A former St. Louis police officer has been found guilty for his alleged role in the beating of a Black colleague.
According to the St. Louis Dispatch, a jury convicted 38-year-old Dustin Boone on one count of aiding and abetting the deprivation of Officer Luther Hall’s civil rights. Boone was among the officers who was assigned to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police department’s civil disobedience team, which was deployed to confront protestors on the night of Sept. 17, 2017. The demonstration took place after the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a former SLMP officer who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith.
Hall, who was working undercover on the night of the demonstration, said he had encountered Boone and a group of other officers who had mistook him for a protestor. The officer claims Boone—along with Christopher Myers, Stephen Korte, Randy Hays, and Bailey Colletta—attacked him without cause, leaving him with multiple injuries, including a hole in his lip as well as damaged discs in his neck. Hall underwent several surgeries for the injuries.
Boone, Myers, Korte, Hays, and Colletta are white.
Hall told the court he had not identified himself to his fellow officers because he didn’t want reveal himself to nearby demonstrators. He claimed he had followed his colleagues’ orders, but heard one of them say “beat the fuck out of him like Rodney King.”
Although there are no photos or videos showing which officers allegedly attacked Hall, the jurors reviewed text messages between Boone and Myers indicating they were involved in the attack.
“As a police officer for the City of St. Louis, Dustin Boone violated the sacred trust placed in him to serve and protect members of the community,” U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said in a statement. “Our hope is this conviction serves as a deterrent to those who consider abusing their authority and a step toward restoring the community’s faith in the justice system and law enforcement.”
Jurors previously acquitted Korte for his involvement, but remained hung in the case of Myers, who was charged destroying evidence (a cellphone Hall had used to document the events) to impede an investigation.
Boone is now facing up to 10 years in prison.