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St. Louis police chief sends internal memo following Luther Hall verdict

Chief John Hayden sent a message department-wide Thursday, three days after a jury did not convict three officers accused of assaulting one of their own

ST. LOUIS — Three days after a jury did not convict three officers accused of assaulting one of their own, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden sent a department-wide email characterizing the attack as a "violent" assault.

5 On Your Side obtained Hayden's memo, which read: 

"As you all know, the recent verdict in the trial regarding the incident wherein Detective Luther Hall was violently assaulted by some of our own, did not result in any convictions. Officer accountability has been and will continue to be a pillar of my administration, but that is not enough. Officer accountability must be embraced by us all. We say as much in our Department's Core Values under the heading of Fair Treatment To All -- We treat all individuals with respect and dignity, regardless of their age, race, gender, appearance, individual beliefs or lifestyle. 'All' includes our fellow employees. The public expects better from us and we should demand better of ourselves."

Hall was working undercover during a 2017 protest to document property damage and other crimes with his cellphone and camera when officers tried to arrest him following an order to disperse.

He told jurors he did not want to blow his cover because he didn't want to compromise his investigation as other protesters were nearby during the arrest attempt, even though he said he was being beaten.

Two officers have already pleaded guilty to their role in the attack. Three others spent the last two weeks of March on trial.

A jury returned a partial verdict in the case Monday, acquitting Officer Steven Korte of depriving Hall of his civil rights under the color of law as well as lying to the FBI.

The jury acquitted former Officer Christopher Myers of depriving Hall of his civil rights under the color of law, but hung on whether he intentionally destroyed Hall's cellphone to hamper the investigation into the assault.

The jury also hung on whether former Officer Dustin Boone deprived Hall of his civil rights under the color of law.

So, Myers and Boone could be re-tried for those charges and remain free on bond.

The statement Hayden issued department-wide Thursday sounded much like the statement he issued publicly Tuesday, saying his department will begin an internal investigation into the beating now that the federal trial has concluded.

Hayden said federal prosecutors asked his department to postpone an internal investigation into the matter to avoid compromising their criminal investigation into the assault.

“Our department has fully cooperated with the federal investigation and has been assured that the FBI will fully cooperate with our internal investigation,” according to the statement. “It is our hope to now obtain all relevant evidence from the FBI to conduct a complete and thorough internal investigation.”

Hayden's public statement also included the line about officer accountability being a "pillar of my administration".

Luther Hall case coverage:

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