Kenneth Harding, Raheim Brown, Oscar Grant: Can you believe the police?


Minister of Information JR devotes KPFA show to police terrorism

by Phil Horne, Esq.

On the heels of the San Francisco Police Department killing of alleged bus-fare-evader Kenneth Harding, KPFA devoted the entire morning program – the Morning Mix – on Wednesday, July 20, to police terrorism aka “excessive use of force.”

Listen here to the broadcast.

Host JR Valrey, aka Minister of Information, first criticized the MSM – mainstream media – for adopting police non-truths about the killing of Harding. Valrey interviewed Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, the nation’s leading Black newspaper.

Ratcliff lives a block from the location of the Harding shooting and extensively interviewed witnesses to the shooting. Ratcliff explained that Harding was killed when he ran from fare enforcement officers.

Fare enforcement in the Bayview is conducted by armed SFPD officers. In other neighborhoods, fare enforcement is performed by unarmed Muni officers.

Harding was identified by SFPD officers as an alleged fare evader. When SFPD officers attempted to apprehend Harding, he ran. SFPD, apparently aiming for his head, then shot Harding at least five times in the back of the neck as he was running. Harding collapsed, bleeding profusely.

SFPD officers prevented the public from assisting Harding and watched as Harding bled to death. Video of the shooting and forced death by SFPD has been removed by YouTube, allegedly because of its graphic nature.

After the San Francisco Bay Area reacted with outrage to the shooting, SFPD claimed Harding was armed and even that Harding was shooting at officers while he was running. In spite of the fact that officers and witnesses did not originally identify any such behavior by Harding and no gun was located on the scene, MSM, KPFA and other “progressive” news outlets reported SFPD claims without skepticism.

Ratcliff further explained that the shooting of Harding and other acts of state terrorism against people of color in the Bayview are part of a campaign of intimidation designed to drive them from the Bayview in favor of “yuppies.”

JR interviewed Lori Davis, the mother of Raheim Brown. Davis explained that her son had been killed by Oakland School Police while he was attending the winter ball at Skyline High School. Just like Harding, Brown was unarmed, but law enforcement claimed the killing was necessary to protect officers. OSPD claimed Brown’s car smelled like marijuana and Brown brandished a screwdriver. Davis explained that, just like Harding, Brown was repeatedly shot and officers aimed at his head.

The intent of the officers in both cases seems to be to kill – not to disarm.

No officers have been disciplined. No politicians have denounced either killing.

Valrey then turned to Sean Gillis, the paramedic whistleblower in the Oscar Grant case, to discuss Gillis’ civil suit against Oakland Fire Department and his allegations that OFD botched the response to the Oscar Grant shooting and terminated Gillis’ investigation of same.

Gillis and his lawyer, Phil Horne, Esq., explained that OFD failed to treat Grant’s exit wound and that said failure could have been the cause of Grant’s death. Gillis and Horne further explained that OFD terminated Gillis’ investigation by a writing that is attached to Gillis’ civil suit and available for anyone to read online, destroyed Grant’s records in order to cover up the misconduct and forced the medical director to quit when he supported a call review.

After the show, JR explained to all that part of KPFA played a role in the Brown killing by publicly supporting the creation and use of the Oakland School Police Department.

Phil Horne, Esq., the attorney representing Sean Gillis, can be reached at


  1. Once again another stellar journalistic effort from the Minister of Dis-Information. While I am more than willing to debate the appropriateness of "use of force" in this and the many other incidents of highly questionable police conduct, that debate must include ALL of the facts.

    Let's start with Raheim Brown and a just a few of the "minor" details you left out.

    Raheim Brown and his date, Timesha Stewart were 20 years old and would not have been allowed to enter the dance since neither was a currently enrolled student or the guest of an enrolled student. Thus, portraying their presence here as innocuous is misleading.

    Mr. Brown and his companion were parked outside of a high school dance, in a stolen car with a handgun inside the vehicle. I suppose this could be considered an unfortunate coincidence but it also holds the potential for disaster.

    The details of the incident are certainly open for debate, and in my opinion, should not have resulted in Mr. Brown's death . Over-reaction on the part of the police has become all too common. Failure to respond proportionately or to follow a proper escalation procedure promises violence with tragic results.

    While the circumstances of Mr. Harding's death definitely require further inquiry, your "investigation" , as stated in your article, seems to be limited to your conversation with Willie Ratliff.
    Did it occur to you interview any of his sources or to conduct interviews with independent sources?
    KGO conducted several interviews in the area, with sources who did confirm that Mr. Harding did indeed fire a gun. These interviews are still available on YouTube.
    Furthermore, it is necessary to examine all of the reasons Kenneth Harding might have chosen to flee. While avoiding a summons for fare evasion is possible, it's unlikely. More likely is his recent departure from Seattle and wish to avoid the certain parole violation his presence in San Francisco would have resulted in. Equally possible , he was carrying a gun, again a parole violation. I do not immediately accept the report that he was a"person of interest" in the death of Tanaya Gilbert but it bears consideration as to why he ran and the possibility that he reacted violently.

    While I deplore the unnecessary deaths of all young black men, I take issue with your depiction of these young men as nothing more than innocent victims. Police brutality and racism are real problems and it claims many law-abiding victims everyday. However, when you include those who, at best, may be quite deserving of police scrutiny, you diminish true victims immeasurably.

