April 10, 2017
When Chief William Scott had been on the job for just a few weeks, he came to the Joseph Lee Gym in Bayview Hunters Point for a townhall meeting with the community March 9. This first-ever community meeting with the new chief was presented by Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods. Chief Scott said his goal is to “reduce deaths at the hands of police” and asked to be held accountable. Will Chief Scott be a better chief for San Francisco than his predecessor? We don’t know. But we do know that we will, as Scott said, hold him accountable.
January 1, 2017
A Mario Woods candlelight vigil in the Bayview commemorated his death a year ago at the hands of San Francisco police on Dec. 2, 2015. The community response made headlines all year. A group of community members supported by the Justice For Mario Woods Coalition and Mario’s mother, Gwen Woods, kicked off the ceremony at Martin Luther King Park in Bayview on Third Street between Armstrong and Carroll at 3:30 p.m.
May 5, 2016
As a result of incredible pressure from the community, Mayor Lee finally contacted the Frisco 5 by phone. The Frisco 5 reiterated their one simple demand – fire Chief Greg Suhr. Mayor Lee told the strikers he would not fire the chief and he stood behind Chief Suhr’s record which includes the choking death of Mark Garcia in 1997, two demotions, the Fajitagate scandal, a personal harassment suit that cost the city millions, racist text messages exposed, a crime lab scandal and the murder of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Luis Gongora and many others.
February 15, 2016
I am writing this from the Bay Area, where tent cities are now slowly re-forming under bridges, and where there is still a palpable buzz about Beyoncé’s performance in the Super Bowl halftime show (sorry, Coldplay). In fact, it’s a topic with far more currency here than the actual dud of a game, and for good reason. This is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in the Bay Area.
January 11, 2016
Among the crowd of 150 activists were four young people holding a sign that simply read, “Last 3 Percent.” The words refer not directly to police violence but to the broader problem of the mass exodus of African Americans from San Francisco. Thousands have left their city of birth not because of any personal preference but because of political decisions and economic policies, many set into motion several decades ago.
December 19, 2015
Mario Woods was a young worker who was killed by the San Francisco police on Dec. 2, 2015, with over 20 bullets. The funeral was held on Dec. 17, at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, Third Street and Paul Avenue, in Bayview Hunters Point, and the family, community, youth and labor members spoke out. Speakers connected the dots between this police murder and the ethnic cleansing and gentrification of Bayview Hunters Point.