't identify himself to avoid giving himself away to people nearby, he later said. His colleagues beat him "like Rodney King," Hall said, leaving him with permanent damage even after repeated surgeries. He settled a lawsuit against the police department for $5 million. Boone had repeatedly sent racist text messages, for which his lawyer made no excuse in court. He also had sent texts endorsing the use of violence against protesters, prosecutors said. Boone's lawyer said he didn't hit Hall and helped the other officers later because he thought their arrest of Hall was legal. (More police brutality stories.)

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