Families of Black men killed by five police officers ask attorney general to step in
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The families of two black men killed by San Francisco police is pressing the District Attorney’s office to file charges against the officers who shot them, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mario Woods and Luis Góngora Pat’s family members refuse to give up hope that justice will be served against the five city cops involved in their shooting deaths. Although they have filed civil suits against the city of San Francisco, the real push is getting another District Attorney to see things their way and punish the cops who killed the men.
District Attorney George Gascón already failed to bring criminal charges against police officers so the family is appealing to another prosecutor, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. They hope Becerra will take up the controversial killings and bring murder charges against the cops.
“This is not the end,” said attorney John Burris who is representing the families. “And, hopefully, this is just the beginning.”
Woods was shot at more than 20 times and Burris said because of video evidence, the police should have at least had manslaughter charges levied against them.
“Criminal conduct has taken place,” Burris said. “Holding people accountable for voluntary manslaughter is clearly an option that should have been exercised.”
Mario Woods was killed in December 2015. Police said they responded to a stabbing report and Woods was allegedly holding a blade. They claim when officers approached, 26-year-old Woods shouted: “You’re gonna have to f—ing shoot me.”
Similarly, Góngora Pat, was shot in April 2016 after police found him in possession of an 8-inch knife. Police claim the 45-year-old threatened them. An autopsy later revealed that Pat had methamphetamine in his system at a level “high enough to kill or hospitalize a non-habitual user.”
While Burris admits while it’s a longshot getting Becerra to consider the cases, he’s up for the challenge.
“It hasn’t worked successfully, no,” he said. “But I just feel like I’m obligated to do something. … Otherwise, there’s no hope.”