    Please don't misunderstand me. The police are not our friends. I teach my sons to avoid all contact with law enforcement , but to do so lawfully. Live your live beyond reproach. I remind them frequently , that they will be likely be judged guilty and with lethal consequences.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong , but just once I would like to see you address the real issue plaguing our community. The numerous acts of violence committed each week in the Bay Area by and against young black men, as well as the many other criminal acts that ensure police presence in our community.

    None of this gets better unless and until we hold ourselves accountable for the circumstances that bring the police into our community. This in no way excuse or condones the conduct of the police but I have no illusions about this changing anytime soon . The only people who can change the destiny of black people is us. Expecting anything else is fantasy.

    JR you call yourself journalist but really you are just a guy with an opinion. I would expect a man of your talents to know the difference. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but not your own facts. When your reporting fails to include all of the relevant facts you do great disservice to the effort to hold the police accountable and arm those who so easily dismiss these deaths .

    • Hi Rocket, since you believe everything the police say, what they want you to believe(unless you've investigated their claims personally), your bias prevents an accurate feedback statement. Now, if you'll just go ahead and hold yourself accountable for your own police community, maybe you could make a difference.

      • First, I don't believe anything the police say. In fact, I believe all local law enforcement to be self -serving propaganda. None of the facts cited are in dispute. I was very careful to discount or disregard any items released by the police meant to discredit the victims. If anything, I believe the police represent nothing but danger and tragedy for our community. I believe I was clear in expressing this.

        That said, Raheim Brown was driving a stolen car. A hand gun was found. This has been confirmed by multiple sources both in the Main Stream Media as well as alternate sources. His mother even addressed the issue of the gun.

        Kenneth Harding was on parole. He was a "person of interest" in the death of Tanaya Gilbert. I will grant you the specious nature of POI, none the less. I never said he had a gun, I clearly stated that this matter definitely required further investigation . I absolutely did speculate on why he ran , and whether this mitigated for or against the possibility that he was carrying a gun. I did this specifically to invite the speculation and opinion of others. Some witnesses did confirm that he had a gun ( why would they lie?) these were people of color, with, presumably, no love for the police.

        I don't take issue with disagreement but would appreciate it if you would address the broader aspects of my argument.

        1) The necessary inclusion of all facts that might serve to inform us as to the character of these young men and how they come to find themselves in the this circumstance.

        2) The issues presented by lack of journalistic clarity .

        3) Our failure, as a community, to differentiate between actual victims of racism, brutality and violence as opposed to those who, by there action,s bring it to their own doorstep.

        4) When , as African Americans, will we begin to address the negative force at work in our community?

        ie; The leading cause of death for black men between the age of 12-34 is homicide. Unfortunately, not at the hands of police but primarily due to gang violence.

        the leading cause of death for black women between the ages of 12-34 is homicide at the hands of black men.

        These are sad, immutable facts. What are we doing to change this reality?

        I don't have any bias, I just want answers and recognition that ALL of the needless deaths in our community must be addressed. The death of a young black man by gang violence is no less tragic than one who dies at the hands of the police. My fear is that the first excuses the second.

      • Hello,

        Small critique of statement to Rocket poster:
        U: "since you believe everything the police say, what they want you to believe(unless you've investigated their claims personally), your bias prevents an accurate feedback statement."

        This is an attack on on source. That is, you are playing 'the man' instead of 'the ball.'
        It is also a strawman. That is, you're attributing "believe everything the police say" to the poster.
        You write this in spite of the poster's words contraindicating.
        Poster: "Mr. Harding's death definitely require further inquiry, your "investigation" , as stated in your article…"

        Certainly, the poster is looking for more info & not believing everything police say in spite of evidence. The evidence so far is damning for Harding so it is reasonable to go with available evidence and lean toward.

        Let's be logical & reasonable, huh?

  2. Hello,

    You don't seem to have read the papers. Harding was shot once in the leg with .40 cal & once in the neck/head with .380 cal. He wasn't shot five times in the back. Where did you hear this? Did you make it up.

    In the article, you allow an interviewee to suggest (without challenging) that Harding was shot as a part of a gentrification project of some unexplained sort. 'To make way for yuppies.' That's crazy talk. You couldn't possibly have evidence to back up this claim. If you do, please tell. That sort of thing needs routing out if it ever happens.

    The medics would need to stage a safe distance away from the scene until the unruly crowd could be controlled. They always do that so medics don't get wiped out. The cops didn't hold medical services just so Harding would die. Good grief.

    I think just you're fibbing for the cause like they do on Fox News.

    Couldn't you just tell the truth? There are actual cases of police brutality you can use as examples. This isn't one of them.

    The truth will set you free.
    Lies ruin your reputation and sometimes worse things happen.

    Thanks for time

  3. JR,

    With all due respect, but you need to report all facts, not just those facts and opinions that support your position that the police terrorism and brutality in the Black community

    Furthermore, you continue to ignore the hundreds of senseless murders of young blacks committed by blacks every year, and the predatory crimes, robbery, rapes,muggings, home break-ins, etc. Police are not the problem, Black communities that fail to hold young Black criminals accountable for their criminal and deviant behavior is the problem. Blacks kill more Blacks than police.

Leave a Reply