By Huey Dessalines
SAINT LOUIS: Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Randy Hays pleaded guilty in federal court today of a charge of “deprivation of rights under color of law”, stemming from his and other officers’ beating of undercover STLMPD detective Luther Hall during a notorious kettling and mass arrest incident on September 17, 2017, during the protests that erupted after the acquittal of former STLMPD officer Jason Stockley on charges stemming from his murder of Anthony Lamar Smith in December, 2011. Hall stated that he was “beaten like Rodney King” and Hays admitted to shoving Hall to the ground, beating him with a baton and kicking him in the face, mistaking him for a protestor. Four other officers were indicted in this case for a variety of charges stemming from this incident.
All officers involved are members of the racist, nearly all white STLPOA “union” led by reactionary fascist Jeff Roorda, noted for his harassment of local liberal alderwoman Megan Ellyia-Green and inflammatory, racist statements. The STLPOA provides legal support to all accused officers. Black and nonwhite police officers in STL are represented by the Ethical Society of Police.
This is yet another black eye for the STLMPD and other area police departments. Several civil lawsuits have been filed by individual protesters, journalists and bystanders caught in the mass kettling and arrest incident. Saint Louis County Police were ordered last week to pay a $20 million settlement to Sergeant Keith Wildhaber, who was denied promotion and discriminated against in several other ways for his sexual orientation. In January, STLMPD officer Nathaniel Hendren shot and killed another officer in an alleged game of “Russian roulette”. Note that these legal black eyes do not stem from the treatment of the masses of people by police, but are punishments for breaking the “thin blue line” and attacking other police officers.
This is a demonstration of how confused and divided the reactionary police force is amongst itself. Higher pay and the fact that all are police does not flatten national contradictions. Luther Hall was beaten because he was a black person at a protest in outrage of the killing of another black person by a white police officer. These contradictions will continue to exacerbate and sharpen. But make no mistake, the police are still united in agreement that the people’s movement must be suppressed and destroyed. The presence of an undercover police officer at a demonstration shows why revolutionary vigilance and security culture must be promoted, sharpened and practiced.
The disunity of the police and continuing embarrassments such as this provide grounds for the continued sharpening of the people’s movement against the police and the building of mass organizations dedicated to expelling this blue plague from our communities through continual and constant organization for protracted people’s war and the building of a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Communist Party.