Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, March 19, 2021

VIDEO: The Last Thing Luther Hall's Camera Captured Before His Police Beating

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2021 at 9:49 AM

click to enlarge (Left) The face of a St. Louis officer in riot gear, identified by prosecutors as Christopher Myers, in a video shot by Luther Hall. (Right) Luther Hall's smashed phone. - U.S. ATTORNEY/COURT EXHIBIT
  • U.S. ATTORNEY/COURT EXHIBIT
  • (Left) The face of a St. Louis officer in riot gear, identified by prosecutors as Christopher Myers, in a video shot by Luther Hall. (Right) Luther Hall's smashed phone.

The looming face of a helmeted St. Louis police officer in riot gear is the final, chilling image of the video captured by Luther Hall, a Black detective whose undercover assignment on September 17, 2017 ended in a beating at the hands of other cops.

The roughly four-minute video was entered into evidence in this week's criminal trial against two current St. Louis cops, Dustin Boone and Steven Korte, and a third officer, Christopher Myers, who is no longer on the force. It is Myers's face, Hall and prosecutors say, which appears in the final frames of the video as officers threw Hall to the ground and beat him bloody.



All three officers are charged in federal court with deprivation of rights under color of law, while Myers is facing an additional charge of destruction of evidence for smashing Hall's cellphone. At trial Thursday, Hall pointed to the circular pattern of smashed glass and said he believed Myers had used a baton to smash the front of his phone — which Myers and his attorney deny.


See also: In Trial of St. Louis Cops, Beaten Black Detective Blamed for 'Threatening' Actions

Hall's encounter with several members of the city police's Civil Disobedience Team — a team that would also arrest more than 100 civilians that night in a brutal mass arrest strategy known as a "kettle" — begins in the above video around 3:19 mark, shortly after Hall and other protesters are seen running from the advancing column of armored officers.

The video also shows Hall had only just arrived in a space between a portable generator and electrical box before he was confronted by the officers. On Wednesday, defense attorneys accused Hall of "hiding" in that space and refusing officers' orders, though photo and video footage appears to show Hall being attacked almost immediately.

"I remember being told to put my hands behind my back, but I couldn’t move my hands because they were standing on my arms and my hands," Hall testified on Thursday.

"It was a free for all," he added. "I could feel nothing but boots, fists and sticks striking my body."

Hall later required multiple procedures to close a hole in his lip, and injuries to his jaw prevented him from eating solid food for weeks, leading to him losing more than 20 pounds. He later underwent spinal surgery, though he says he still lives with chronic pain and other medical condition from damage to his internal organs.

Two former St. Louis officers, Randy Hays and Bailey Colletta, have already pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the incident. Hays is expected to testify for the prosecution against his former partners. The trial continues Friday with more testimony from Hall and other witnesses.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at
@D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 7, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation