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SFPD tightens its chokehold on Bayview Hunters Point since killing Kenneth Harding

August 9, 2011

Pack the courtroom for Kilo G’s TRO hearing on Friday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m., Room 514, SF Superior Court, 400 McAllister at Polk – come at 8:30 for the press conference

by mesha Monge-Irizarry, Idriss Stelley Foundation

The militant mood – reflected here by Fly Benzo and Kilo – at the press conference two days after the killing of Kenneth Harding no doubt contributed to the SFPD crackdown on neighborhood “dissidents.” – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The latest target of a San Francisco police wave of terror is Kilo G. Perry, videographer, freedom fighter, peacemaker and educator and the disabled single father of a 3-year-old boy. Ever since the July 16 killing of Kenneth Wade Harding Jr., 19, at Third and Oakdale by the SFPD thugs in blue, our Bayview Hunters Point community has been threatened, harassed and terrorized by the police more than in recent memory – some say more than in 45 years since the September 1966 rebellion following the police killing of Matthew Johnson, 17, when police sharpshooters and National Guard tanks filled Third Street.

No tanks so far, but a “surge” of police reassigned to patrol BVHP since Kenny’s death take aim daily at anyone they think might incite a community response, especially residents who speak out publicly. Henry Taylor, the first reported target, was arrested just prior to the July 20 meeting at the Bayview Opera House called by Police Chief Greg Suhr, then released without charge the next day.

Jailed after speaking to the press

Henry, a direct eyewitness to the killing, had been widely quoted disputing the police version of the killing – that Kenny had a gun and fired at the police before they fired at him. According to Huffington Post, “Eyewitnesses … [told] ABC7 News they didn’t see any shots being fired at the officers.

Henry Taylor greets a friend at Mendell Plaza following the July 18 press conference organized by the Idriss Stelley Foundation for the community to express their outrage at the police killing of Kenneth Harding. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
“‘I just seen shots going forward,’ said resident Henry Taylor. ‘I didn’t see shots coming backwards.’”

Strangely, that quote is now missing from the ABC7 story cited as its source by Huffington Post. It’s been wiped clean from the San Francisco Examiner, too, which had also cited ABC7 as the source.

Debray Carpenter, better known in the community as Fly Benzo, 22, also widely quoted in the first mainstream media stories on the killing, was arrested after the meeting at the Opera House, where the outraged crowd booed Chief Suhr off the stage. The San Francisco Chronicle reported: “Carpenter said he was disappointed by the forum.

“‘I feel like it went nowhere – our questions were left unanswered,’ he said. ‘We need to shut down the T line until we get answers to our demands – no police on trains, free trains or no trains at all. We’ll make sure there are no trains at all if that’s the way they want it.’”

One of the spearheaders of the struggle for justice for Kenneth Harding, Benzo referred to Muni’s Third Street light rail line because Kenny had just stepped off a T-train when two officers asked to see his transfer as proof he’d paid his $2 fare. He ran from them, and they opened fire. Residents of more upscale neighborhoods say that armed police never conduct fare inspections there. (See the statement of mayoral candidate Teresa Baum below.)

Whenever we talk about boycotting or disrupting transit, all hell breaks loose. The police, who serve and protect the wealthy and corporate interests in the tradition of the slave catchers, crack down on “dissident” voices with brutal force.

Benzo, arrested by nine cops, was released from jail several days later after the community “phone blasted” the DA’s Office demanding his release and dismissal of all charges. One of those charges reportedly was assault on an executive officer, evidently referring to the tough questions Benzo threw at Chief Suhr before Suhr admitted defeat and left the Opera House, saying, according to the Chronicle, “They shouted me down.”

Police terrorism in the town square

On the block where Kenneth Harding was accosted and shot by SFPD is Mendell Plaza, which serves as a town square for Bayview Hunters Point at its main intersection. A farmers’ market used to be held there, events take place often and people congregate there every day. When police harass or attack someone there in broad daylight and in view of dozens of people, they must be intending to intimidate and terrorize the community.

