4 police officers indicted on federal civil rights charges for protest abuses

Four St. Louis police officers were indicted on federal civil rights charges Thursday in connection with their actions during an unconstitutional crackdown on a protest last year.

A federal grand jury indicted St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers Dustin Boone, 35, Bailey Colletta, 25, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27, on felony charges that included deprivation of constitutional rights, conspiracy to obstruct justice, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice.

Police officers chanted the streets were “our streets” during the crackdown on protests after a judge found former officer Jason Stockley, who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011, not guilty

See more from the aftermath of the shooting: 

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Protesters pour into St. Louis after ex-cop acquitted for murder of black motorist
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Protesters pour into St. Louis after ex-cop acquitted for murder of black motorist
A protester faces off with law enforcement officials after Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, was acquitted of murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man suspected of dealing drugs, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
Protesters sit in an intersection of the Central West End after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis/
Law enforcement officials walk down a residential street after firing tear gas at protesters after Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, was acquitted of murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man suspected of dealing drugs, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protestors demonstrate during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
A protester stands on a "Blue Lives Matter" flag after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Protesters march in reaction to the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis/
Protesters march on Tucker and Market to protest the not guilty verdict in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 in St. Louis. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
Protesters march on Tucker and Market to protest the not guilty verdict in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 in St. Louis. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
Anthony Shahid, center, and other protesters march on Tucker and Market to protest the not guilty verdict in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 in St. Louis. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
Protesters march on Tucker and Market to protest the not guilty verdict in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 in St. Louis. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
A woman holds a sign outside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
Men protest outside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People march downtown after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People march downtown after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
Activist Anthony Shahid (L) holds a photo of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, who was found not guilty in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, during a protest in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People march downtown after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
Protesters march after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Men protest outside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People protest outside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People look out the windows of Confluence Preparatory Academy as protesters march down the street after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People march downtown after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
Members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department prevent protesters from entering Interstate 64 after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
People march downtown after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant
Members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department prevent protesters from entering Interstate 64 after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protestors march through the city streets following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Community leader and activist Anthony Shahid leads a protest march through the city streets following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protestors burn a St. Louis Cardinals jacket as they march through the city streets following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Protesters chant outside the courthouse after the not guilty verdict was announced in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis/
A man watches as law enforcement officials order protesters to disperse in the Central West End neighborhood after Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, was acquitted of murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man suspected of dealing drugs, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protest organizers huddle during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protestors demonstrate during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: A child chants into a megaphone during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: A woman walks with a sign during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protestors demonstrate during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Protestors demonstrate during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
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The indictment alleges that at least three of the defendants “expressed disdain for the Stockley protesters and excitement about using unjustified force against them and going undetected while doing so.” It features text messages between three of the defendants in which they joked about using force against protesters demonstrating against the Stockley verdict.

“let’s whoop some ass,” Myers wrote.

“it’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these sh--heads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart,” wrote Boone. “We really need these f----ers to start acting up so we can have some fun.”

Boone later wrote that it was a “blast beating people that deserve it” and bragged about chanting “OUR STREETS” with other cops after they locked “fools up on prison busses.”

All four defendants were part of the St. Louis Police Department’s Civil Disobedience Team, which led the police response to protests following the verdict against their former colleague.

The victim listed in the indictment is a fellow St. Louis police officer who was acting in an undercover capacity during the protests. The defendants, the indictment says, used unreasonable force against their colleague, a 22-year veteran of the force referred to as “L.H.” The officers allegedly lied about their conduct against the undercover officer, who was wearing a shirt that revealed his waistband so officers would not think he was armed.

Officer Bailey Colletta, who was in a romantic relationship with Officer Randy Hays, allegedly lied to the FBI about what she knew about the takedown of the undercover officer. She claimed he was “brought to the ground very gently” when she knew he was forcefully slammed to the ground.

federal judge said last year that officers “exercised their discretion in an arbitrary and retaliatory fashion to punish protesters for voicing criticism of police.” Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Mike Faulk, who was arrested and violently assaulted by police while reporting on the protest, filed a lawsuitover police actions earlier this year.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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