Protesters standing on the steps outside the Hall of Justice.
Sean Moore’s brother Ken Blackmon spoke against the decision. Photo by Will Jarrett.

This morning, some 30 protesters gathered outside the Hall of Justice to voice their anger after District Attorney Brooke Jenkins dropped homicide charges against San Francisco police officer Kenneth Cha last week.

“Say his name: Sean Moore!” the crowd chanted as speakers decried the decision, which was made more than a year and a half after charges were originally filed, and six years after Cha shot Moore on his front porch. Passing cars sporadically honked support.

“What is especially outrageous about Sean Moore’s death is that it was completely preventable and unnecessary,” said Yoel Haile, a director at the ACLU of Northern California. “Sean Moore is dead because the police were the first and only responders to a noise complaint, a mental health-related call.”

Several of the assembled activists characterized Moore’s death, and the subsequent lack of charges for the officer who shot him, as a pattern in which San Francisco police are not held accountable for violence. They mentioned the recent incidents in the Mission, where cops in riot gear broke up crowds on July 4, and during the Dolores Park hill bomb.

“After George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, it looked like something concrete might really happen, in terms of change,” said Reverend Arnold Townsend, vice president of the San Francisco branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “But now you’ve got people changing their mind, saying, ‘We want the cops back.’”

“They say Chesa Boudin’s experiment was a failure,” he added. “But their experiment has lasted 400 years, and y’all ain’t got it right yet. The only thing they’ve accomplished is putting Black people in jail.”

Kenneth Blackmon, Moore’s brother, said that the case had been unnecessarily drawn out. Moore was shot in 2017 and died in prison from complications related to the injury from the 2020 incident. Charges were filed against Cha by former District Attorney Chesa Boudin in 2021. But, after Boudin was recalled, the case was subject to multiple delays.

Last Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Derby Williams scheduled a preliminary hearing on the case for September, in what was seemingly a major step forward in the case. The next day, Williams called Blackmon to tell him that the case was actually being dropped.

“What I’m seeing now is a miscarriage of justice,” said Blackmon to the crowd, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the message, “Never Give Up.”

“They dragged this case on,” he said. “First, they waited out the recall. Then, they waited out the re-election, when [Jenkins] said she’s going to hold police accountable.”

Moore’s case was the third Boudin brought against a police officer for on-duty violence. All three cases have now been dismissed by Jenkins. In September 2021, Moore’s family received a $3.25 million settlement from the city as the result of a civil wrongful death suit, but the city did not admit any wrongdoing.

“The only thing that I can do, at this point, is write to the attorney general and ask them to investigate it,” said Rebecca Young. Young headed the case against Cha under former District Attorney Boudin, and now represents the Moore family privately.

“I’m, by nature, an extremely optimistic person,” said Young. “I continue to hold hope that they will do their job and do the right thing.” But she noted that a similar appeal to the attorney general in the case of Keita O’Neil, who was killed by rookie officer Christopher Samayoa in 2017, was recently unsuccessful.

Cha, who also shot and killed Nicholas Flusche in 2017, is still an officer with the San Francisco Police Department. He does not currently carry a firearm.

“I’m 80 years old,” said one protester writing “Jail Killer Cops” in chalk on the sidewalk. “Cops have been doing this all my life. This is nothing new.”

A protester writes "Jail Killer Cops" in chalk on the sidewalk.
Photo by Will Jarrett.


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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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  1. I watched the bodycam footage. The moment Mr. Moore came in he was extremely hostile and verbally abusive towards the cops. I don’t see how the cops could have deescalate the situation without Mr. Moore’s cooperation, which he had shown no interest of offering. In fact, it was Mr. Moore who was escalating things and was doing so the moment he opened the door to meet the police. I reckon Mr. Moore had mental illness and perhaps that was the reason he was so outwardly aggressive. However, the aggression he exhibited toward the two policemen far exceeded what I’d consider reasonable for a person to receive. If he was talking to say, a Starbucks cashier, with the same attitude; I’d have called the cops because his threatening speech and body language indicates someone on edge. Perhaps there should be a conversation regarding what is the maximum abuse that a policeman can take.
    When Mr. Moore approached the officers and physically snatched the documents that they were holding, it was obviously to me that he crossed the line. I thought the police was showing good restrain by simply taking his abuse without much objection. When he opened the gate and confronted the officers a second time with threatening language and body posture, I honestly thought he was in attack mode. My impression is that Mr. Moore was looking for a fight that night. You can argue that he was mentally ill and his aggression should be tolerated and that the police could have used a less deadly method to contain the threat. But I think what happened that night, however tragic, was not unreasonable given Mr. Moore overall behavior and attitude.

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  2. Sean Moore’s mother is a nurse who worked at SF General for about at least 30 years. Her husband was a MUNI driver for over 20 years and her surviving son worked in the juvenile Justice system for 20 years. Together they represent over 7 decades of service to our city. And yet, when a neighbor called about too much noise coming from Sean’s home, the police escalated the situation rather than respecting Mr Moore’s space on his own property, and then shot him. Where are the 24 hour mental health crisis services ( defunded) ? Where is the deescalation training in the 21st century and why are police not held accountable for not using it? Why was this family dragged through years of waiting only to have the case dropped a day after a hearing was scheduled for September? Why is it ok that a prosecutor on the case did not recuse herself while dating and then marrying one of the cops involved in the incident. The disrespect is astonishing. So a warning to all civil servants (other than cops , their families and politicians): your families, should they be suffering mental illness, are not safe here from the police. And by statistics, especially if they are Black or Brown.

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  3. 30 people. 30 in a city with a daily population of well over 1,000,000. 30 was what drew ML to the Hall ? Ok.

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