Family faults S.F. police officers for shooting man
The man who was shot and seriously wounded by two San Francisco police officers in the Ocean View neighborhood had a history of mental illness that was known to the police, his family said Thursday.
At a town hall meeting a block from where 42year-old Sean Moore was shot early last Friday, his family questioned why officers responded with lethal force amid a department-wide push toward creating time and distance and using deescalation tactics with subjects in mental crisis.
“He’s not an animal,” said his mother, Cleo Moore. “He’s a person with a mental condition. I don’t think he deserved to have been shot in his own home.”
Police said the two officers had been responding to reports of a restraining order violation when they first came in contact with Moore about 4:15 a.m. Interim Chief Toney Chaplin said the officers had no warning of his mental health history.
The shooting was the first officer-involved incident of 2017, as well as the first one captured on the department’s new body-worn cameras. According to Cmdr. Greg McEachern, the footage showed Moore yelling profanities at the officers through a locked gate as they attempted to speak to him about the restraining order violation.
Moore eventually opened the gate to grab the restraining order papers from the officers as they stood a few steps below him. An officer deployed pepper spray, McEachern said, prompting Moore to kick one of the officer’s in the face before retreating back into the house.
As an officer called an ambulance, Moore reopened the front door, threw the papers on the ground and walked out into the street. One of the officers told him he was under arrest, and struck him in the lower leg with a baton, McEachern said.
Moore punched that officer, and when he advanced on the second officer, McEachern said, that officer shot twice.
Moore retreated into his home, where he called 911. After a short standoff, a tactical team went inside and Moore was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he remained Thursday.
Members of the public expressed dismay that while McEachern provided details from the body-worn camera footage, officials declined to show it. Chaplin said, “We will make the determination (to show the footage) once the investigation is complete.”
McEachern’s accounting of the body camera footage also contradicted original reports provided to the media. Officials said last Friday that Moore had taken an officer’s baton, thus prompting the shooting.
Officials also originally told the media that Moore suffered nonlifethreatening injuries, before changing his condition to life-threatening. According to his family, Moore was struck in his stomach and in his groin and has gone through two surgeries to repair damage to his colon and liver.
“There’s been a lot of contradicting information released,” said Ken Blackmon, Moore’s brother.
Blackmon said his brother had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but was overall a gentle person who “never put his hands on anybody.”
“We’ve been trying for some time to get him help, but based on the fact that he’s an adult, we’ve always been told that he makes his own decisions, you can’t decide for him,” he said.
For the Jan. 6 incident, Moore was charged with assault on a police officer.