Ex-San Francisco cop charged in 2017 fatal shooting of man
A former rookie San Francisco police officer who was on his fourth day on the job when he fatally shot an unarmed carjacking suspect in 2017 has been charged with manslaughter, the city’s top prosecutor announced Monday.
Chris Samayoa was charged with voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault by an executive officer, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and negligent discharge of a firearm in the killing of 42-year-old Keita O’Neil, said Dist. Atty. Chesa Boudin.
Boudin called the decision to file charges “historic.”
“As far as we are aware, this is the first ever time that the San Francisco district attorney’s office has filed charges against a law enforcement officer for a homicide,” Boudin said.
It wasn’t immediately known if Samayoa has an attorney. The district attorney’s office and the Police Officers Assn. union did not immediately return messages seeking information about Samayoa’s legal representation and who could comment on his behalf.
Samayoa’s firing had generated outrage from the police officer union, which said previously he was fired for doing what he was trained to do.
His firing came three months after he fatally shot O’Neil on Dec. 1, 2017.
O’Neil, who died at a hospital, was suspected of assaulting a California Lottery employee and stealing a van that belonged to the agency.
Police chased the van and another SUV seen traveling with it to a public housing area. O’Neil abandoned the stolen vehicle and started running toward the patrol car occupied by Samayoa, who was in the passenger seat, and his training officer, police have said.
The footage shows Samayoa drawing his pistol while the cruiser was still moving. The video then shows him opening the side door and firing a single shot through the window as O’Neil runs by in the opposite direction. O’Neil was not armed.
O’Neil’s relatives were told Monday about the decision to charge the officer. O’Neil’s aunt, April Green, expressed gratitude, Boudin’s statement said.
“I am happy to hear this news, and hoping it brings some justice to our family,“ she said, according to the statement.
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