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Why you can’t trust SFPD: Update on police shooting of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding

July 21, 2011
Hundreds packed the Bayview Opera House Wednesday for a meeting called by Police Chief Greg Suhr, previously the Bayview precinct captain, who presided over numerous SFPD atrocities against residents. The Examiner’s caption for this photo reads, “Boiling over: Bayview residents, angry over the recent killing of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding, met Police Chief Greg Suhr with shouts and curses when he tried to discuss the issue and take questions.” – Photo: Mike Koozmin, San Francisco Examiner
Please join us Friday, July 22, for a community vigil, “Mourn the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living,” at 6 p.m. at the corner of Third Street and Palou in Mendell Plaza. The recent events in the Bayview have demonstrated a community that is tired of violence, whether it’s at the hands of the San Francisco Police Department or other means.

We’ll be building a community altar, so please bring pictures or keepsakes of loved ones lost to violence. We want to create a space where Bayview folks can talk about how violence in the community has impacted us, and also to talk about where we go from here. – Alicia Garza, POWER, (415) 864-8372, ext. 305

by Davey D

Here’s a few stories and updates on the recent tragic shooting of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding this past Saturday in San Francisco’s Bayview district. First we have our Hard Knock Radio coverage where we spoke to several witnesses to the shooting along with community activists.

Police patrolling Bayview Hunters Point act as if their job is to drive Black people, especially young Black men, out of San Francisco, by harassing, brutalizing and, as with Kenneth Harding, 19, killing them. There’s a memorial fan page on Facebook: RIP Kenneth Harding JR.
Folks we talked to in the Bayview vehemently refute the accounts given by the police who claim Harding shot at them. Witnesses we spoke to in the Bayview say that’s not true.

Others also want to know why we have not seen the multiple witnesses the police have laid claim to. Why have they not stepped forth to speak? Why haven’t other news agencies discovered these witnesses and brought them forth for us to hear and see?

SFPD also claims to have found gun residue on the hands of Kenneth Harding. My question is what news outlets have independently verified this?

Some may ask why be so distrustful of “San Francisco’s finest”? Well, as San Francisco filmmaker and Bayview resident Kevin Epps pointed out, SFPD has already lost credibility with the public. Many have forgotten it was just three months ago SFPD was rocked with a scandal that involved dozens of felony cases being dropped because cops were shown on video behaving in unethical manners ranging from falsifying reports, illegally searching suspects, stealing from victims etc. What was shown was believed to be the tip of the iceberg and as a result a federal investigation was launched.

A police officer tries to cover the surveillance camera in a hallway of the SRO Henry Hotel to prevent its recording an illegal raid on a resident on Jan. 5, 2011. Public Defender Jeff Adachi used evidence caught on camera to have dozens of cases against those residents dismissed. The SFPD lawbreakers, however, have not been prosecuted.
If that wasn’t enough, the scandal, which was the largest in the recent history of the San Francisco Police Department, wasn’t discovered and “policed” by the department itself. It was Jeff Adachi, the city’s public defender, and private defense lawyers who did the heavy lifting. Much of the scandal took place during the tenure of former Police Chief George Gascon, who now serves as district attorney. Talk about conflict of interest. At last count, a whopping 57 felony cases were dropped.

As Kenneth Harding lay dying in a pool of his own blood and other officers kept their guns trained on him, this heavily armed officer and more kept the crowd at bay so no one could give the teenager comfort or medical aid. The fact that their backs were turned to Harding shows that the cops did not fear Harding was armed – the excuse given by SFPD for not tending to him. – Video frame: TheOneNonly4571
With all that in mind, there’s no way the citizens of San Francisco, especially those in the Bayview, can confidently trust the police are gonna be forthright in their findings, especially if something egregious took place.

It’s interesting to note that many who staunchly support the police while overlooking these recent scandals are hell bent on suggesting that because Harding had a criminal past he deserved to be shot. That’s wrong on all angles.

As community advocate and SF City Commissioner Mesha Irizarry pointed out, it doesn’t matter if Harding was the poster child for a chain saw massacre, he gets to have his day in court like anyone else. Police are not judge, jury and executioner no matter what.

Even if he shot at them as alleged by the police, once he was taken down, medical aid was to be immediately administered. Police are trained to be first responders. The graphic video along with witness statements shows the police didn’t aid Harding; they let him die.

Davey D
We encourage folks to peep “Killed for riding while poor” by Tiny Gray-Garcia of POOR Magazine.