Kilo G. (Keith) Perry and his little son Angel Perry enjoy a sunny day last October in Mendell Plaza, the “town square” in Bayview Hunters Point on Third Street between Oakdale and Palou.
The peaceful, congenial spirit of the plaza has been broken repeatedly since Kenny was killed. Gentle “TipToe,” a brother with severe cerebral palsy, was brutally assaulted by the police. So were “Little Skip” and “Bo” – all of them well known and liked in the community. Bo had a seizure, and the cops who brutalized him mocked him: “Bo, you’re faking!”

Frail elder Charles “Chuck” Nolan, who suffers from longstanding severe asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), was attacked last Saturday, July 30, merely for standing with about 75 people listening to speakers at a rally to protest the killing of Kenneth Harding organized by the October 22 Coalition against Police Brutality. Chuck and Henry Taylor were the only Blacks in the audience.

Police, perhaps fearing Chuck might speak to the crowd, grabbed him, threw him to the ground and handcuffed him as he struggled to breathe. His cruel arrest was caught on video.

Officers took Chuck to San Francisco General Hospital, then released him to the street that night without charge.

Kilo G. Perry pepper sprayed for daring to film police brutality

It was community videographer Keith G. Perry, 57, better known as Kilo, who recorded Chuck Nolan’s arrest. Now he has become the target of police retaliation. Brother Kilo, the single father of a 3-year-old boy named Angel, has suffered for the past seven years from a painful neurological disability that affects his right arm and hand, causing him excruciating pain when unknowing people shake his hand. Kilo can only type with one finger.

Kilo G. Perry uses videography and social media to educate, organize and advocate for the youth of Bayview Hunters Point.
A community peacemaker and producer of “Cameras Not Guns,” Kilo G. has been catching police-community interactions on video. And the police in turn have been taking pictures of him on the street, trying to intimidate him, yelling, “Hey, Kilo G., we got ya on your Facebook.”

Last Sunday, July 31, the day after the rally, the sparring culminated with police pepper spraying Kilo G. merely for filming them! Amazi, who works with Kevin Epps, the critically acclaimed filmmaker of “Straight Outta Hunters Point” and “The Black Rock,” and Lynn Daniels of Channel 29 were among the crowd witnessing this outrageous attack.

SFPD Capt. Paul Chignell, who heads the Bayview precinct station, was there. He asked Kilo if he wanted an ambulance, and Kilo was taken to San Francisco General for treatment, then released.

Kilo and his grown son, Antoine Perry, better known as Gotti (black T-shirt), both community videographers, along with the Bay View, covered the July 18 press conference from the community’s point of view, balancing the coverage by the mainstream media, who were there in great abundance. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
A few days later, two cops served Kilo G. with a temporary restraining order. They said that Kilo, as he was being pepper-sprayed, had sexually threatened and assaulted Officer Julia Angalet when he echoed the angry crowd saying, “Get up off here with that faggot shit!” I wonder, if he’d called her a pig, would they be alleging animal cruelty.

Officer Williams, who served Kilo with the TRO, told him: “If we see you anywhere near Third and Oakdale [the corner where, on July 16, Kenneth Harding lay unattended, struggling for life in a pool of his own blood, as police trained their guns on him] we will personally arrest you. You are going to jail!”

As usual, 3-year-old Angel was with his father at the time, and Kilo asked the officers not to make such threats in front of his little boy. Kilo is his sole caretaker.

To see the temporary restraining order against Kilo, click here.

‘I’m on it,’ pledge District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and Sgt. Hall

Kilo called District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents Bayview Hunters Point, about the pepper spraying incident. “I’m on it,” she told him.

Also present in great abundance at the July 18 press conference were the cops. Since the police killing of Kenneth Harding two days earlier, SFPD has sent a “surge” of police to patrol, pepper spray, beat and harass the residents in hopes of silencing any criticism and preventing any attempt at rebellion. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Sgt. Dean Hall of the Bayview police station was also contacted by Kilo. “I’m gonna handle it,” he pledged. But their protracted silence remains deafening.

