Officer Christopher Myers Wrongfully Stopped and Shot My Cellmate
Blast Zone No.
Set Up On:
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Appeals Court Overturns Conviction:
Officer Christopher Myers
In 2014 the Court of Appeals of Washington ruled that Seattle Police Officer Christopher Myers was not justified when he stopped my former cellmate Jose Manuel Cardenas-Muratalla in downtown Seattle in 2010. As a result Manny's conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm was reversed, but sending an innocent man to prison was not the worst part. Officer Myers also shot Manny for no justifiable reason and appears to still be getting away with that.
I learned about this story when I was Manny's cellmate at FCI Sheridan from the fall of 2013 until January of 2014. When he told me about this I had to see the paperwork to believe it. He was walking down the street when Myers started harassing him and then shot him. Manny did nothing to threaten Myers. He did have a gun, but it was not loaded, and it did not match the description of the gun that an anonymous tipster had reported someone as having. I believed Manny because no sane person would pull an unloaded gun on a cop. I promised to try to connect with his people upon my release to NWRRC that year, but could not do so due to computer restrictions and catching a new charge for assaulting a staff member. Why was I going to connect with his people? Because Manny said that one of them had a copy of a grainy video showing what really happened. I have still not seen the video, but I think the decision from the Court of Appeals in case No. 68057–9–I issued on February 3, 2014 says all it needs to:
"Officer Lang's testimony differed from Officer Myers' testimony. Officer Lang testified that she had a clear view of Cardenas–Muratalla and that when the officers spotted him, he was not doing anything suspicious with his hands and was not doing anything with his hands, body, or expression that raised her level of alarm. The officer testified that her suspicions were aroused only when Cardenas–Muratalla began to “shuffle” away and did not respond to Officer Myers' direction to stop. She testified that Cardenas–Muratalla was talking on a cell phone as the officers approached and was still talking on the phone when he shuffled away."
"The taser hit Cardenas–Muratalla's left arm. After he had been hit, Cardenas–Muratalla turned around and headed away from Officer Lang and toward Officer Myers. As he walked, Cardenas–Muratalla kept his right hand down by his side, which Officer Myers thought was an attempt to pull a gun out of his clothing. Officer Myers shot Cardenas–Muratalla and he fell to the ground and was handcuffed. Officer Myers recovered a handgun from Cardenas–Muratalla's front waistband. The gun was black, not silver as the 911 caller had described, and was not loaded."
"Here, neither the informant nor the informant's tip was reliable. The officers knew nothing about the 911 caller. The caller did not give his name, and the 911 operator was unable to reach the caller on a call-back. Further, the tip was not the report of any criminal activity. The informant said Cardenas–Muratalla showed him his gun, but that he (the informant) did not feel threatened. Carrying a firearm is a crime if it is carried or displayed in a manner that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons,20 or if it is willfully discharged in a place where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized.21 There is no evidence in the record that the 911 caller reported being intimidated or alarmed when the suspect showed him the gun or that the suspect discharged the gun or pointed it at anyone. In fact, the caller told the 911 operator, “He didn't threaten me. It's just that he showed me. I seen it․ Just calling to tell you, just calling to tell you.” That is the only evidence in the record about the emotional state of the 911 caller or about Cardenas–Muratalla's actions that prompted the 911 call. The tip did not provide information raising a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Moreover, the unreliable informant's tip was not corroborated by any observations by the officers of suspected criminal activity. Cardenas–Muratalla's presence in a high crime area at night, looking startled upon seeing the patrol car, and walking away from the doorway while talking on a cell phone do not justify a stop. Although Officer Myers claimed that Cardenas–Muratalla “fluffed” his sweatshirt when he saw the officers, this claim not only contradicts Officer Lang's testimony but also is not supported by the video evidence in the record. Under the totality of the circumstances, the Terry stop in this case was not reasonable. The trial court's findings of fact on Cardenas–Muratalla's motion to suppress the gun are not supported by substantial evidence. The trial court erred in denying the motion.22 Because the gun was the basis for Cardenas–Muratalla's prosecution, his conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm must be reversed."
It should also be noted that while living with Manny I helped him contact the City of Seattle in an effort to make sure that his tort notice was filed on time. He needed my help because I speak good English. He received a response from the city that it had been filed on time, but the response also included copies of articles from the news like the one I am linking to in this article (above). They all talked about how this illegal immigrant would be deported once released. I don't know why the clerk of the city would mail him such things. I think they were taunting him or trying to get him to drop his claim by reminding him that he would be deported and therefore unable to go to court against Officer Myers.
In the video below you can see Myers intimidating a drunk in another matter.