SAN FRANCISCO — An officer of the San Francisco Police Department was charged Tuesday with voluntary manslaughter after a man he shot in 2017 died from his injuries, progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced.
Officer Kenneth Cha was charged with voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm, along with enhancements accusing him of inflicting great bodily injury, in the death of Sean Moore, who was shot on Jan. 6, 2017. However, Moore did not die from his injuries until last year, KTLA reported.
Attorney Scott Burrell is representing Cha. He called the decision to file charges surprising and disappointing, particularly since Boudin is likely to face a recall election soon.
“The facts of this case have never changed,” Burrell said in a statement. “Officer Cha lawfully shot his firearm while defending himself and his partner against a dangerous and violent assault. Only naked politics at best are at play here.”
SFPD responded to Moore’s home after a neighbor called police to report the man was violating a temporary restraining order that prohibited noise harassment. Officers encountered Moore on the doorstep of his residence.
Body-worn camera footage shows Moore denying harassing his neighbor and repeatedly cursing at Cha and his partner, Officer Colin Patino. As he flung expletives at the officers, he demanded they leave. According to video, the verbal confrontation escalates, which leads to Cha deploying pepper-spray on Moore, KTLA reported.
Moore retreats upstairs as officers follow him with batons in their grasp. Patino strikes Moore with his baton and the non-compliant suspect fights back, causing the officer to fall down the stairs.
As a result, Cha draws his weapon and Moore kicks in his direction. Cha then fires, striking Moore twice in the abdomen.
Moore was charged with various crimes, but they were later dismissed by a judge citing a lack of evidence.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association said it will support Cha during the legal process.
“Officers responded to a call for service and encountered the very hostile Sean Moore who was accused of violating a restraining order,” SFPOA President Tony Montoya said in a statement. “We support Officer Cha’s constitutionally protected right to present his defense against these charges that stemmed from this extremely volatile incident.”
At the time of his death last year, Moore, 46, was serving time at San Quentin State Prison on unrelated charges, according to KTLA. The coroners’ report rule his death a homicide due to acute intestinal obstruction as a result of the bullet wounds.
The anti-police district attorney who undermines law and order blamed the violence on the officer.
“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,” Boudin said in a statement. “Sean Moore was unarmed and at his own home when Officer Cha shot him twice.”
Earlier this year, the city of San Francisco paid $3.25 million to Moore’s mother, Cleo Moore, to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.