On September 15, 2017, St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. The acquittal, even with video evidence from Stockley, who said he would “kill that [expletive deleted], Do not you know? “Before shooting Smith five times after a chase, he sparked protests for racial justice. More than 80 people were arrested by police in St. Louis during the BLM protests on September 17, 2017. (Contrasted with the January 6, 2021 uprising at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on the day our 2020 national elections were approved by the U.S. government legislature.) Videos of the BLM protests show that Hall was not only protester subjected to police violence that day.
According to KSDK-5, the city of St. Louis has 45 days to pay Hall settlement money. This settlement only includes Krewson, O’Toole, and Marcantano. The other four officers are still on the hook for Hall’s civil lawsuit against them. KMOV-4 reports that Hayes and Colletta of the four charged officers have pleaded guilty to “lying to a grand jury” in a cover-up attempt against “unreasonable and excessive violence” against Hall. Boone and Myers have pleaded not guilty and are still awaiting trial along with newly indicted officer Steven Korte. Korte was charged based on statements from Hayes. Korte’s defense, unlike the other two officers, is that he wasn’t anywhere near the incident that took place between Hall and the other officers.
All three men “face a charge of deprivation of rights under the color of the law. “Myers is also facing charges of destruction of evidence for attempting to destroy Hall’s cell phone, while Boone and Korte are accused of lying to federal investigators. The trial of the three men began last week after a slow jury selection process. Part of the delay came after prosecutors accused the defense team of beating three of the only four potential black jurors, saying the moves were racially motivated. A judge agreed to dismiss one of the jurors on racial grounds and put her back in the jury pool.
This week prosecutors and defense lawyers called witnesses. The Boone and Myers defense team throws a lot of things on the wall, from “It was everyone else’s fault” to “It’s mostly Officer Hayes’s fault, since he’s already pleaded guilty.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that of the many excuses the defense makes, poorly fitting riot gear and the fact that police officers failed to notice that there were undercover officers in the protest crowd, a couple that really shine. The latter defense blames Hall himself for his own blows. The process should be completed by next week.
While the basic problem here is that law enforcement cannot simply beat up people no matter how bad the officers think of things, the hubris required of a black 22 year old veteran officer being responsible for the violent acts of some bad white officers to make that be the clearest example of how the thin blue line is really thin when pushed.