A former St. Louis police officer admitted in federal court today that she had lied to both the FBI and a grand jury when questioned about the violent arrest of an undercover police officer during the Stockley protests in 2017.
The Post-Dispatch reports that Bailey Colletta, 26, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of making false statements before a grand jury on Friday. Colletta admitted that she lied when she claimed to an FBI agent in June 2018 that she didn't know Detective Luther Hall, the undercover officer, and that she hadn't come into contact with him on the night of September 17, 2017, when he was arrested as part of a violent kettling of protesters at Olive and 14th Street that also trapped journalists, med students, downtown residents and two members of the military, and has since resulted in fourteen federal lawsuits filed against the city.
Colletta further confessed that she had lied to a grand jury the day after she spoke to the FBI agent, making a series of false statements including when she claimed that Hall had been "brought to the ground very gently."
Hall, who is black and was assigned to cover the protests in an undercover role, has claimed that his fellow officers beat him "like Rodney King" the night of the kettling, slamming him to the ground and pummeling him with fists, boots and batons in what Hall described as a "free-for-all." The unprovoked beating resulted in a lip injury that required three layers of stitches, multiple herniated discs and a jaw injury that made it difficult for Hall to eat. Hall has been unable to work since the incident.
What this officer has gone through at the hands of his fellow officers is tragic. Simply tragic. I don't think there's any two ways about that.
But it wasn't unforeseeable. The cops in question went in with bloodlust on their minds. We know this by their own text messages. The following is an exchange between Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers, the other cops involved in the beating of Detective Hall and others.
Referring to a fellow police officer as a "thug that's on our side" is the most benign thought that's in this exchange. You are not concerned about cameras if you know what you're doing is on the up and up. You don't hope people 'act like fools' so you can beat them up. These are the things that makes me worry about Law Enforcement.
But as all things, it gets deeper.
Yet more text messages were released as part of an affidavit in January. In one, Boone reaches out to Hall and attempts to apologize. "I feel like an apology will never be enough but I would really like to speak to you in person so I can apologize face to face as a man and not through a text message," Boone wrote, adding, "I hope you are healing both physically and mentally. I can't imagine what you have gone through this past week."
But meanwhile, Boone and Hays were still in contact as well, expressing less remorse for the beating itself and more for the fact they'd been caught.
"I'd just like to apologize to the man before someone gets in his ear and tries to turn this into something more than it was," Hays wrote on September 22, 2017, five days after the beating.
Boone replied, "EXACTLY! That's my biggest fear now that it's getting around. Somebody puts money or race in his ear and he listens for some reason and it's over before we get to say a word."
At this moment, I'll take the time to remind you of the injuries.
Hall had a hole in his face due to being kicked in it which required a vast amount of stitches. He has herniated discs. A Jaw injury that made it difficult for him to eat, possibly still to this day. He is unable to work the job that these officers that were able to two years after the incident. And they don't want 'make it something more than it was'.
The amount of power we give officers is vehemently moronic. And I don't mean just the authority we trust them to attempt to carry out justice. I mean the ability to get away with things because we want to trust in the cops so much. Not every criminal is innocent. I get that. But likewise, not every police officer is as well. The difference is, I can fight a criminal. There's no way I can defend myself against the police if they go rogue.
Just pray that you can survive and be able to return back to your life if they just want to let off some steam or show who 'the REAL POLICE' are.