City to pay family of homeless man killed by police $140k to settle lawsuit

Shooting occurred after report of man with knife at Mission District encampment

San Francisco will pay the family of a homeless man who was shot and killed by police in San Francisco’s Mission District in 2016 $140,000 under the terms of a proposed legal settlement.

Nearly three years after Luis Gongora Pat’s death, his family and city officials agreed on a settlement last month in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in October 2016, the San Francisco Examiner reported previously.

Gongora Pat was shot on April 7, 2016 near the 18th and Shotwell streets encampment in which he lived by Sgt. Nathaniel “Nate” Steger and Officer Michael Malone, who responded to a report of a man waving a knife. The interaction between Gongora and the officers took less than 30 seconds.

His death was one in a series of high profile police shootings that sparked a 17-day hunger strike by anti-police brutality activists outside of Mission Police Station and ultimately resulted in the resignation of then-Police Chief Greg Suhr in 2016.

District Attorney George Gascon announced in May last year that the officers involved in Gongora’s shooting would not face charges. A report by the District Attorney’s Office found that a majority of the witnesses interviewed by investigators saw Gongora Pat move toward the officers — a narrative contradicted by the lawsuit, which alleged that Gongora Pat was facing away from the officers at the time of the shooting.

The City’s Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the settlement in the coming weeks, and further approval by the mayor is needed.

Last January, a $250,000 settlement was reached in the death of Amilcar Perez Lopez, a 20-year old Guatemalan man who was fatally shot by San Francisco police officers in the Mission District in 2015.

The details of a settlement reached last month in a wrongful death lawsuit in the case of Mario Woods, who was shot 21 one times in the Bayview District after police said he refused to drop a knife, are not yet public.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

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