San Francisco — San Francisco community members gathered on the steps of the Superior Court of California to demand that District Attorney Chesa Boudin drop the charges against Jamaica Hampton. On December 7, 2019, SFPD shot Jamaica Hampton, a 24-year old man in crisis. When Jamaica was already lying face-down on the ground, they shot him again. Jamaica nearly died and, as a result of the gunshot wounds, had to have his right leg amputated. He also suffered permanent nerve damage in his dominant arm. Now, after suffering a brutal and extrajudicial punishment at the hands of police, Jamaica is now being put on trial again–this time at the hands of our criminal system.. After his inauguration DA Chesa Boudin withdrew the charges against Jamaica, only to indict him alongside Officer Flores in December 2020.
San Francisco community members gathered on Monday to protest the charges against Jamaica Hampton. In a speech to the people gathered, Jamaica’s Public Defender Danielle Harris affirmed, “I don’t believe that our legal system or community have anything to gain from prosecuting Jamaica Hampton given the swift and severe street justice that was dealt to him by police.” She added,“As Jamaica’s lawyer, I look forward to helping him navigate the court process in a way that will hopefully minimize further trauma to him and his community.”
One community member read a statement written by Kim (last name redacted to protect identity), Jamaica’s second mother and a consistent figure in his life. In this statement, Kim noted how Jamaica had grown up homeless for much of his life: “Jamaica told me once on a weekend visit that he would dream about having a home to go to after school and how he would daydream about being a normal kid. I saw great pain in this young boy.”
At the end of the rally, Fabián Fernández, a medical student and member of the Do No Harm Coalition, demanded justice for Jamaica Hampton. “As healthcare workers we know that justice is the best medicine. Justice means having a safe place to sleep, food, and safety – it means having a system that didn’t fail so miserably to support Jamaica and his family growing up. Justice means having mental health crisis support teams on the streets instead of police – so the next time someone is having a mental health crisis we don’t shoot them. Justice means supporting victims of police shootings – not bringing them to court.”
Although Jamaica Hampton was unable to show up to the rally because he was scheduled to attend the arraignment virtually, he was able make a video-call into the crowd to see everyone gathered and thank them for showing up. At the end of the rally community members gathered singing “DA Drop the Charges / Drop the Charges Now!”