A former rookie police officer in San Francisco was charged with manslaughter, nearly three years after he fatally shot an unarmed carjacking suspect, reports the New York Times. Ex-officer Christopher Samayoa, on his fourth day of field training after graduating from the police academy, killed Keita O’Neil, 42, on Dec. 1, 2017. District Attorney Chesa Boudin said it was believed to be the first homicide prosecution against a law enforcement officer in San Francisco history. Boudin, who was elected last year, said the charges represented “a small but significant step toward fulfilling a central platform of my campaign.”
Boudin said, “Police officers are obligated to follow the law when using force — even when responding to serious crimes. As district attorney, I will continue to hold accountable officers who inflict unlawful violence and breach the trust the public places in them.” The charges came at a time when high-profile killings of Black people have prompted protests against police brutality and calls for officers who kill civilians to be held accountable. April Green, O’Neil’s aunt, said she was “happy to hear this news’’ about the charges “and hoping it brings some justice to our family.” San Francisco Police Officers Association president Tony Montoya said the union was “committed to ensuring that Christopher and his family are supported during this difficult time and that he is accorded his due process rights and provided with a vigorous defense against these charges.” The union has said Samayoa was doing what he was trained to do when the shooting occurred.