by Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods

The highlight of a wonderful day for the children was the chance to ride a horse. The Black Cowboys introduced them to the thrill of horseback riding.

On July 22, 2018, on what would’ve been Mario Woods’ 29th birthday, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods hosted the Third Annual Mario Woods Remembrance Day. Because of the activism of the group, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to name July 22 Mario Woods Remembrance Day in the City and County of San Francisco into perpetuity.

Each year since Mario was senselessly murdered execution style by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), we have gathered on Mario’s birthday at Martin Luther King Park in the Bayview within steps of the spot where Mario was executed to remember him and others killed by police, as well as to celebrate Mario’s life.

Raised fists by the Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods group led by Phelicia Jones signal their determination to win justice for Mario Woods and all victims of police violence.

Every year, more and more community members come out for the event, which features hot food for the community, live entertainment, music, dancing, speakers, a Ceremony for Lost Lives for families who have lost loved ones, and the highlight of the event – our Kids’ Zone. The children of Bayview Hunters Point enjoy numerous games and activities just for kids, including a jumpy house, face painting, and, this year, even pony and horse rides from the Black Cowboys! The childrens’ faces were a delight to see, and we can think of no better tribute to Mario aka Mar Man.

Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods

Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods was founded by community organizer Phelicia Jones, owing to community outcry immediately following the caught-on-camera execution of Mario Woods by police. From the beginning, Dec. 22, 2015, when Mario was executed by SFPD, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods has had three demands: 1) Fire Chief Suhr or he resigns, which was achieved in May of 2016 owing to community outrage; 2) Charge the killer cops; and 3) Order an independent civil rights pattern and practices investigation.

A little girl becomes a tiger on Mario Woods Remembrance Day at Martin Luther King Park on Third Street in Bayview Hunters Point.

While San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón recently announced he would not charge officers in the killing of Mario Woods, we know that there is no statute of limitations on charges for murder, and we know there are other avenues to charges for the killers of Mario. We continue to demand outside oversight and intervention and the filing of charges, knowing, as we have from the start, that San Francisco’s system will not hold its police accountable.

Indeed, it is for this reason – when jurisdictions cannot and/or will not hold their police accountable – that civil rights pattern and practices investigations were created. Such investigations can be launched either federally or at the state level.

Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, who brings healing to other loved ones of victims of killer cops all over the country, talks with Rick Perez, father of Pedie Perez, murdered by Richmond police.

Join us at our meetings as we continue to pursue our demands for Justice for Mario. We meet Thursdays at 5600A Third St., San Francisco, 6-8 p.m. And we can be reached at mwjusticenow@gmail.com.

Mario Woods Remembrance Day is our biggest event of the year, as it is our statement to the community and to the world, and most especially to the City and County of San Francisco, that Mario will NEVER be forgotten, and we are so pleased and humbled by the outpouring of love on this past July 22. Our work to seek Justice for Mario and for all victims of police violence continues.

A Ceremony for Lost Lives is performed to commemorate those senselessly killed by the police.

To learn more, visit Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wealth-and-Disparities-in-the-Black-Community-Justice-4-Mario-Woods-1597022747260594/.

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