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Fifth St. Louis police officer charged in beating of undercover colleague during protest

Fifth St. Louis police officer charged in beating of undercover colleague during protest

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ST. LOUIS — A fifth St. Louis police officer has been indicted in connection to the beating of an undercover colleague during protests in 2017.

Steven Korte, 42, was indicted Thursday on a civil rights charge and another charge of lying to the FBI.

He was one of the officers who mistook undercover officer Luther Hall for a protester, according to the indictment. Hall was documenting protester activity.

Hall was not committing a crime and there was no probable cause to arrest him, the indictment said. Korte and other officers used “unreasonable force” to arrest him, the indictment said, and then Korte lied to FBI agents investigating the incident.

Prosecutors said last month they were planning on adding charges against two officers, which would likely delay the trial of Dustin Boone, 36, and Christopher Myers, 28. Both have pleaded not guilty. Two other officers, Randy Hays, 32, and Bailey Colletta, 26, have pleaded guilty.

In his plea agreement, Hays admitted striking Hall three to five times with a riot baton and shoving him to the ground. He also said he saw another officer kick Hall in the face while he was lying on the ground, complying with officers’ commands.

Colletta pleaded guilty in September and admitted lying to both the FBI and a federal grand jury about Hall’s arrest.

Hall suffered permanent injuries that include one to his jaw that makes it difficult to eat and herniated discs in his neck that have required surgery, authorities have said.

Hays and other officers on the Civil Disobedience Team encountered Hall on Sept. 17, 2017, downtown near 14th and Olive streets during a protest that followed the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on a murder charge two days before. Stockley, who’s white, was acquitted in the shooting death of a black man after a high-speed pursuit and crash.

Officers charged

St. Louis police officers (clockwise from top left) Christopher Myers, Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Bailey Colletta in photos taken outside the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Post-Dispatch staff

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