Last week saw the addition of Steven Korte, 42, to the list of accused officers involved in the beating and attempted coverup of an undercover police officer during a 2017 protest. Korte’s inclusion, alongside Dustin Boone, 36, and Christopher Myers, 28, prompted his lawyers to request the delay.
September 28 marks the new trial date.
The incident took place on September 17, 2017, during a protest in response to the acquittal of former police Officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley faced murder charges for the 2011 slaying. His acquittal sparked community outrage.
In advance of the protest, court documents reveal, the officers sent text messages to one another indicating premeditated use of criminal force against protesters. On the day, Boone, Myers, and Randy Hays, 32, brought Luther Hall to the pavement and beat him repeatedly. They arrested Hall and police records only document a bloody lip. However, further injuries were later revealed that were so extensive they kept Hall from returning to work.
Hall worked undercover that night for the same police department. Hall sought to report on any illegal activities on the part of the protesters. Instead, he became the victim of the illegal use of force on the part of his own colleagues.
When the officers involved discovered Hall’s position, they sought to suppress the charges brought against them. They reached out to Hall in an effort to dissuade his pursuit of the charges. They have subsequently been charged with obstruction of justice. Additionally, Officer Bailey Colleta stands accused of coverup for lying to a grand jury. Her connection to the case comes from her romantic involvement with Hays.
Attempted Coverup of Police Beating
During the assault on Luther Hall, Myers destroyed Hall’s cellphone. At the time of the beating, Hall was recording video with his cell phone. That video would have been evidence in the current proceedings. That makes its destruction obstruction of justice. Hall complied with police officers during the incident, though the officers claimed he resisted arrest.
Later, when testifying on the matter, Colleta claimed not to know Hays in an effort to remove herself from the proceedings. It was later uncovered that she was in a relationship with Hays at the time, and had knowledge of the incident despite claiming none on the stand.
Hays’s and Coletta’s crimes will be addressed in separate proceedings after their admissions to the court.
Among the injuries Hall sustained were a 2 cm hole above his lip, a tailbone injury, and jaw inflammation that prevented him from eating, causing a 20-pound weight loss.