St. Louis, MO — In December 2011, St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley violated department policy when he grabbed his personal AK-47, premeditated, and then murdered Anthony Lamar Smith. The planning of the murder and the actual murder were captured on the officer’s dashcam. In spite of the overwhelming amount of evidence against him, a St. Louis judge last year found Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Smith. Months of protests ensued immediately.
“Once they put those barricades up, I knew what was up,” activist Jae Shepherd recalled to Rolling Stone. “They put those up when we were waiting for the indictment or non-indictment of Darren Wilson when Mike [Brown] was killed. It was just like this building up of anticipation and anxiety.”
During the protests, angry citizens took to the streets en masse. They were met by hundreds of police officers in riot gear, who were armed with military grade weaponry and technology.
During the protests, story after story surfaced of officers using unnecessary force, beating protesters and making false arrests. This was in spite of the fact that the protests ran relatively smoothly and were far less violent than the ones in 2014 in Ferguson after the killing of Mike Brown.
Despite the peaceful nature of the protests, police officers were seen on video carrying out extremely disturbing acts. One such act involved trampling an elderly woman. Another act involved police chanting“whose streets? Our streets!” as they surrounded protesters—otherwise known as ‘kettling’— and began a brutal assault with pepper spray and police batons.
Police violence had gotten so bad, in fact, that four officers were actually arrested and charged with civil rights violations.
Officers Dustin Boone, Bailey Colletta, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers face federal charges of civil rights violation, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators.
These four cops are accused of savagely beating a demonstrator during the protests and then covering it up. But this was no ordinary demonstrator.
During the protests, undercover police officers were placed throughout the crowd in order to catch people who were attempting to instigate violence or destroy property. Police violence was so over the top, that these four officers allegedly grabbed one of their own, a 22-year veteran of the department who was working undercover.
The officers are accused of attacking their fellow officer without reason, throwing him to the ground, and savagely beating him—causing serious bodily injury.
As the St. Louis Business Journal reports:
Count one of the indictment specifically alleges that Boone, Hays and Myers violated the undercover officer’s constitutional rights when they used unreasonable force on him. Their actions resulted in bodily injury and included the use of a dangerous weapon. The indictment also alleges they threw the undercover officer to the ground and kicked him while he was compliant and not posing a physical threat to anyone.
Count two charges Boone, Hays and Myers with conspiracy to obstruct justice for conspiring and agreeing to engage in misleading conduct toward witnesses to prevent information about their criminal conduct from reaching federal authorities.
Count three of the indictment also charges Myers with destruction of evidence for knowingly destroying and mutilating the undercover officer’s cell phone with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation into his arrest and assault.
Count four charges Colletta with corruptly attempting to obstruct, influence, and impede federal grand jury proceedings by engaging in a series of misleading assertions and false statements when she testified before the grand jury.
Count one carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Counts two, three, and four each carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison. All four counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000.
Due to the egregious nature of these officers’ actions and their subsequent indictments, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney has dropped 91 cases with which these officers were involved.
On Thursday, all four of the officers pleaded not guilty to the charges.
All four of the St. Louis Metro Police Officers pled not guilty to the charges against them @FOX2now
— Katherine Hessel (@KHesselFox2) December 6, 2018
All of the officers are currently on administrative leave without pay and are awaiting their future court date which has not yet been released. Hopefully, their case plays out different than the one of Jason Stockley and justice is actually served. Because their victim was a police officer, there is a higher chance that will happen.
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