ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI/CNN) - Four police officers are pleading not guilty to charges of beating up a fellow officer.
Prosecutors said the victim was working undercover when the officers beat him thinking he was a protester in 2007.
Officers Bailey Colletta, Randy Hays, Christopher Myers and Dustin Boone all told a federal judge Thursday they are not guilty.
The incident happened during protests after last year’s acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was captured on dash-cam shooting and killing Anthony Lamar Smith after a 2011 police pursuit.
The acquittal led to weeks of protests, which activated the St. Louis Police civil disobedience team.
The federal indictment said, "The accused officers' expressed disdain for the Stockley protesters and excitement about using unjustified force against them and going undetected while doing so."
The suspects left behind a trail of incriminating text messages.
The indictment even lists text messages among the officers, like one reportedly from Myers: “Let’s whoop some [expletive.]”
Boone is documented to have texted, "It’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the [expletive] out of these [expletives] once the sun goes down.”
Hays reportedly texted, "Going rogue does feel good."
The indictment said once the officers realized they beat up one of their own men, they tried keeping him from talking about it.
Colletta is accused of lying to the feds about what happened.
The officers and their attorneys had no comment as they walked out of court today pleading not guilty.
The police department said the four accused officers are all currently on unpaid leave.