San Francisco, CA – A San Francisco judge dropped the charges on April 16 against a man who attacked police officers with a vodka bottle in 2019.
Jamaica Hampton, 25, was inducted by a grand jury on seven charges that included assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest, KTVU reported.
The judge dismissed the charges based on a procedural error by prosecutors involving identification of the defendant.
The incident which led up to the shooting began when police received a report of a “hot prowl burglary” at 7:47 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2019 during which the male suspect had forced open the door of an apartment in the 900-block of Capp Street, according to KPIX.
The suspect fled the scene before police arrived five minutes later, but a few minutes later, 911 received another call nearby about a man who was trying to break into parked cars.
Officers searched the area and found Hampton wearing clothing that matched the description of the suspect, KPIX reported.
The officers stopped their patrol SUV and attempted to make contact with Hampton at an intersection after he crossed the street right in front of their vehicle, surveillance video showed.
The passenger door of the SUV opened and surveillance footage from nearby cameras showed that Hampton turned around and lunged the officer in the passenger seat.
Police said Hampton “aggressively advanced” on San Francisco Police Officer Sterling Hayes with a 200 ml glass vodka bottle and attacked him, KPIX reported.
His partner, Officer Flores, jumped out from the driver’s side and rushed around the rear of the vehicle to help.
But before Officer Flores had made his way around the back of the SUV, Hampton was rushing at him while brandishing the bottle, KPIX reported.
Hampton repeatedly struck Officer Flores in the face and on the head with the bottle, causing lacerations to his cheek under his right eye, the video showed.
Officer Hayes jumped into the fray to help his partner and Hampton took off down the sidewalk, with the officers right behind him.
Both officers repeatedly told Hampton to drop the bottle and to get on the ground but he ignored them, KPIX reported.
They attempted to deploy pepper spray at the suspect but were unsuccessful.
The video showed that both officers drew their weapons as Hampton played a game of cat-and-mouse with them, dodging across the street and onto the opposite sidewalk before he turned and rushed directly at Officer Hayes with the bottle still in his right hand.
Officer Hayes opened fire on Hampton, the video showed.
He fired six shots and Hampton dropped to the ground.
But the video showed the suspect didn’t stay down.
A split-second later, Hampton got back onto his feet and Officer Flores fired one shot to knock him down again, the video showed.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office confirmed that Hampton’s case was dismissed “based on a technical deficiency around establishing Mr. Hampton’s identification,” KTVU reported.
“We presented evidence of identification, including video evidence, but the judge ruled it was insufficient,” Rachel Marshall, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, explained.
Marshall said Boudin’s office planned to refile charges against Hampton, KTVU reported.
Boudin’s office also went after a grand jury indictment of Officer Flores and got it on Dec. 4, 2020.
Officer Flores has been charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm, negligent discharge of a firearm, and assault by a public officer for defending himself and his partner against Hampton’s attack, KTVU reported.
The fact that Hampton’s case was dismissed due to mistakes made by the prosecutor’s office became public about the same time a second recall campaign was launched in the city against Boudin, who was elected in November.
Hampton’s attorney has claimed her client was experiencing a mental health crisis when he attacked the officers, KTVU reported.
Activists have demanded charges be dropped because Hampton was so seriously wounded by police gunfire that he lost a leg.