DA moves to dismiss case against SF police officer in Jamaica Hampton shooting

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss all charges against a city police officer who shot an assault suspect more than three years ago in the Mission District while on duty.

Jenkins called the case "politically motivated" while revealing her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, had quietly offered to dismiss the charges with next to no punishment – a deal the officer, Christopher Flores, still rejected.

Flores was facing charges of negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a firearm and assault under the color of authority for shooting Jamaica Hampton during a melee with police in December 2019.

Hampton, whose leg was amputated after the shooting, took his own deal with Boudin’s office – accepting mental health diversion in exchange for getting the felony charges against him dropped. 

Jenkins said she moved to dismiss the charges against Flores because a grand jury that indicted both him and Hampton did not see exculpatory evidence that the officer fired his gun in self-defense. 

"There were two witnesses that indicated facts that were consistent with Officer Flores having acted in self-defense and those witness statements were not presented to the grand jury," Jenkins said during an interview with KTVU. 

The case is the second against an officer for an on-duty shooting that Jenkins has dumped since taking office, drawing criticism from police accountability activists that she’s being too lenient on officers.

Jenkins is also facing scrutiny for her decision to not charge a Walgreens security guard in the fatal shooting of Banko Brown, a shoplifting suspect, who authorities said threatened to stab the private security guard but was not armed.  

"This is just the latest chapter in what has turned out to be a sad, sad book of criminal injustice in the city of San Francisco for victims of police abuse," said civil rights attorney Adante Pointer, who's representing Hampton in a federal civil lawsuit against the city and its police department. 

Pointer accused Jenkins of acting politically in her decisions around police prosecutions. He said Hampton will never fully recover. 

"He sustained serious life-long injuries, and he got those injuries because a San Francisco police officer refused to have any sort or restraint in their use of deadly force," Pointer said.


Charges against Jamaica Hampton dismissed by SF judge

Charges against Jamaica Hampton were dismissed on Friday. Hampton was indicted after an attack on police on Dec. 7, 2019.

Before being recalled in 2022, Boudin campaigned on holding law enforcement more accountable and filed charges against several officers for on-duty use-of-force cases. None ended in guilty verdicts at trial.

"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 told KTVU.

The episode began on Dec. 7, 2019 when police responded to an apartment near 23rd and Mission on reports of a man breaking into an apartment. 

Flores and Officer Sterling Hayes ran into Hampton on the street where he began pummeling both officers and struck Flores in the face with a  glass vodka bottle, police said. Toxicology reports showed that Hampton had the dissociative drug ketamine  in his system. 

The officers chased Hampton on foot before he turned and charged them. Hayes then opened fire, shooting Hampton. Flores fired after Hampton was on the ground already shot, officials said. 

Hampton was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a peace officer and other crimes after he was discharged from the hospital where his leg was amputated.

Boudin took the case to a grand jury, which recommended charges for both Flores and Hampton. But the case almost immediately ran into problems. 

A judge dismissed the charges against Hampton in April 2021 after a newly-hired prosecutor failed the basic step of establishing identification of the defendant during the grand jury process. 

Boudin’s office refiled the charges before quietly dropping them again after Hampton agreed to mental health diversion. 

In a motion to dismiss the charges against Flores on Thursday, Jenkins said Boudin’s office did not present "exculpatory evidence of self-defense" to the grand jury, and she could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Flores was not acting in self-defense.

What’s more, Jenkins wrote that Boudin’s office had offered "essentially a full dismissal of all charges against Flores were he willing to attend a ‘one-day shoot/don’t shoot use of force training,’ meet with a counselor or ‘case manager’ who would ‘make recommendations about how to proceed in a way that helps promote emotional and social healing,’ and some sort of meeting with co-Defendant Hampton as part of ‘Restorative Justice’ model of resolution."

Despite the offer to have his case dismissed with minimal consequence, Flores rejected the offer. 

Evan Sernoffsky is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email Evan at evan.sernoffsky@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @EvanSernoffsky