DA Boudin Announces the Historic Filing of Homicide Charges Against the Former Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Keita O’Neil

Experts in police practices commended District Attorney Boudin’s announcement.  “Criminal prosecutions of police officers for excessive use of force have been exceedingly rare, resulting in a deep erosion of trust when communities feel law enforcement officers are above the law,” said longtime police reform advocate and retired ACLU police practices expert John Crew.  “In San Francisco, this lack of accountability has too often become normalized.  District Attorney Boudin’s willingness to apply the law’s standards to the conduct of a police officer, and, where legally justified, criminally prosecute an officer for homicide may help to reverse that trend.”

Angela Chan, civil rights attorney and former Police Department Commissioner, explained the context of this decision. “We have to confront the problematic culture of SFPD that allows officer involved shootings to occur without serious and objective investigations,” she said.  “For many years, the highest ranks of SFPD have rewarded officer involved shootings by awarding medals of valor[1] when an officer shoots and kills a community member, particularly Black, Latino, and Asian American community members, and even when an internal affairs investigation is pending.”

Given the age of this incident, the District Attorney’s Office did not request former Officer Samayoa’s pretrial detention and a judge signed a warrant for his arrest with a nominal $1,000 bail.  Former Officer Samayoa is expected to surrender on the warrant later this week.


  1. ^ awarding medals of valor (www.sfgate.com)

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