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For the last couple of years in San Francisco, the beginning of December has been marked by a bloody tradition: the murder of Black men by San Francisco police. On Dec. 1, just one day before we were set to gather around the family of Mario Woods to remember his life on the two-year anniversary of his killing, the SFPD shot and killed another of Bayview Hunters Point’s own sons, Keita O’Neil aka Icky. The result of letting Icky’s murder go without response is that another one of us gets killed. They didn’t kill Icky because he was a hustler. They killed Icky because in San Francisco our Black and Brown lives are considered expendable.
After maintaining a vigil outside the San Francisco Hall of Justice for 52 weeks demanding that the murderers of our children be arrested, charged, tried and convicted, we are marching to Sacramento and will be passing through your city. We are looking for churches where we may gather. Dear faith leaders, if this cause is on your heart and you are interested in your church being open so we may gather, inform and invite others to join in the march to stop the execution of our children, we will be grateful. – Archbishop Franzo King, 415-871-9676
On April 13, the SF Sounds newspaper made the mistake of publishing an article written by Sarah Burchard, entitled “Bring on the Bayview.” From what we’ve gathered, Sarah Burchard is a white person who is not from San Francisco. As people born and raised in San Francisco and Bayview residents, we find Sarah’s article overtly ignorant and flat-out offensive. The article blatantly disrespects residents and our experiences in the current social, economic and political climate.
I went to San Francisco’s 2017 Dr. King Day celebration riding the same wave that hounded every other participant. As I suspected, a tragic election caused crowd levels to swell significantly compared to a year ago. I’d say at least three times the number of 2016 attendees walked in this year’s march. One ugly cloud loomed: the transfer of federal powers – which finally did arrive four days later – had crept oh so dreadfully near.
We DEMAND that San Francisco District Attorney Gascón perform the duties of his office and charge the San Francisco police officers in the shooting death of Mario Woods, Jessica Nelson-Williams and other victims of deadly police violence. We DEMAND that San Francisco District Attorney Gascón bring forth murder charges against the San Francisco police officers who were involved in the shooting death of Black and Brown citizens of San Francisco. We DEMAND a response from the DA – to whom we have recently reiterated our position in a formal letter – by Nov. 15, 2016.
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.
The Kenneth Harding Jr. Foundation will be celebrating and honoring the lives of Kenneth Harding Jr., O’Shaine Evans and Alex Nieto, all killed by San Francisco police. It is written that to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord. So for the fourth anniversary of Kenny’s homegoing, please mark your calendars for Friday, July 17. We will be in Kenny’s Plaza, Third Street and Oakdale, distributing food and essential gift bags starting at noon. Please feel free to join us on this joyful day. To the community, thank you for keeping us truly community supported.
Three years ago, on July 16, 2011, I awakened to the news that San Francisco police had killed my 19-year-old son, Kenneth Harding Jr., for allegedly evading a $2 bus fare. It’s hard when you’re trying to find out what happened to your child but no one will produce the facts that support the theory that he supposedly killed himself. The police put that message out and never backed it up, hoping to take away any sense of empathy. This month will be our 29th consecutive month of feeding the community at the very spot where Kenneth’s blood still stains the ground.
The child’s destination was a friend’s house on a bright sunny day. The child had a toy. But Andy Lopez Cruz didn’t see his friend that day. Andy will not ever see any of his friends again. For within 10 seconds, the cops had rolled up behind him, reported him as suspicious, called for backup and shot him seven times. He was shot twice in the back before he hit the ground; he got a chance to scream “Stop” once and then he died.
When you think of an officer of the law, you tend to think of a public servant to protect and serve, not a murderer, child molester or pedophile. We know that all officers aren’t bad, but we also know that all officers aren’t good. According to ABC News on Aug. 29, 2013, Officer Richard Hastings of the San Francisco Police Department, who is 37 years old, was arrested in Concord, California, for alleged child molestation.
We want to affect the city of San Francisco’s economic system in order to allow our voices to be heard. We are asking those who stand in solidarity against police brutality and those who would like to help organize and/or endorse the shutdown to contact the Kenneth Harding Jr. Foundation at (415) 505-6331, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 4, 2013, the Oakland Film Festival premiered the long anticipated documentary “Crimes of Police,” directed by Ansar El Muhammad and produced by Derrick Bowman. Now the documentary has been chosen for the San Francisco Black Film Festival as well, screening Saturday, June 15, 5:45 p.m., at the Jazz Heritage Center, 1320 Fillmore St., San Francisco.
From the Mission District in San Francisco, to West, North and now East Oakland, several neighborhoods in LA, young Black and Brown men, convening, talking, laughing, being young, are viewed as “dangerous,” “suspect” or criminal. Laws like the gang injunction are instituted and applied, and eventually we are completely wiped away like we were never there.
At its Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Health, 101 Grove St., Room 300, the San Francisco Mental Health Board will welcome public comment before voting on a resolution against putting tasers in SFPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers’ hands.
Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.
Mayor Ed Lee is considering a New York City-style stop-and-frisk policy, where police search anyone they consider “suspicious.” Lee, the first Chinese American mayor of San Francisco, said, “I will be tagged – as the minority mayor of this city – for racial profiling.” He’s right – and that tag is entirely justified.
The police line was hard, boot to boot, helmet to helmet, unmoving, bringing the threat of death with each gaze. The opposing line was a circle and it was moving, with resistance. And strength and people power. We were mamaz, uncles, daddys, sisters and brothers in solidarity, and we won’t stop fighting, we won’t stop walking, we won’t stop speaking until this ongoing police murder of our babies is over. “Our children are being stalked and murdered in cold blood, and it cannot continue,” said Oscar Grant's Uncle Bobby.
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, was shot and killed on July 16 as he ran away from two police officers interrogating him for his alleged failure to pay a $2 fare for a ride on the city’s light-rail train. Incredibly, after originally admitting that two officers shot and killed Harding, the new story from the police some days later is that the young man must have killed himself.