San Francisco faces lawsuit over officer-involved shooting death of unarmed suspect

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area civil rights attorney John Burris has filed a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco and two police officers in connection with the December 1 fatal shooting of Keita O'Neil. Burris says, "In my view this is premeditated murder."

Authorities say the 42 year old O'Neil carjacked a state lottery van in the Potrero Hill neighborhood and drove to the Bayview. When police responded he got out and ran. A rookie officer, Christopher Samayoa, on the force just four days fired from inside the patrol car, striking O'Neil who did not have a gun. Burris gestured with his hands to show how he believes Officer Samayoa reacted.

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"Seeing the officer unholster his weapon, put a sight on Mr. O'Neil as he was coming toward him, and as he got close to the car he shot thru the window. that's premeditated," Burris said.

Some of the shooting is captured on the officer's body worn camera, though it wasn't immediately activated as police policy calls for. Burris is highly critical of that and of the unidentified training officer riding with the rookie, who is also named in the lawsuit. In addition the lawyers are demanding San Francisco 's District Attorney file criminal charges. The DA's office is one of several agencies investigating. Alex Bastian, is District Attorney George Gascon's spokesperson. He says the investigation is underway.

" These cases are very important for us and these cases are very important for the community and we're doing everything we can to not only do this investigation quickly but correctly."

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The plaintiff in the case is Judy O'Neil, Keita O'Neil's elderly mother.

Burris is contacting the U.S. Attorney's office and the Justice Department, asking them to get involved in the case. Locally, the SFPD Homicide Division and Internal Affairs are investigating as well as the city attorney, and district attorney.
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