ST. LOUIS – Four St. Louis police officers say they’re not guilty of beating an undercover colleague and trying to cover it up.
This case is about more than the officers involved. It affects every criminal case they were working. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said she’s had to drop nearly 100 crime investigations as a result.
Officers Randy Hays, Christopher Myers, Dustin Boone, and Bailey Colletta all told a federal judge they were not guilty. They’re accused of beating one of their own colleagues after mistaking him for a protestor September 17, 2017.
It was during protests after last year’s acquittal of former Officer Jason Stockley, who was captured on dash cam video shooting and killing Anthony Lamar Smith after a 2011 police pursuit. Stockley’s acquittal led to weeks of protests, which activated the police department’s Civil Disobedience Team. That’s where the defendants come in.
According to the federal indictment says, accused officers, who were part of that team, “...expressed disdain for the Stockley protestors and excitement about using unjustified force against them and going undetected while doing so...”
The indictment also lists text messages among the officers like one reportedly from Myers: “let’s whoop some (expletive).” Boone allegedly responded, “it’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the (expletive) out of these (expletives) once the sun goes down.”
Hays reportedly texted, “going rogue does feel good.”
The indictment said once the officers realized they beat up one of their own men they tried to keep him from talking about it.
Officer Bailey Colletta was accused of lying to federal investigators about what happened. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department placed the officers on unpaid leave.