San Francisco Police Officer Kenneth Cha has been charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting an unarmed man by the name of Sean Moore who suffered from schizophrenia. Also, Cha faces a charge of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
“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,” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said, according to KTLA.
“Sean Moore was unarmed and at his own home when Officer Cha shot him twice.”
Cha's attorney, Scott Burrell, said the charges were unexpected and surprising.
"The facts of this case have never changed,” Burrell told KTLA.
“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.”
The incident in question took place on January 6, 2017, at Moore's home. Officers arrived at the scene after Moore's neighbors called to report that he had allegedly violated a restraining order that prohibited noise harassment. After officers confronted Moore, he denied violating the restraining order and asked them to leave. As the encounter unfolded, Cha pepper-sprayed Moore. From there, KTLA reports that body camera footage shows Moore retreating up the stairs as officers chase after him with metal batons. After Cha's partner struck Moore, Moore allegedly hit him back. As Cha's partner appeared to fall down the stairs, Cha pulled out his gun and shot Moore twice in the torso. Moore eventually died in 2020 and the coroner determined that "he died from acute intestinal obstruction as a result of the bullet wounds."
Despite the coroner's report and body camera footage, the San Francisco Police Officers Association has pledged to 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,” San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya told KTLA.
“We support Officer Cha’s constitutionally protected right to present his defense against these charges that stemmed from this extremely volatile incident.”
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.