Today the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office dismissed all criminal charges against San Francisco Police Officer Chris Flores.
“We are thrilled about the dismissal of the case, but still extremely disturbed that then-District Attorney Chesa Boudin brought charges in the first place. This is one of so many cases that are part of a troubling trend of improperly-motivated prosecutions against police officers which prioritize political agendas over unbiased investigations and established law. The heroism displayed by these officers merits proper recognition." said RLS Partner Nicole Pifari.
On December 7, 2019, Officer Flores was still in his department’s field training program for new officers when he responded with his field training officer to frantic 911 calls that a man had kicked down the door of a Mission neighborhood resident. When the officers saw the man walking nearby and pulled their police vehicle over to make contact with him, the man brutally attacked the more senior officer before he could even start exiting the passenger seat. The unprovoked attacker became more violent when Officer Flores tried to help the victim officer, at which point the assailant turned and bludgeoned Flores repeatedly over the head with an empty vodka bottle. In those moments, Officer Flores suffered great bodily harm in the form of a serious head injury. The attack was (fortunately) partially captured by nearby surveillance cameras.
In the melee that followed, both his training officer and Officer Flores fired at their assailant, who was struck by some of that gunfire and sustained serious injuries. Approximately one year later in 2020, then-district attorney Boudin charged Officer Flores with negligent discharge of a firearm and assault by a public officer, both felonies carrying lengthy potential prison sentences.
“We need more focus in our community on accountability for those who instigate violence, and less criticism, no-less criminalization, of the split-second decisions made by police officers being violently attacked,” said Pifari.
Pifari added, “we’re thankful for police officers like Chris Flores, who responded to protect innocent citizens, and literally risked his life to confront a dangerous man who had just forced entry into a home then viciously attacked his partner without warning. We are relieved the charges were dropped. It is incredibly backward to charge the victim of a violent attack with crimes for defending himself. When those charges are brought against police officers who are out there just trying to protect us and who are then forced to defend themselves, the effect is apparent all around us in San Francisco.”