SF DA says 2019 OIS case is 'politically motivated,' wants charges dismissed against officer
"I was handed, when I took over, what I believed were politically based and politically motivated prosecutions against police officers."
By Sam Mauhay-Moore
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins reportedly filed a motion on Thursday requesting that all charges be dropped against a San Francisco Police Department officer who shot and critically injured a man in the Mission District in 2019.
In a follow-up interview with KTVU, Jenkins said that the case was "politically motivated" by her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, and that there was "exculpatory evidence" — two witness statements that Jenkins alleged were previously not considered in the case — strengthening the officer's self-defense claims.
SFPD officer Christopher Flores was originally indicted on charges of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, assault by a public officer and negligent discharge of a firearm after shooting Jamaica Hampton on Mission and 23rd streets in December 2019.
After being stopped on suspicion of burglary, Hampton struck Flores with a broken glass bottle before being shot multiple times by Flores' partner, officer Sterling Hayes.
Surveillance footage of the incident shows that Flores then shot Hampton while Hampton was crawling on the ground, Mission Local reported.
Hampton was also indicted and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault upon a peace officer with force likely to cause great bodily injury, threatening an officer, and vandalism. His leg was amputated as a result of the shooting.
The case was taken to a grand jury by former District Attorney Boudin, whose prosecutors offered to settle the case if Flores agreed to attend a counseling session and meet with Hampton, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. (SFGATE and the Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but have separate newsrooms.) Flores reportedly declined this offer. Charges against Hampton were eventually dropped after he agreed to a mental health diversion program.
"I was handed, when I took over, what I believed were politically based and politically motivated prosecutions against police officers where there was clearly not enough evidence to prove their guilt," Jenkins said to KTVU.
Jenkins used the same language earlier this year in announcing her decision to drop charges against SFPD officer Christopher Samayoa, who shot and killed carjacking suspect Keita O'Neil in 2017. Jenkins claimed the charges against Samayoa were filed by Boudin's office for "political reasons."
Thursday's motion also comes less than two weeks after Jenkins announced her office would not pursue murder charges against a Walgreens security guard who shot and killed Banko Brown, a transgender Black man, for allegedly shoplifting.
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