November 2, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO, California—San Francisco police officer Kenneth Cha was charged with manslaughter Tuesday, November 2, for the 2017 shooting of Sean Moore, an unarmed African-American man shot during a confrontation with officers outside his home and who died in 2020 from complications resulting from his injuries, according to KPIX5.
Officer Cha shot Moore on January 6, 2017, on the steps of his home on the 500 block of Capitol Ave in an Oceanview neighborhood after officers responded to a 4 a.m. noise complaint from a neighbor who had a noise restraining order against Moore, reports KPIX5.
Moore was described by family members as mentally ill and was combative with officers that January 6 morning. Police said during the confrontation, Moore kicked an officer in the face, retreated back into the house, then came back out and punched another officer who was wielding a baton before advancing on Cha who then opened fire—hitting Moore twice.
However, bodycam footage from officers showed Moore was trying to avoid baton strikes and retreated back into his house at the time he was shot, according to KPIX5.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin reviewed the case and his office presented an affidavit and supporting evidence to a judge, who also reviewed the evidence and issued a warrant for Cha’s arrest.
Officer Cha is charged with voluntary manslaughter, assault with a semi-automatic firearm, enhancements for personal use of a firearm, and infliction of great bodily injury.
This is the second homicide prosecution against a law enforcement officer in San Francisco history, reports KPIX5.
“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. Sean Moore was unarmed and at his own home when Officer Cha shot him twice,” said Boudin in a prepared statement. “After a thorough investigation, my office is holding Officer Cha accountable for the death of Sean Moore, whom he lacked a lawful basis to even arrest. When officers inflict unwarranted violence in flagrant disregard of their training, it denigrates the hard work of other police officers and shatters the trust our community places in law enforcement. Rebuilding that trust requires us to hold those officers who inflict unlawful violence accountable.”
The shooting lacerated Moore’s liver and struck his right colon, scarring internal organs and causing severe abdominal adhesions. Moore died in January 2020. The coroner’s office stated the cause of death was a homicide and that he died from acute intestinal obstruction as a result of the bullet wounds.
More was initially charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors stemming from the Janury 6 incident, however, charges were dismissed after a judge stated the officers were acting outside the scope of their duties when they remained on Moore’s property after he declined to be questioned.
The city of San Francisco settled a lawsuit filed by Moore’s family earlier this year for $3.25 million—the largest settlement of its kind in recent history, according to Chesa Boudin’s office.
Officer Cha was involved in another shooting four months after shooting Moore. In May 2020, Cha shot a knife-wielding man at a Market St. Subway restaurant who had attacked and stabbed an employee.
Feature Images via Henry K. Lee