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Trial for St. Louis officers accused of beating Black colleague begins with jury selection

Dustin Boone, Steven Korte and Christopher Myers are accused of attacking Officer Luther Hall, who was working undercover as a protester after the Stockley verdict

ST. LOUIS — Did you see a "60 Minutes" interview with Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner that aired Sunday?

Did you participate in any Black Lives Matter protests, including the 2017 protest that followed the acquittal of former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley?

Do you think your opinions on the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor cases might cloud your judgement?

Those were among the questions potential jurors for the trial of three white St. Louis police officers accused of beating a Black colleague were asked Monday during the first day of jury selection in federal court.

Dustin Boone, Steven Korte and Christopher Myers have been charged with deprivation of rights under the color of law based on their alleged attack on Officer Luther Hall. Hall was working undercover as a protester following the Stockley verdict.

He recently settled a lawsuit with St. Louis for $5 million, and remains employed by the department.

Myers and Boone are no longer employed by the department, but Korte is. Myers also has been charged with destruction of evidence for allegedly smashing Hall’s cellphone and Korte has been accused of lying to a federal agent.

Myers’ attorney Scott Rosenblum told U.S. Magistrate Catherine Perry images of white cops using mace and arresting Black “rioters” and “protesters” during the "60 Minutes" “puff piece” on Gardner also included evidence the jury will see. He called the piece “terribly derogatory” to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Korte’s attorney, John Rogers, seconded Rosenblum’s complaints and asked that the trial be continued.

Perry denied the motion and proceeded to jury selection.

The attorneys also asked that their clients be allowed to remove their face masks during the trial, which Perry said she would tell the jury they are being allowed to do so to honor their constitutional rights.

“I’m not getting into your trial strategy with them,” she told Rosenblum.

About 60 jurors were to be questioned Monday, with an additional 20 scheduled to be interviewed Tuesday.

5 On Your Side's Christine Byers is covering the proceedings in court. See the latest developments on Twitter @ChristineDByers.

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