So Kilo G. filed a complaint with the San Francisco Office of Citizens Complaints. Under Director Joyce Hicks, the OCC has been sustaining only 3 percent of the complaints filed against SFPD. But filing with OCC is a mandatory step before the matter can be taken to Internal Affairs and to the Police Commission, on which, out of seven commissioners, the people have only one fierce ally, civil rights attorney Petra DeJesus. Angela Chan, director of Asian Law Caucus, is helpful on some issues. Petra is the sole commissioner, for example, who opposes a contract with Taser International to arm SFPD officers with tasers.

Pack the courtroom on Aug. 12

Comrade Kilo G.’s TRO hearing is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m., in Room 514, San Francisco Superior Court, 400 McAllister, at Polk Street. If the judge chooses to believe the police, a three-year restraining order could be issued against Kilo, barring him from being anywhere near Officer Angalet, the Bayview police station or her patrol car. If she comes at him in the next three years, Kilo could be found in violation of his restraining order and face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. Who would then take care of his baby, Angel?

Kilo and his sons Gotti and Angel starred in the 2009 movie, “The Grind,” produced as a community cinema project by BAYCAT, Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology. Watch the trailer and learn more about the film at www.baycat.org/thegrind/.
Police continue to accost Kilo G. on the streets, repeatedly asking him if he is on parole or probation, when a simple check from a patrol car’s computer system would turn up a clean record in their database within seconds.

So please come out to support Brother Kilo on Aug. 12. If he and Fly Benzo and Henry Taylor can find the courage to speak up and bear witness for us all, you can too!

Typical of the critical role Kilo plays in the community and the high esteem he’s held in is this message posted by a young woman yesterday on his Facebook wall urging everyone to attend his hearing: “Where is the freedom to view whatever he chooses to view? No one says a word when media is out there. I pray Mr. Perry pleads not guilty, takes it all the way.

“He is a necessity out there in them streets. Nobody else is gonna tell the truth. At least he has a camera. But that’s OK. After this, we need to help this brother invest in a wide or long view lens or something so he can do like media do and sit a half block away and see everything like he’z right there.

Kilo G. Perry is a necessity out there in them streets. Nobody else is gonna tell the truth. Please go speak up for this brother.

“Please go speak up for this brother. Make sure u use a low tone and choose your words carefully. Remember you’re on their ground! Play the game.”

‘I paid my debt to society’

Kilo, who agreed to interview with us at the Idriss Stelley Foundation office, has “paid his debt to society,” as he puts it and has stayed out of the correctional system for the past 16 years, educating youth on non-violence, alternatives to illicit activities, survival and sustainability.

Sustaining the Black community in San Francisco is not to the liking of the powers that be, who shamelessly expedite “Negro removal,” the gentrification process set in motion decades ago. From a high of 13.4 percent of San Francisco’s population in 1970, Blacks have now plummeted to 6 percent or less – the most rapid decline in the Black population of any city in the country.

Kilo G. Perry can be contacted through email at g.styleent@yahoo.com or through Facebook at http://facebook.com/kilo.perry/.

Mesha Monge-Irizarry, mother of Idriss Stelley, who was murdered by San Francisco police June 13, 2001, heads the Idriss Stelley Foundation, the foremost Bay Area agency dedicated to police accountability. ISF provides direct services for survivors of police misconduct and grieving families of loved ones killed by law enforcement, attorney referrals, counseling and support groups, help with organizing press conferences, rallies and protests. Located in the Redstone Building Suite 209, at 2940 16th St., at Capp Street, half a block from the 16th Street BART Station and Muni lines 14, 14L, 22, 33 and 49, the office is wheelchair accessible. Contact ISF through its bilingual crisis line at (415) 595-8251 or through Facebook.

Green Party mayoral candidate Teresa Baum calls for independent investigation of Kenneth Harding’s death

by Teresa Baum

Kenneth Harding and his friend, Diamonique
As a candidate for mayor of San Francisco, I join other outraged citizens in calling for an independent investigation of the death of Kenneth Wade Harding Jr. Considering the terrible history of police-community relations in Bayview Hunters Point, considering the history of neglect of the needs of these people by the city, it is understandable that this neighborhood cannot just accept the police department’s version of this tragic death and move on.

