GoFundMe Seeking $100,000 for Indicted Cop Shut Down After Raising $225


Do you have $100,000 for ex-St. Louis cop Christopher Myers? - DOYLE MURPHY
  • Do you have $100,000 for ex-St. Louis cop Christopher Myers?

If you were hoping to donate to the legal fund of an ex-cop accused of beating an undercover officer and smashing his camera, it looks like you've missed your window.

A GoFundMe seeking $100,000 to help former St. Louis police officer Christopher Myers has been shut down after less than a week. It raised a total of $225.

Myers was one of four city police officers indicted in November 2018, variously accused of pummeling Detective Luther Hall during police protests in 2017 and/or working to cover it up. (A fifth officer was added to the indictment last year.) But the narrative posted with the GoFundMe, which lists the ex-officer's dad Mark Myers as the creator, claims its a bogus case.

The post said the 29-year-old and his family had already spent "thousands" of dollars and would need plenty more to defend him from "despicable" prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The RFT reached out through GoFundMe to Mark Myers on Friday when the campaign was still going. The fundraiser was then deactivated over the long weekend, so we tried again today but haven't heard back. Similarly, Mark Myers hasn't responded to a Facebook message. He had publicly shared a link to the fundraiser on his Facebook page, but the page has since been locked down.

It's not clear if the father or GoFundMe deactivated the fundraising campaign.

In September 2017, Christopher Myers was working with the police department's Civil Disobedience Team, better known as "riot police," during the protests over the acquittal of ex-cop Jason Stockley in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith. Hall, the undercover detective, posed as a protester and embedded with demonstrators, only to get swept up in mass arrests.

Hall later told investigators that his fellow officers "beat the fuck out of him like Rodney King." They kicked, pounded and body-slammed him on the pavement, according to charges. The allegations are not unlike what actual protesters say happened to them, but Hall was a cop, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office pressed charges against five officers.

Hall hasn't worked since the beating because of the injuries. Along with Myers, officers Dustin Boone, Randy Hays, Bailey Colletta and Steve Korte were indicted. Hays and Colletta have pleaded guilty. Myers was additionally charged with destroying evidence because the feds say he took the camera Hall was using to document protesters and smashed it.

Ex-St. Louis cop Christopher Myers worked hard to be a policeman, his dad says. - DOYLE MURPHY
  • Ex-St. Louis cop Christopher Myers worked hard to be a policeman, his dad says.

The alternative perspective that was left out of the federal indictment — but that you can learn by reading the missive on the GoFundMe page — is that Myers was an "upstanding officer who is wrongly accused" and was once the 5th District's Officer of the Year. As Myers' proud dad described, his son "was so excited to become an officer, and worked very hard to get there."

While the indictment describes a group of officers gleefully planning and carrying-out beatings, the GoFundMe post attributed to Mark Myers claims the feds "are trying to ruin my son's life so they can win an unjust battle."

Now, maybe you still are not moved to give money to an indicted ex-cop who, preparing for his assignment during protests, texted to a fellow officer "let's whoop some ass."

Then again, at least some donors shelled out actual cash for this supposedly woebegone cop. Perhaps these contributors were moved by the campaign's claim that video and photos show Christopher Myers wasn't involved with tuning up Hall that night — even though that claim doesn't fit well alongside other texts that FBI agents extracted from the indicted officers' cell phones and transcribed in court records.

In one unnamed officer's text exchange with Boone, he writes: "Did Mysers[sic] dumb ass even reach out to [Hall] and apologize?"

Boone responds, "Nope, he is being typical Myers. I'll tell u his whole attitude, but basically he told me if he was running down there w the protestors and his own personal camera and didn't tell us he was a cop, then he gets what happens to a protestor. kinda said it's on him or the department but OF COURSE nothing wrong w what he did or we did."

In another text after Hall's beating, Boone writes, "They pulled that Myers kid aside and told him he can't b on the line tonight. Put him in a Tahoe driving someone around. From what I've heard people are NOT happy w him because he has basically said there is nothing to apologize for and made some racially charged comment about how [Hall] got around his people and acted a fool or something then accused him of possibly being drunk? Fuckin idiot. I have told you about him."

And there was this text from Boone, responding to an officer who wanted to know if he'd double checked to see if they had the right phone number for Hall: "I have not, except people saying they r hearing Myers busted all of his shit and kicked him in the head. [A sergeant, name redacted] asked him in front of [name redacted] and myself and he changed his story about 5 times, denied everything, then said he smashed the phone, then says he threw the camera battery.....said he doesn't remember if he kicked him in the head or not! He's a joke."

Now, it may seem bad that someone like Boone, who texted about the protests that it was "a blast beating people that deserve it," thinks you're a "fuckin idiot" and a "joke" who crossed the line, but Myers did reportedly change his mind about apologizing to Hall.

Ten days after the beating, an unidentified officer texted to say he knew Hall and could talk to him. A transcript shows Myers responding, "Yea if u can I have been wanting to apologize to him personally cuss I feel bad. We obviously didn't know he was a policeman."

He wanted to apologize! How was he supposed to know the Black guy getting a beating was actually a policeman? And yes, it may be a little unclear why someone who, as the GoFundMe post claimed, was not involved in beating Hall would want to apologize. But if that's your hangup, the post points to the unfairness of the prosecutors.

"Their cause is not genuine, and their claims are not true, but my son's future hangs in the balance," the GoFundMe post said, before concluding with a plea. "I pray you can see in your heart to help my son stand for what is right. I have learned from all of this that federal prosecutors are despicable, and innocent until proven guilty is a myth. I thank you in advance for your generosity."

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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