Listen to Davey D on Hard Knock Radio Monday-Friday at 4 p.m. on KPFA 94.1 FM or He can be reached at Visit his website,, and his blog, Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner, where this story first appeared.


20 thoughts on “Why you can’t trust SFPD: Update on police shooting of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding

  1. Seamus

    Kenneth Harding apparently shot himself. What you shouldn't trust are many of the authors who write articles for this website. They seem incapable or unwilling to incorporate information that doesn't fit their needs. Sad and dangerous.

    There are real police abuses out there and there are real cases of racism by police officers.
    This case does not appear to be one of them.

  2. Selina

    "Yet police have also not recovered the weapon they believe Harding used to shoot himself, despite finding an unfired .380-caliber bullet in his right jacket pocket. A gun recovered late Saturday as part of the investigation was a .45-caliber pistol and could not have fired the fatal shot, police said.

    Harding was the main person of interest in last week's South Seattle shooting death of 19-year-old Tanaya Gilbert, Seattle police said. A Seattle police spokesman said he did not have information on the caliber of the gun used in the shooting of Gilbert. No weapon was recovered in that case, Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson said. " ******** Taken from Mercury News website

    SFGate IS FULL $h!T

  3. Marlon Crump

    "Self-inflicted gun shot wound?" In front of SO many bystanders? No eye witness account to this latest bombshell? Harding's gun missing from the scene? Mysterious bystander picks up Harding's gun (and celphone in a recent news report) Too many conflicting reports To think that I actually gave them a slight benefit of a doubt. Chief Greg Suhr stated in a recent email exchange to me that his department was working on "changing my perspective" yet it would appear that his department has once again failed. S-A-D.

    Police officers don't like to be "lied to" when conducting investigations, yet they are just so sick with it when it comes to obstructing the public. Yes, they do "protect their own."


    Thank you SF BAYVIEW, for continuing to be a voice of the people. I have supported you for years (as much as I can), and now we can share your wonderful articles with a wider audience. We need you to speak for the people who can't get the word out about our city and what is happening with us. Keep up the good work.

  5. whatever

    I have to agree there are corrupt cops but there are also officers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. I do not think it is right to put all cops in one group. Second the guy they shot was not an angel. He was in jail for pimping a 14 year old girl. I mean come on, some people are making this guy seem like he is a saint.

  6. Daisy Duke

    "Yawn … so many crazies in SF so little time …. I think there are still LSD molecules floating in the atmosphere from the 1960s. I'd be willing to be that every writer on this site and most of the readers and population of Bayview are collecting some kind of govt. handout check … ssi, "disability" etc. or a do-nothing city job, professional student, affirmative action token. Uncle Sam is in the red, what are you freeloaders going to do when you are thrown off the gravy train? Davey D's only talent is race card playing. Too bad he isn't a teenage girl who can be raped, pimped and then shot point blank in the head like the Bayview martyr Kenneth Harding did to his victims.

    1. Selina

      I suggest YOU stop smoking METH and depending the Govt Gravy train to supplement you and

      trailer park aka mobile home

  7. blame everyone else for my problems

    You show the video of the police guarding the body, why do you not show the video of the black man in the hood grabbing the suspects off the ground and picking up the shell casings? Everyone else can see it on youtube. By the way, the video on you tube that shows the black man picking up the gun and running away with it was taken by a, surprise, another black person. Stop blaming the police for the violence in your own neighborhood. The man was a convicted child rapist (13 year old black girl) and a suspect for shooting a pregnant black woman. Its black on black crime killing your neighborhood, not the police.

  8. seamus

    I don't think this is a case of police deception as some appear to believe. I think Harding's weapon was removed from the scene and hasn't been recovered. It's the explanation that makes the most sense. There was no known motive for a police officer to use a .380 in broad daylight with people around. They were already firing with service weapons .40. Why draw a less powerful backup weapon? Plus, the police officers couldn't shoot Harding so as to make it look like he Harding did it. Harding was running. Most of the 10 reported shots hit nothing.

    I think some people want the police to be wrong because cops are jerks (and most are) and they're extra suspicious & jerky to black people. They're even worse to me because I'm Irish, but you gotta try to be objective in each case or you start believing in invisible pink unicorns, like 'Harding was killed for a two dollar ticket.'

    If it is a cover up, it was thrown together hastily & that means sloppily, which means it'll unravel sooner rather than later.
    I don't think it is a cover up though.
    We'll see.

  9. City Hall Insider

    I worked for at City Hall for 15 years.

