SF District Attorney Jenkins Protested by Families of Police Shooting Victims at Rally in Front of Her Office – Advocates Urge Former DA Boudin’s Replacement to Prosecute SFPD Officers

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Families of police shooting victims Keita O’Neil, Luis Gongora Pat and Sean Moore and community advocates Thursday demanded San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins prosecute the SFPD police officers they charge “murdered” O’Neil, Moore and Gongora Pat. 

Standing in front of Jenkin’s office, the families of the three victims urged Jenkins to commit to prosecuting the officers, noting there have been civil lawsuits and settlements awarded to the families—independent investigations and disciplinary actions, they said, have also been done.

Advocates and families charged the cases “offer a preview of how DA Jenkins will approach future police shootings and excessive use of force cases.”

“We have deep concerns with how DA Jenkins has treated the families of these victims and with the direction she is taking their cases. These families deserve swift and timely action to hold the officers who killed their loved ones accountable,” noted Abdi Soltani, Executive Director, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

“The officer who killed Keita O’Neil was fired from the San Francisco Police Department. All three families have won civil lawsuits over these cases. Even the police department and city believes these officers did something wrong. So why isn’t the district attorney working with complete urgency to hold them accountable?” said James Burch, Anti Police-Terror Project.

The advocates charged that, in 2017, “rookie cop Chris Samayoa shot and killed the unarmed O’Neil, and a few months after the shooting, Samayoa was fired by SFPD.”

They noted that three years later, former District Attorney Chesa Boudin filed felony criminal charges against Samayoa for voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, excessive force, and assault with a firearm. This was the first time in San Francisco that a district attorney brought homicide charges against a police officer, Boudin said.

Criminal justice reformers “applauded this move as a first step to finally holding police officers accountable when they break the law. But when DA Jenkins took office, she demoted the attorney working on the case and delayed the hearing against Samayoa until November,” said advocates.

“Just when we had a spark of hope that the officer who killed my nephew would be brought to justice, Jenkins got rid of the attorney who had been working on the case for years, who I had built a trusting relationship with, and delayed the preliminary hearing. After meeting with DA Jenkins and Darby Williams, I do not believe that they are prioritizing victims of police killings. I’m worried this is a stalling tactic to delay any action until after the election,” said April Green, aunt of victim Keita O’Neil

Also in attendance at Thursday’s rally were the families of Luis Gongora Pat and Sean Moore. 

“In 2016, SFPD officers Michael Mellone and Nate Steger shot and killed Gongora Pat, an immigrant worker who was unhoused at the time, in the Mission neighborhood. By all witness accounts, Mr. Góngora was just sitting alone on the ground, minding his own business, when he was attacked by officers with a bean bag rifle and firearm rounds,” according to a statement by community advocates.

They explained, “The Department of Police Accountability, an SFPD oversight agency, found the officers breached SFPD time and distance policies in his killing. SFPD Internal Affairs backed the DPA’s recommended suspension of the officers. The IIB unit under D.A. Chesa Boudin was preparing to file charges when his term in office ended. In 2019, San Francisco reached an agreement to settle a federal wrongful death lawsuit brought by Gongora Pat’s family.”

“All of this year, we were in contact with the attorney who at the time was preparing to file charges against Luis’s killers. We saw the binders of evidence the team had prepared. We know there was a Grand Jury of legal experts who agreed there was evidence to prosecute. We know the DA was deciding on whether to request a Grand Jury convene to decide on the indictment of the officers or possibly file charges directly. That’s how close Luis’s family and our community were to seeing justice served at last,” maintained Adriana Camarena, a friend and supporter of the family with Justice for Luis Góngora Pat.

“My brother was unjustly and brutally murdered by police. He was a loving father, brother, son. We know that the attorney at the DA’s office was ready to file charges against his killers, but she was fired by DA Jenkins. We immediately requested a meeting with the new attorney, but we were rudely turned away. We have heard nothing from the DA’s office. It’s been six and a half years of suffering for me and my family. We cannot wait any longer, we want justice, these cops should be charged by the DA,” said Jose Gongora Pat, brother of Luis Gongora Pat.

Advocates recounted how, in 2017, “Officer Kenneth Cha shot Moore who was unarmed and standing in the entryway of his home. Moore subsequently died of health complications due to his gunshot wounds in 2020. Former DA Boudin also brought charges against the officer who killed Moore in 2021. That same year, the victim’s family reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit with the City of San Francisco.”

“My son was diagnosed with a mental illness. He didn’t deserve to die. Police Officer Kenneth Cha should be held accountable, but DA Jenkins has given us zero information about his case. I hope that District Attorney Jenkins will serve justice,” said Cleo Moore, mother of Sean Moore

“It is unacceptable that this interim district attorney is delaying justice for these families. Justice delayed is justice denied. We will not let this go. We will stand with these families every step of the way to make sure they get justice,” added Nicole Christian, Social and Economic Committee Justice Chair, SEIU 1021.

The victims’ families were joined by community groups, labor unions, and police accountability advocates including the ACLU of Northern California, Anti-Police Terror Project, San Francisco Rising, Reimagine Youth Justice Coalition, Causa Justa Just Cause, Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth, SEIU 1021, and the Coalition on Homelessness. 

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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1 Comment

  1. Walter Shwe

    I stand firmly with the families of the victims. Across this nation District Attorneys have shielded law enforcement from prosecution for murders committed by police officers. This is morally and ethically wrong.

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