ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Thursday's trial proceedings began where Wednesday's testimony left off, with Detective Luther Hall recounting the night of his assault in emotional testimony. Below are updates from the courthouse, with the most recent events first.
2:50 p.m. Judge steps in again
The exchanges between Hall and Rosenblum remained combative, as Hall continued to expand his answers beyond the scope of the question or give explanations for why he was answering a certain way.
At one point, Rosenblum brought up that Hall initially told the FBI it was Randy Hays who kneed him in the back while he was seated on the curb (he would later say it was Myers). Rosenblum pointed out that a friend and fellow officer had sent Hall a list of names with pictures attached of officers believed to be involved with his arrest. Hall never told the FBI about receiving those, and Rosenblum suggested that him seeing a lineup of those officers affected the investigation.
It was after seeing those pictures that Hall identified Myers as the person who kneed him in the back and broke his camera. Rosenblum asked him if he had ever identified Myers as that person before seeing the photos sent to him, and Hall responded with an explanation. He said that when IAD first showed him photos of officers who admitted to being present at his arrest, he assumed the photos corresponded with the order of the list of names. Because of this, he said, he initially misidentified Hays as the person behind him.
Rosenblum said that wasn't what he asked.
He asked again if Hall had ever identified Myers as that person before that point, and Hall again went into an explanation, causing Rosenblum to drop his head in frustration.
Judge Webber, clearly exasperated, stopped the proceedings and sternly told Hall he needed to directly answer the questions.
"Please sir, just answer the question without explanation. You have an extraordinarily competent lawyer who is going to go over all this with you," he said, referring to Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Constantin's upcoming rebuttal. "Right now, you need to answer the questions."
Following that moment, Rosenblum went back to the photos taken by Lawrence Bryant of Hall seated on the curb. Over the course of several images, Hall identified that Myers was- in those pictures- standing to his left, not behind him. He also identified a different officer was standing behind him, and through the sequence of photos, appeared to be pushing his knee forward into his back.
1:00 p.m. Testy exchanges during cross-examination
After court resumed, Rosenblum turned his focus to the specifics of how Hall's phone was damaged, using the video and Hall's previous statements to FBI agents to establish doubt about Myers' role in destroying the phone.
In the video, which Rosenblum went through frame-by-frame in slow motion, Randy Hays can be seen wielding a baton and striking downward. On one of those strikes the sound cuts out on the phone and the footage is chaotic for several seconds before Myers can briefly be seen looking into the camera.
In his initial interviews with the FBI, Hall said he believed the phone was destroyed by a baton, and the term became the center of a testy exchange between him and Rosenblum.
Prosecutors are contending that Myers damaged the phone with his asp, which is a metal retractable baton. A CDT baton is larger and thicker, similar to a broomstick. The video shows Hays was carrying the larger baton.
Rosenblum said it wasn't until March of this year Hall used the term "asp" in his interviews with FBI agents. In all previous meetings he called it a "baton." The attorney suggested Hall didn't use the term until he was aware of the government's theory the phone was damaged by an asp. When asked if he ever said that term in the previous interviews, Hall said he would have to check the records of those meetings.
"Take your time, look at all of them," Rosenblum said. "I'll wait here all day."
Hall eventually conceded March was the first time he used the term, but said he wasn't aware that was the government's theory. He also insisted several times "an asp is a baton."
In fact, each time Rosenblum tried to point out Hall has never used the term before March, Hall responded with some form of "an asp is a baton," sometimes repeating it as an answer to other questions. The back and forth got so contentious that Judge Webber stepped in.
"This is really simple. You ask the question again," he said pointing to Rosenblum. "And you answer it," he said, pointing to Hall.
After moving on from the specifics of "asp" vs. "baton," Rosenblum then turned to photos of the arrest, walking through zoomed-in images of the moments during Hall's violent arrest and after he was cuffed and sat on the curb.
Rosenblum honed in on an object that he said looked like Hall's phone, and showed how the object was a few feet away from the scrum, and that several officers were close enough to have possibly stepped on it.
He also showed that it was Myers who eventually lifted Hall to his feet, and claimed that Myers in fact put the phone in Hall's backpack to be transported with him, which is proper police protocol. That last part is critical, as Myers is charged with damaging the phone with the intent of impeding an investigation.
Rosenblum contended in his opening argument that if that were the case, Myers would have not have returned the phone, and instead would have kept it or "thrown it down a sewer."
Hall said the phone was returned to his backpack (though he believes it was a SWAT officer) before he was transported, and that it did remain operational after the incident.
10:45 p.m. "Do you need me to repeat the question?"
While Boone's attorney Patrick Kilgore was once again brief and somewhat subdued in his cross examination, Myers' attorney Scott Rosenblum took a different tack, beginning his questioning in the rapid-fire, aggressive style he displayed with Hall's partner Lewis Naes.
His first question to Hall set the tone, as he asked him about having met with the FBI nine times during the investigation. When Hall began to say he wasn't certain, Rosenblum cut him off, saying, "Want to count them?" before firing off the dates of each meeting. He also pointed out that eight of Hall's interviews with the FBI were before Lawrence Bryant's photos of the assault were available.
Rosenblum then challenged Hall's testimony that he didn't carry a weapon because he was black and didn't want to be shot by police, directing him to the record of his testimony in the previous March trial, in which Hall did not mention anything about race when being asked the same question.
Hall had also said he wore a tighter tee shirt and pants while working the protests because he wanted to show he didn't have a weapon, but Rosenblum said even dressed as Hall was, he could have had a gun in his backpack or have been carrying a knife, which would have been dangers to officers. While he wasn't suggesting Hall carried a weapon, he was establishing that officers still could have been concerned about him having one that was not visible.