    I can't give up my name because I just can't.

    The New Chief is a good friend and good cop. Right guy for the job he took.

    This is the first time I watched a film of what took place on this film. It's easy to get now. Regardless of what took place before, Harding's was alive and no-one came to his aid, and bystanders watched this

    Maybe the cops on hand were fearful, confused and unsure, but none of them came to the dying man's aid.

    Until the end of the film, when one brave cop understood the situation. Harding may have been armed, but he seemed unarmed now, and he needed assistance, or someone near him as he laid there dying.

    Kudos to that unidentified cop. And I totally feel for any bystanders, the end was not good for Harding and not right. At fault or not, in war or not, everyone is suppose to be offered assistance in a GRAVE time of need.

    Now I understand the uproar, by the community, not the professional protestors. But by the Bayview Community I have known well.

    I'm sorry under any circumstances why people in the Bayview or any community still have to witness such incidents.

    And I respect the officer that went to Hardings side, even though it seemed to late for his good.

    City Hall Insider

  10. saint frank

    If a white child rapist, pimp and murderer were shot down by a cop (even a black cop) in a white part of town, the cops would get a round of applause from the white residents there -I guarantee it. Could that be part of the reason white neighborhoods are so much safer – a healthy respect for law and order and the police dept?
    And look at the few whites who share your "**** the police" mentality: drug using spoiled brats who like to break windows. Are you proud to have these smelly street urchins on your side? You can have them.
    The hatred of the police, courts and the law by blacks is not a symptom of the problem it IS the problem.
    I've noticed that when blacks drop the slang, ghetto fashions and "street life" and act like conservative middle class whites e.g. working for a living, saving for a rainy day, paying bills on time and not being so damn loud and stupid, they actually do quite well for themselves. So try the white way for a change because the black way isn't working and it never will.

  11. ma desauliers

    a species that hires bodyguards to protect them looses the ability to protect itself and is doomed to extinction

    for the uneducated and the uneducable

    high school dropout can't find work so he joins the Marines to Semper Fi
    and collect some money.
    High school dropout is sent to Paris Island to be all he can be. He is trained to kill women and children and a occasional freedom fighter trying to protect his wife from being raped by Mr Semper Fi.
    High school dropout ships out to invade Iraq for USEmpire and US oil companies.
    American oil companies are struggling with the problem of Peak Oil.
    Peak oil means we no longer have a infinite supply of oil.Maybe you saw the documentary film END OF SUBURBIA see

    high school drop out didn't because his high school teachers were too busy DUMBING him down

    High School dropout manges to kill a couple hundred women and children while throwing in a occasional rape. Mr Sempi Fi has now been transformed into Mr serial killer.
    Mr high school dropout/serial killer now begins to experience extreme depression from his actions. Mental Wealth workers call it Post Traumatic
    Stress Syndrome. But the only people who experience traumatic stress in Iraq are the Iraqi women being raped by Semper Fi's before they shot and killed them.
    Good thing serial killer/high school dropout has never read the research
    of Ian Stevenson MD whose groundbreaking study of 3,000 children who remember previous lives provides the science for the existence of reincarnation. see

    What this means for high school dropout is that he will be coming back
    again for another life . Of course so will the people he murdered , so for practical purposes he has another couple hundred lives he has to live getting "wacked" by the life forms he semper fi'd.

    The difference this time is the raped and murdered have had some time to ponder while they wait for him to pass over, how they will "do" Mr Semper Fi- the high school drop out serial killer.

    Mr high school dropout comes back from Iraq out of work unless he re-enlists. There are not to many job openings for serial killers until he lands a job working with his be all you can be buddies at the local police department or the FBI.

  12. LEONI


    1. butch

      I disagree…We all have a responsibility to assist these kids and serve as role models. Black people were slaves for years to the white man, and were never awarded any monies for the way they were beaten, treated and depicted. This type of behavior has carried over year after with these senseless murders. U say its the parents, I say its the white people.

  13. A Fellow Human Being

    Leaving a human being who has been shot, lying on the ground and bleeding, and unattended, not offering any medical aid at all, is the ULTIMATE


    In the City of St. Francis!

  14. A Fellow Human Being

    Leaving a human being who has been shot, lying on the ground and bleeding, and unattended, not offering any medical aid at all, is the ULTIMATE


    In the City of St. Francis!

  15. True

    Seems to me after to listening to Davie D on KPFA, he's a tool of the CIA, trying to start race wars, which will hurt the poor of course.


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