There are many troubling questions posed by Harding’s death. Why were police looking for fare evaders in the first place? This is a job for unarmed fare inspectors. Certainly, we don’t see police performing this function in Noe Valley, where I live. Why would police pursue, with guns drawn, someone running from the crime of not having a transfer? Who shot first? Only eyewitnesses can tell us this, and perhaps we will never know with absolutely certainty the answer to this question. Why did police risk the safety of neighborhood children by shooting in the direction of a crowded playground in the middle of the day?

Indeed, no agency can effectively investigate itself. And the incentive is enormous for the police to cover up the possibility that they killed Kenneth Harding. The police press release about the caliber of the fatal bullet made it seem that they were reporting the medical examiner’s results. But in an interview by the Bay Guardian, the Medical Examiner made it clear that it was not her job or her field of expertise to evaluate the caliber of the bullet. The police alone decided that the bullet that killed Harding was a different caliber from the Police Department’s own guns.

In the past year, the San Francisco police have killed Vihn Bui, a mentally ill man in his home in the Bayview, and shot Randal Dunklin through the back of his wheelchair in SoMa. BART police killed Charles Blair Hill, a homeless drunken man, at the Civic Center Station. And now Kenneth Harding. The police are creating a climate of fear in neighborhoods that are ripe for gentrification. It is understandable if the residents feel they’re being pressured to move out, so that others with more money can move in. This is not the San Francisco I want to live in. An investigation by truly independent outsiders would be a step toward creating a climate of police accountability and compassion in our city.

This is another of Kilo’s videos. On YouTube, he explains: “This is a slide show that I did for a presentation in my African American history class. It basically shows Black people as slaves and free people – who Blacks were, are and can possibly be.”

 

13 thoughts on “SFPD tightens its chokehold on Bayview Hunters Point since killing Kenneth Harding

  1. seamus

    Evidence suggests:
    The police didn't kill Harding. A policeman shot Harding in the leg.

    I think there are plenty of cases of real racism and police misconduct for Bayview to work with. Note the murder (and hate crime) of a black man by white racist thugs in Mississippi.

    If there is a conspiracy, it would have to involve…
    The County Coroner (The bullet)
    SFPD CSI (The powder burns)
    SFPD (All on scene would have to lie)
    Witnesses (Who did see Harding fire)
    Other Citizens (who filed and YouTubed Harding's gun recovery and removal)

    A cover up involving so many dissociated people would unravel very quickly.

    I think an independent inquiry would be a good idea.
    Though, I don't think such an inquiry would back up the Bayview's story of how events unfolded.

    Thanks for time

    Reply
    1. mesha

      Coroners lie. and when they are no willing to, a judge put a gag order on a coroner who determined a PD taser was the sole cause of death of a suspect.

      No powder burns, but powder residue. Powder residue does not come with a name tag, and can be introduced on flesh or clothing by merely brushing a recently fired gun on the body

      Have you ever heard of the BLue Wall Of Silence, described by ex-seattle chief Norm Stamper book "Beeaking Rank"?

      The only "wirtness" wo clained to have seen Harding fire is the videographer of the first tape, shown …. hidden face and artificially distorted voice, llikely a cop. The video he produced was taken off the net, then magically reappeared with a mORPHED picture of the blurry outline of a "gun" on the floor, picked up by a kid in a hooded striped T-shirt. Unfortunately for the liars, I still have the original video, with slow motion frame by frame view of the kid picking up a CELL PHONE from the floor, and saying while he looks right imto the camera angle at close range " Look. it's his CELL PHONE"

      Reply
      1. seamus

        Re witness, the newspapers are reporting witnesses (plural) in addition to the fellow who removed the gun from the scene. SF Examiner & others.

        Re video: I don't know about them saying what you say they said. When I watched, I did notice that if it was a cell phone, it was a cell phone with a trigger guard.

