It Happened 'in Just 8 Minutes.' Now, a Cop Charged

DA: Kenneth Cha shot unarmed man in 2017; the man died last January
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2021 9:40 AM CDT
On-Duty SF Officer Charged With Homicide
In this Jan. 30, 2020, file photo, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin poses outside his office in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

For just the second time, an on-duty law enforcement officer in San Francisco is being prosecuted for a homicide, according to the district attorney's office. Officer Kenneth Cha faces charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, among others, after allegedly shooting an unarmed Sean Moore—who had schizophrenia, per the AP—on the doorstep of his home in the early hours of Jan. 6, 2017. Cha and his partner, Colin Patino, had been responding to a report that Moore had violated a restraining order related to noise harassment when Cha shot the man twice, according to the DA's office.

Moore died three years later on Jan. 20, 2020, at the age of 46, of what a coroner determined was "acute intestinal obstruction" caused by bullet wounds to his abdomen. He'd denied violating the restraining order and asked the officers to leave, per the New York Times. Instead, a fight broke out with Cha pepper-spraying Moore and Patino hitting him with his baton, according to the DA's office. Moore then struck back, causing Patino to fall down some stairs, at which point Cha allegedly fired his weapon. "The shooting lacerated Moore's liver and struck his right colon, scarring internal organs and causing severe abdominal adhesions," per KPIX.

"In just eight minutes, Officer Cha elevated a nonviolent encounter to one that took Sean Moore's life," DA Chesa Boudin said Tuesday. He added Cha "lacked a lawful basis to even arrest" Moore, who died in prison while serving time for an unrelated offense. Boudin said a judge reviewed the evidence and put out a warrant for the officer's arrest. Three courts previously found the officers used unlawful force against Moore. San Francisco settled a lawsuit brought by Moore's family for $3.25 million in June, per the Times. Moore's mother said she was "very happy" to learn of the charges, while the San Francisco Police Officers Association said it would support Cha. It described Moore as "very hostile," per the AP. (More homicide stories.)

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