One of five White St. Louis Police Department (SLPD) officers involved in the beating during a racial justice protest of a Black photographer—who was a fellow SLPD officer working undercover—was sentenced on July 13, 2021, to 52 months in prison and two years of probation.
The officer, 34-year-old Randy Hays, also then lied to the FBI about the September 2017 attack on fellow officer Luther Hall. A 22-year veteran of SLPD, Hall was working undercover as a photographer during racial justice protests that followed the acquittal of another White SLPD officer, Jason Stockley, in the fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was Black.
Hays and his four fellow officers arrested Hall for failing to heed a dispersal order, leading to his brutal beating. According to the victim impact statement read by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Costantin at Hays’ sentencing, Hall has undergone three surgeries and “multiple procedures” in an “attempt to relieve the pain (he feels) every day.”
He has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, for which he takes daily doses of prescription medications oxycodone and Xanax. Worse, he said, was learning that his “22 years of dedicated service meant nothing to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis Police Officers Association except to falsify documents and reports, release false information to the media and diligently work to get out ahead of this."
Hays, who resigned when he pleaded guilty, testified against three of the four other SLPD officers involved. One, Steven Korte, was acquitted in March 2021 of depriving Hays of his civil rights under the color of law. Another, Dustin Boone, was convicted on the same charge in a June 2021 retrial. The third, Christopher Myers, was acquitted of that charge in his March 2021 trial, but the jury hung twice on whether he had destroyed evidence to conceal a crime.
The fifth officer is Hays’ girlfriend, Bailey Coletta. She also resigned from SLPD when she pleaded guilty to lying about the attack to the FBI and a grand jury. She is still awaiting sentencing.
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