        There's too many things required for a cover up.

        You really think the County Coroner would substitute a .40 cal bullet with a .380? And, do this knowing CSI would test the gun to see if it fired the planted bullet? That's a stretch only the faithful would make. I prefer firmer confidence. Faith is wishful thinking projected onto the world & it'll spin a head 'round like Linda Blair.

        Thanks for the reply.

        Reply
        1. John P.

          Seamus,

          I agree with you completely in your response to Mesha. It's people like Mesha who refuse to accept the fact that there are thugs running rampantly in their community. Kenneth Harding was a cold blooded thug and there many others just like him walking our streets. The world is a better place sans a rapist and murderer. Mesha's depiction of the above stated events is so outrageously idiotic it's not even worth mentioning. God Bless the SFPD and SFFD for their tireless work. As a fifth generation San Franciscan I know the history of the city and the departments that help to maintain order.

          Mesha,

          It's too bad you rely on a Youtube video from a crappy Metro PCS phone as your "evidence" of what happened to Kenneth Harding. Your statements are unsubstantiated and inconsequential; nevertheless, it appears you have a problem with authority. Police Officers and Firefighters put their lives on the line every single day to protect the wonderfully unappreciative citizens of San Francisco. No conspiracy or cover-up took place. The facts are that an idiotic 19 year old ran from the Police, shot at them and himself! Thank the Lord Jesus Kenneth Harding did no injure anyone else.

          Reply
  2. hoops

    I have seen enough shootings in Bayview where i live to know for a sad fact that many of the Bayview walk or drive around with guns. They are not always respectful of me when I go by, once in a while they have mean mugged me for nothing. Recently some kids have been beat ing up other races on the T. They killed that one old asian man. So look to the black community that disrespects itself everyday before you say the police are conspiring or targeting us. That excuse doesnt carry water when everyone sees the open drug deals and prostitution, and that thug behaviour glorified all around us. And as far as not checking fares in Noe Valley ask yourself if folks walk in fear of young men in Noe Valley? sell drugs on every corner in Noe Valley? bust windows out looking for change in Noe valley? No thank the lord we have some good (not all) cops risking their lives everyday to keep children of all colors and races safe in the 94124. kenneth Harding i s not a hero or a martyr but he is a victim… of his own choices.

    Reply
  3. mesha

    Fare evasion is not specific to Bayview.
    Crime is underreported in touristic and middleclass areas
    Prostitution & bordellos are widespread in SF, cops themselves operate prostitution rings.

    Since you mention bayview where I live, I witness brutalization of kids by Bayview PD in endemic proportions.

    Reply
  4. Someone

    Don't you guys get tired off perpetuating these ridiculous conspiracy theories?

    It is one thing to question and provide an alternative to the mainstream media. It is quite another to write stories that are blatantly contradicted by facts. Just because the police and the mainstream media report one thing does not mean that the opposite is true. The cause of death of Kenneth Harding is admittedly unknown and still under investigation. Maybe you should report that? Continuing to emphatically state that he was murdered by the police is irresponsible and juvenile.

    You are doing your community a great disservice by writing these inflammatory stories.

    Reply
  5. Ian

    Now let me see we are supposed to trust the San Francisco police department version of the truth. A police department whose drug addled evidence secretary had knowledge officers plant evidence steal inmates property engage in shenanigans aka the throw down weapon. This now quite dead fare jumper whom was shot several times in the back allegedly fires on the gestapo whom are trained to inflict major pain and death on black asses. He then shoots himself throws the gun he shot himself withe a long distance away from himself! I smell a rat here… Seamus i take it your a mall security guard that failed the mental ability test to become a thug withe a badge. The police profession has a high level of domestic abuse, suicide, aswell insanity. At one time i worked for the California Highway Patrol more than one officer informed me many had joined the force for the wrong reasons…. these individuals simply wanted to hurt someone to kick ass. These officers were stand up forthright people that served the community withe valour pride honour.

    Reply
    1. Seamus

      Good afternoon, Ian,

      U: "Seamus i take it your a mall security guard that failed the mental ability test to become a thug withe a badge."

