Family of man killed by SFPD officer critical of DA's plan to dismiss charges

The family of a San Francisco man killed by a police officer is demanding justice.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said she plans to dismiss charges against the officer responsible – charges that her predecessor Chesa Boudin brought against the officer.

Keita O'Neil's aunt said the officer needs to be held accountable.

"If it was a white man that got out of that van.  I believe he would be alive," said April Green. 

This is the scene of a deadly police shooting in Bayview District on Dec. 1, 2017.

The unarmed carjacking suspect shot and killed  by a rookie police officer.

Body cam footage released shows Officer Chris Samayoa fired his weapon through the glass window of the patrol car he was riding in. 

Green said she wants justice.

"Not all police officers are bad. But there are those who are bad seeds.  And they need to be held accountable for when they put on that blue uniform with intent of abusing it," said Green.  

In 2020, then-District Attorney Chesa Boudin made the historic move of charging the fired officer with manslaughter, but voters recalled Boudin last fall. 

Now, current District Attorney Brooke Jenkins plans to dismiss the case against the officer responsible.

"It was disappointing. I should have expected it. I keep hoping that she would do right," said Green.  

Jenkins issued a written statement that says in part: "the irregularities and facts that have come to light surrounding the case against Officer Samayoa suggest that the charges were not filed in good faith, appear to have been politically-motivated, and have made it impossible for us to proceed forward with this prosecution."
In response to KTVU'S request for an interview, former District Attorney Chesa Boudin wrote in part, "Jenkins' dismissal is offensive, and her excuses are dishonest: We charged this case based on the facts-the same facts that led the police department to fire the officer, led the judge to sign the arrest warrant, and led the city to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit with Keita O'Neil's family."

"This case is not just about my nephew.  My nephew is gone.  He's not coming back.  This is about future black and brown men and the interaction they have with the police," said Green.  

She described her 42-year- old nephew as a follower who got caught up with the wrong people, but that he did not deserve to die.

Green and Jenkins  have requested that State Attorney General Rob Bonta take over this case.

"I want to believe in this system of justice.  I want to believe it's a fair system," said Green.  

Unless the State Attorney General takes over the case,  Jenkins is expected to dismiss the charges against the officer in a hearing scheduled for March 1. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU