San Francisco officer charged with fatally shooting Black man Keita O’Neil

Former cop Chris Samayoa was charged in the death of Keita O'Neil, the first prosecution case against an officer in San Francisco's history.

A former San Francisco police officer was recently charged with homicide in the death of Keita O’Neil, a 42-year-old Black man.

The shooting occurred back in 2017, per CNN. But on Monday, former officer Chris Samayoa was charged with “voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, assault by police officer and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence,” per a press release. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

This is the first prosecution case against an officer in the city’s history.

Keita O'Neil
Keita O’Neil (Credit: Facebook)

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Samayoa’s body camera caught footage of him fatally shooting O’Neil on December 1, 2017. O’Neil hopped out of a vehicle he was riding in after being followed by the police due to suspicion of a carjacking. He began to take off on foot and that is when Samayoa shot him from the passenger window on a patrol car. O’Neil did not have a weapon.

“Police officers are obligated to follow the law when using force — even when responding to serious crimes. As District Attorney, I will continue to hold accountable officers who inflict unlawful violence and breach the trust the public places in them,” said District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a statement.

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Samayoa was fired in March 2018 due to the incident.

“I am happy to hear this news, and hoping it brings some justice to our family,” said O’Neil’s aunt, April Green, to ABC7News.

The family attorney John Burris was relieved about the outcome but says more could have been done.

“I was quite pleased to see it,” Burris said. “I was a little surprised that it wasn’t murder, but I understand the DA thinks manslaughter is a charge that is easier to prove than murder.”

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