Rosenblum worked to establish a sense of chaos on the night of Hall's assault, frequently using the term "anarchists" to describe people on the streets. He cited several instances of property damage, some of which Hall did not see, and some of which he documented or talked about over his live stream that night. Then Rosenblum began to establish Hall could have been subject to arrest based on the situation.
"To ignore a dispersal order is a crime, is it not?" Rosenblum said.
"Yes," Hall replied.
"If rioters ignore a dispersal order they are subject to arrest, correct?"
"If you were running with the anarchists who violated a dispersal order, you would be subject to arrest, yes?"
Hall did not answer, and instead stared directly at Rosenblum. After several beats, Rosenblum asked if he needed to repeat the question, and Hall paused before answering, "I guess." (In later testimony, Hall would contend he did not hear any dispersal order until seconds before an officer approached him).
Rosenblum then called up surveillance footage of the intersection where Hall was assaulted on that Sunday night. In it, a group of people Hall was with can be seen running. Rosenblum continued to use the phrase "running with anarchists," and Hall eventually cut him off.
"The people I was running with were just walking on the street. The 'anarchists,' as you call them-" and Rosenblum quickly responded with the fact Hall had previously used the term in testimony, but Hall countered that he was talking about a different group of people from earlier in the night.
But Rosenblum pointed out the group Hall had been running with, saying Hall couldn't know every single person he was running with and what their intentions were, and therefore the officers in the area couldn't know either.
After the exchange, the Judge called for a recess for lunch.
10:15 a.m. "I feel like an apology will never be enough"
The prosecution's examination wrapped with the text Dustin Boone sent to Hall eight days after his assault. The lengthy message was an apology, though Boone said he felt that wasn't sufficient for what Hall went through.
Boone asked if he could meet Hall to "apologize face to face as a man and not through text message," but said he understood if the detective didn't want to do so. Boone also suggested a phone call, but again explained his desire to meet Hall in person so he could convey his feelings.
Hall never responded to the text, because he did not feel Boone's apology was genuine.
9:00 a.m. Hall struggles with re-living his injuries
Detective Luther Hall was on the stand again as court resumed Wednesday, and his testimony resumed with the moments after his assault. He detailed sitting on the curb, with Christopher Myers standing behind him, driving his shin guard into his back if he tried to straighten.
"Stop f------ moving," Hall said Myers told him, detailing how his face felt warm but that he didn't realize it was because his mouth was bleeding.
Hall said as he was seated on the curb, Myers picked up Hall's digital camera, opened the bottom and removed the battery. Myers did not remove the memory card, but Hall implied that it was because without knowing the camera, a person wouldn't know where the memory card was.
When asked why he didn't let officers know who he was, Hall said it was because he wanted to maintain his ability to work undercover.
"I didn't realize I was injured as bad as I was. My only thoughts were getting out of this, getting back and dumping that information back [at headquarters]. Because I knew we'd have work to do the next day," he said. "I assumed at some point, one of the officers would walk by and recognize me. Or when we were being transported to booking someone would re.cognize me and pull me out."
It was then-Sergeant Randy Jemerson who eventually recognized Hall (Jemerson was later promoted to Lieutenant). As Jemerson was walking by, he looked down and saw Hall on the curb next to the other person arrested at that intersection.
"Oh he knows you," Hall recalled the man saying to him. "I said 'yeah he's pissed at me because I ran from him the other night.'"
Jemerson returned with SWAT officers, and they picked Hall up, and began walking him to a SWAT vehicle.
"Hey that's my arrest," Hall said he heard Myers say, as he was still unaware Hall was a fellow officer.
One of the officers who knew who Hall was reportedly said "F--- off" and pushed Hall past Myers.
Hall struggled again as he described the medical care inside the SWAT vehicle. Looking at the jury, his voice cracked several times recalling officers putting ice on his face and using a flashlight to see if he was concussed.
"My face was covered in blood," he said. "Everything hurt."
Officers believed he needed medical treatment, but a call came out requesting help from SWAT. Hall did not want to blow his cover, and wanted to get back to headquarters to download video of vandalism events earlier in the night.
After another officer played up Hall being in custody so anyone watching would not realize he was aa fellow policeman, Hall was driven back to headquarters in a marked vehicle.
"When I walked in I was angry," he said, saying several high-ranking officers were there. "I told them 'a bunch of policemen just beat the [s---] out of me.'"
His commanding officer walked him into the hallway, and grabbed paper towels to use as a compress.
"Blood was pouring out of my face," Hall said. "When I talked it hurt." Hall then trailed off, clearly struggling with re-living the moment.
When a medic eventually examined him, Hall realized how serious the injuries were.
"He was actually able to put his pinky through the hole in my face," he said, crying. "He said 'you need to go to the emergency room.'"
There, he received three layers of stitches to close the wound on his mouth.
He eventually returned to police headquarters and uploaded his footage, as well as reviewed the damage to his camera and phone.
Once he returned home, his girlfriend took photos of his injury. What followed was a long and painful recovery, he said.
Hall said it was "a few weeks" before he could eat solid food, causing him to lose weight. He also said he couldn't move his head from side to side, and he couldn't sit up for prolonged periods of time. He was plagued by what he called a non-stop headache, and said he had intermittent vision problems as a result.
He also said his doctor told him his rapid weight loss from not being able to eat solid food caused his body to develop gallstones, the removal of which required surgery. After the pain would not subside, Hall went to physical therapy and it was discovered he had herniated disks in his upper and lower back. He went to a doctor at Washington University to fix a herniated disk in October of 2018, and also had a four-inch titanium plate and six screws put in his neck.
Though the procedure relieved the shooting pain he experienced, he said he still has chronic pain in his neck and back.