In Seattle, one officer's multiple deadly encounters offer a window into this little understood corner of American policing.
The video is brief but disturbing: Moments after two Seattle police officers kick down an apartment’s front door, a shirtless man appears on camera, lumbering slowly toward them with a 4-inch switchblade in his hand.
Inside a nearby bathroom was the man’s barricaded girlfriend, who had dialed 911 after she said he threatened her life and his own. Within 6 seconds, the officers opened fire. Ryan Smith, a Black and Latino 31-year-old, was killed in a burst of 10 shots on May 8, 2019, according to police records.
The officer who pulled the trigger first — and fired eight of the bullets that killed Smith — was Christopher Myers, 54, who has earned an array of commendations in his three decades at the Seattle Police Department, including officer of the year and a medal of honor. He was once heralded as an officer with an “unbelievable degree of patience” who cared deeply about the people on his beat.