      You take it wrongly then.

      Harding was not shot in the back several times. He was shot in the leg by a policeman's bullet and was shot in the neck/head by a bullet from a .380 cal weapon, which has been recovered. Investigators have tested the weapon and report the fatal bullet was fired from the recovered weapon.

      I don't think Harding threw the weapon. It appears Harding was running and fell and the weapon was dropped.

      U:
      "The police profession has a high level of domestic abuse, suicide, aswell insanity."

      True. They're stress cases and they're alienated from non-cops.

      U: "At one time i worked for the California Highway Patrol…"

      Good agency.

      Anyways, tq for your input, though input reads hyperbolic.

      Reply
  6. truthsayer

    I hope the police are staying on the corner of Third and Palou st. You can't even walk down that way to Food Co or other businesses. The not so young group of men on that corner constantly harrass, mean mug, and make inappropriate comments as you walk by. I'm always afraid I'm going to be caught in the middle of a drive -by shooting when I pass there. So called leaders over here in the Bayview, stop worrying about what the country owes you , and start preaching to these upstanding citizens to stop, SHOOTING, POISONING, and TERRORIZING there neighbors. We do not agree with their activities.

    Reply
  7. NoMercy

    By the way, have you seen the video you posted? The load, profanity ladden, chaotic scene is flamed by Kilo G, and the other thugs, clapping and swearing at the "oppressive occuppying force". You notice the quiet reserved individuals, the ones with badges, are the only calm eliment in the entire video.
    It's a shame, mesha, you are obviously a very good writer, but your skewed point of view and rampant mis-representation of the truth, turns your work into silly thoughts, puked on the page.
    And, why isn't anyone at work in this video? Oh wait.. they are "puttin in work" .. ya. no mercy

    Reply
  8. adam

    Its a shame that you use this forum to incite anger in the community. I have lost numerous friends to gunfire and gang warfare but yet I don’t sense your sense of urgency towards that matter. It’s time to stop blaming others and take responsibility for our actions. I know your trying to sell newspapers and this type of story is what sells to your readers, but as an educated black man born and raised in San Francisco this story is nothing more than propoganda!

    Reply
  9. daniel

    a few thoughts:

    1.) kilo g's video of chuck nolan's arrest doesn't show the events leading up to the arrest.

    2.) kilo g doesn't want officers to make threats in front of his 3-year-old son. (informing him that he'll be arrested if he violates a restraining order isn't a threat in my opinion, but that's beside the point.) why does he feel it's ok to say "get up off here with that faggot shit!" in front of the boy?

    3.) why would a person call himself kilo g — or GOTTI for that matter! — unless he wanted to be perceived as a thug? it strikes me that many young men in communities such as hp embrace the image of a hardened criminal (see the backdrop of the "join our struggle" poster above) yet still expect to be coddled by police. it's a double standard basically.

    4.) alcoholism is not a crime, true, but public intoxication is. i for one don't feel threatened by police because i don't get drunk in public, nor do i brandish knives. on the contrary, the police make me feel safe, which brings me to my next point…

    5.) what kind of society do you want to live in? i've lived in richmond, and i've spent a considerable amount of time in hp at work and as a volunteer. you probably will disagree, mesha, but i think it's fair to say that the crime rate would skyrocket if communities like these were patrolled much less. hunter's point is not an under-served community; it's a community in which many residents don't utilize services to their gain, and i feel sorry for the remaining residents who pay the cost on their neighbors' behalf.

    6.) mesha, your conspiracy theory is…elaborate. it's less of a stretch to suppose that harding was involved in the shootings in seattle and thought the officers pursuing him were aware of his crimes there. (this would explain why he fled to sf in the first place and why he responded seemingly disproportionately by firing, given that all they witnessed him do was jump the gate. also note that the seattle pd is beyond the scope of your conspiracy.) this is just conjecture; he's innocent until proven guilty, and he won't stand trial, so the seattle events are irrelevant. i mention this only because it's perhaps more plausible than your explanation.

    Reply

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