Christopher Samayoa, the first ever San Francisco Police Officer to be charged criminally as the result of a fatal officer-involved shooting, finally knows after five and one-half years that his future does not include standing trial for a split-second, life-and-death decision.
“DA Brooke Jenkins and AG Rob Bonta followed the law instead of wallowing in politics,” said Mike Rains, RLS Principal and Attorney for Samayoa. “We witnessed Samayoa endure six long years of dirty politics under then DA Chesa Boudin, when what should have been a year-long investigation and decision not to charge, turned into an unjust and prolonged ordeal,” Rains added.
In 2017, a violent carjacking suspect led police on a chase that abruptly concluded in a public-housing project located in San Francisco's Bayview area. During the pursuit, Officer Samayoa, then a rookie cop four days out of the police academy, was a passenger in a moving police vehicle when the suspect abruptly stopped his vehicle and jumped out, charging Samayoa while he was trying to open the front door. When the suspect suddenly appeared to reach for a weapon, Samayoa discharged his weapon through the car window, killing the suspect. Subsequently, Samayoa was charged with manslaughter then terminated from his position.
The California Attorney General's Office has chosen not to pursue the case after it was dismissed by District Attorney Brooke Jenkins in March 2023.
"This case highlights that integrity is back en vogue in San Francisco. Brooke Jenkins and her team had the fortitude to push back on the Boudin rhetoric and demonstrate the ethical charging discretion essential to a prosecutor, even in the face of adversity. The legitimacy of her decision is only reinforced by Mr. Bonta's office. Chris Samayoa can now get back to the life he is so deserving of. This case is a watershed reminder of why Boudin was recalled and that it is a new day in San Francisco," stated Julia Fox, RLS Partner and Attorney for Christopher Samayoa.