Officer charged over mentally ill man’s death, SF DA said

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District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Tuesday said that charges of voluntary manslaughter were filed against a San Francisco police officer over the 2017 shooting of an unarmed and mentally ill person in the Oceanview neighborhood.

Among the charges filed against Officer Kenneth Cha include a manslaughter count, assault with a deadly weapon charge, as well as enhancements for the January 6, 2017 shooting against Sean Moore. Prosecutors said Moore died last year because of the consequences of the gunshot injuries, ABC7 reported.

In all of the city’s history, the District Attorney’s Office said the case serves as the second homicide suit against a law enforcement officer who is on active duty.

“We rely on officers to follow their training and to deescalate situations; instead, in just eight minutes, Officer Cha elevated a nonviolent encounter to one that took Sean Moore’s life,” the district attorney said in a statement.

The shooting happened in the 500 block of Capitol Avenue in the early hours of January 6. Cha and another officer arrived in the area following a noise complaint filed by one of the residents. The incident led to the shooting of Moore, and the happenings were recorded on a body-worn camera of the police officers.

According to Moore’s mother, the police could have scaled down the circumstances before the shooting happened. She also cited her son’s mental illness history.

Charges were filed against Moore regarding the incident, but it was later released in 2017. He died on January 20 last year while behind bars for a separate case. Prosecutors said his cause of death was linked to the gunshot wound he sustained from the 2017 shooting, which affected his colon and liver.

Earlier this 2021, San Francisco settled a lawsuit raised by Moore’s family for $3.25 million. The family was represented by civil rights attorney John Burris who said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the charges filed against Cha over the shooting incident.

“I’m hopeful that this represents sort of a new day”, he said as he mentioned other cases recently brought up against law enforcement in the city.