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City of St. Louis to settle for $5 million with Black officer assaulted during protest

In federal civil rights lawsuit, Officer Luther Hall alleged white officers beat him and others tried to cover it up

ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis will pay $5 million to a Black officer who was assaulted in 2017 by white officers while working undercover during a protest, according to multiple sources familiar with the agreement.

Officer Luther Hall was working undercover during the protests that followed the acquittal of a police officer who had been charged with the 2011 murder of a Black drug suspect.

Five officers have been federally indicted for their alleged roles in the beating, and are not included in the City's settlement, according to the sources.

In his civil lawsuit against the city, Hall claimed Mayor Lyda Krewson made a comment about how he had messed up his “cute face,” during an elevator ride following the attack and later denied knowing about the assault.

He also claimed fellow officers tried to cover up the beating, during which Hall — a 22-year veteran of the police force — was kicked in the face, leaving him unable to eat. 

He also suffered a tailbone injury and a 2-centimeter laceration above one of his lips. He also had surgery to repair herniated discs in his neck and back, according to the lawsuit.

He also accused another officer, Joseph Marcantano, of participating in the beating getting promoted to sergeant afterwards.

Officers Christopher Myers, Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Bailey Colletta were federally indicted for their alleged roles in the assault first. 

Federal prosecutors allege Boone, Hays and Myers threw Hall to the ground and kicked and hit him with a police baton. Colletta was indicted for lying to a grand jury.

In her guilty plea, Colletta said she and the other officers believed Hall was a protester and ordered him to his knees when the other officers tackled him. 

In his lawsuit, Hall claimed he was investigating protesters who had damaged property downtown and saw officers fire bean bag rounds and use pepper spray on the crowd without justification. 

Hall also claimed he did not hear police order the crowd to disperse before they used force. 

A fifth officer, Steve Korte, was federally indicted in 2019 for civil rights violations and lying to the FBI by claiming he was not involved in Hall’s arrest. 

Hall remains employed by the St. Louis Police Department, but it's unclear whether he's returned to duty.

The Ethical Society of Police released a statement to 5 On Your Side. It's a membership organization that represents primarily Black officers. 

The organization noted other lawsuits are still pending involving citizens who claim police officers also used unjustified force against them, especially during a technique known as "kettling" in which officers forced dozens of protesters together to arrest them. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter was among them. 

“Nothing will make Det. Luther Hall whole again. What he experienced was the epitome of evil from St. Louis City Police Department Officers. We hope this settlement will help him heal somehow, and there will be settlements for the citizens who were also brutalized by SLMPD very soon.

"We also look forward to the officers in Luther’s criminal case and other criminal trials from the 2017 Jason Stockley protest to be held accountable for their criminal actions.”

This is a breaking story, check back for updates.

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