donate or subscribe
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

Youth power against police brutality: Students stand in solidarity for Mario Woods

December 24, 2015

by Apollonia Jordan

Hundreds of students, who walked out of class and marched from 16th and Mission to City Hall, unfurled their banner and rallied on the steps, as a cop in the background stood watch. – Photo: Paulette Justice

Hundreds of students, who walked out of class and marched from 16th and Mission to City Hall, unfurled their banner and rallied on the steps, as a cop in the background stood watch. – Photo: Paulette Justice

Hundreds of middle and high school students from Black and Brown low income communities in San Francisco marched together last week in solidarity to protest the execution of Mario Woods. At only 26 years, Mario Woods, a young man with special needs, was gunned down in his own neighborhood by the SFPD.

“We are sick and tired of the police killing our homies!” yelled the students as they marched from the corner of 16th and Mission Street to the steps of City Hall.

As a community, students marched and chanted names of multiple young people who had been murdered by San Francisco’s “finest” terrorists in blue. Students chanted in frustration, pleading with police to stop murdering their brothers and sisters: “Alex Nieto … Stop killing the homies. Mario Woods … Stop killing the homies. O’Shaine Evans … Stop Killing the homies. Kenneth Harding Jr. … Stop Killing the homies!”

“We are sick and tired of the police killing our homies!” yelled the students as they marched from the corner of 16th and Mission Street to the steps of City Hall.

These students are tired of the San Francisco Police Department killing their fathers, friends and brothers. “Mario is almost the same age as we are, and we want his family to know that he was not murdered in vain,” stated Jessica Calhoun, a senior who lives in Bayview Hunters Point and attends Burton High School.

Some of the students, when they arrived for a rally at San Francisco’s huge castle-like City Hall, perched on the ramparts, calling attention to their signs.

Some of the students, when they arrived for a rally at San Francisco’s huge castle-like City Hall, perched on the ramparts, calling attention to their signs.

Another student, who wanted to stay anonymous, shouted out: “Fuck the police! There is a new video that was released that shows Mario’s hands were down to his side. They’re killing us and making us look like the bad guys, but we’re just kids trying to make it out the hood.”

Students and San Francisco residents are demanding the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr, who recently added more bodyguards after claiming he’d received death threats. “I don’t believe anyone has threatened him! This is another tactic by the local media to make the police seem as if they are the victims.

“They are liars and they are murderers, and the officers involved need to be fired and prosecuted!” stated Armando, a student who is both frustrated and fed up with the multiple bodies of innocent young people being victimized by terrorist police on Chief Greg Suhr’s watch.

Students and San Francisco residents are demanding the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr.

Once students arrived at City Hall, Armando and his friends sat on the steps holding signs that display a crossed out photo of Chief Suhr and reads, “Fire Chief Suhr.” Other students stood in front holding signs that read, “Youth power against police brutality,” “Justice for Mario Woods! Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” and “Evict Greg Suhr.”

Graphic: Micah Bryant, Patricia Berne, Leroy Moore, Natasha L. Simpson and Kiyaan Abadani

Graphic: Micah Bryant, Patricia Berne, Leroy Moore, Natasha L. Simpson and Kiyaan Abadani

Students are realizing that the same police officers who claim to protect them are the ones that are taking them to the grave at an early age. Being a parent of a special needs Black boy, the killing of Mario Woods really hit home for me. My son, who is 9 now, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 2 and has both verbal and cognitive delays.

My son is Mario Woods. My son would also be afraid and my son would have also moved away from officers with guns drawn because he would not understand the commands of officers, or the fact that they can and will kill.

When I look into the eyes of Mario Woods, I see my son and the many other children who suffer from developmental disabilities. Autism spectrum disorder affects one out of every 66 children born nationwide, so what are police going to do when they encounter another young Black man with special needs? Shoot him down like an animal too?

Kandace Landlake, a parent of one of the students, stated: “My child goes to Willie Brown Middle School, and there has been no dialogue regarding the murder of Mario Woods. There has been no counseling offered to students, and this incident is traumatizing to young people.

Students are realizing that the same police officers who claim to protect them are the ones that are taking them to the grave at an early age.

“There is no safe place for those who suffer from anxiety or want to express their feelings about these injustices. These are our children being murdered! These are our children! These same children will also become victims if we don’t stand together and fight systematic racism.”

According to KTVU news, these are the names of the murderers who opened fire on Mario Woods: Winson Seto, Antonio Santos, Charles August, Nicholas Chevas and Scott Phillips. All officers are currently on paid leave, a normal procedure for San Francisco police: Pull the trigga and kill a nigga makes you a hero.

The students who walked out and marched for Mario Woods were an alliance of mostly Blacks from Bayview Hunters Point and Latinos from the Mission – both neighborhoods under intense fire from the police and eviction pressure from gentrification. – Photo: Paulette Justice

The students who walked out and marched for Mario Woods were an alliance of mostly Blacks from Bayview Hunters Point and Latinos from the Mission – both neighborhoods under intense fire from the police and eviction pressure from gentrification. – Photo: Paulette Justice

Chief Suhr needs to be fired because he refuses to hold his officers accountable. Even the young people are calling for him to step down. We need a police chief who is going to have compassion for people with special needs and be honest when his officers are in the wrong!

Instead of releasing an apology to the family of Mario Woods, Police Chief Greg Suhr and the local news media have done nothing but add insult to injury and assassinate Mario Wood’s character by exploiting the mistakes they say he made as a teenager.

We can’t have our children afraid to go out in their own communities. We can’t allow the police to slaughter our children in the streets! We can’t stop fighting for our children and we can’t stop fighting against police brutality! #JUSTICEFORMARIOWOODS

Bay Area journalist and longtime Bay View writer Apollonia Jordan can be reached at apollonia@sfbayview.com.

2 thoughts on “Youth power against police brutality: Students stand in solidarity for Mario Woods

Leave a Reply

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements



Click and find the
TravelVisaPro.com