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Hundreds gathered last night for a candlelight vigil and march to City Hall in honor of Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s beloved public defender who died suddenly last week.
Ten years ago, Oscar Grant was tragically and needlessly killed by an officer at the Fruitvale BART station. Oscar was a beloved member of our East Bay community. He was a loving father, a loyal friend and a kind neighbor. My heart is with his family, friends and loved ones who are missing him dearly today. Over the last decade, communities like mine have lost far too many Black men to police violence. Since Oscar’s passing, the list of young African American men killed by police officers has grown even longer.
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. It 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.
“The End of Policing,” a new book by Alex Vitale, examines the histories and failures of policing policies and provides examples of alternatives that successfully divest from dependence on police while strengthening the community. Vitale’s chapters on criminalizing homelessness and gang suppression in particular can be a useful tool in revealing ineffective policies in effect today in San Francisco. Join the San Francisco No Injunctions Coalition on July 12, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s last planned court hearing to remove names from the city’s gang injunctions.
We are enraged and disheartened by the cowardly decision of the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón NOT to file charges against the officers who killed Mario Woods and Luis Gongora Pat. Charges for killer cops are among the three demands we have made since our start in December 2015. This DA has never – not once, in all of his tenure, and all of the egregious cases during his watch – filed any charges against officers who kill. Spread the word: Protest and press conference Tuesday, May 29, 12 noon, at 850 Bryant.
This June, San Francisco voters will make an important decision on whether to hand over a dangerous power to the San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA). Proposition H, a measure funded by the POA, is an attempt to loosen important use of force restrictions on Tasers that were pushed on the troubled SFPD by a team of experts from the Obama Justice Department. Police unions don’t get to decide their own use of force policies. Don’t be fooled. Vote No on Prop H!
On March 15, 2018, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods hosted a rare and historic event: a visit by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco to take part in a discussion about police violence and racist policing in the San Francisco Bay Area. The conversation with Attorney General Becerra is part of our ongoing efforts to outreach to elected representatives and bring them into the underserved, historically Black neighborhood.
Liberation News spoke with Bradley Angel, the executive director of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, about the news that a U.S. Navy-sponsored review of the radioactive cleanup at the former shipyard in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point revealed massive fraud by federal contractor Tetra Tech. According to the review, nearly half of the data produced by Tetra Tech has been manipulated, falsified or is otherwise suspect.
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.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, community will gather in the Bayview to honor Mario Woods on the second anniversary of his execution by San Francisco Police. We will come together once again to show the city of San Francisco that we will NEVER forget, and until such time as our demands for justice are met, we will never stop seeking Justice for Mario Woods and justice for all victims of police violence.
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, marked the death of the 1,044th person that we know of killed by Tasers in North America, the most recent in Oakland after a man, Marcellus Toney, tried to flee a multi-vehicle accident. This unnecessary death reveals the primary reason why San Franciscans have consistently rejected Tasers for the SFPD. Yet on Nov. 3, the San Francisco Police Commission voted and approved a renewed proposal to arm the SFPD with these weapons. This begs the question: Who are the proponents of Tasers?
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.
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.
“I was born in 1916,” Iris whispered into the camera in her last hours of life. “Peter, I can’t believe you did me like this.” Her eyes were pools of sacred time. Sacred, like a prayer. Sacred like things you hold lightly to protect and dream about and kneel to. Not evict and harass and drag to court and intrude and disrespect and eventually kill. Iris Canada joined the ancestors on Monday, March 27, one month after being evicted. Iris was murdered by the people and the systems that rule this stolen land. Iris was killed by landlord Peter Owens, the sheriff, the DA, the mayor, the judge and everyone who protects them.
Poor, unhoused, barely housed, indigenous, Black, Brown and Red people don’t have presidents. We have prison wardens, police, sheriffs, anti-social workers, landlords, judges, bailiffs, poverty pimps, case manglers, ICE agents, CPS workers and debt collectors. Under Clinton, we lost welfare and the criminalization and incarceration of young people was institutionalized. Poor people don’t have presidents or governors or mayors. We have ourselves.
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.
I’ve been following the U.S. presidential debates very closely. As a Black man who also happens to be a Muslim with a mother who was originally from the Middle East, I am intrigued by this term “extreme vetting,” which is frequently used by presidential candidate Donald Trump. Maybe extreme vetting needs to be applied to the internal threat posed from rogue police.
The news was expected to be bad. San Franciscans for Police Accountability (SFPA), a civilian watch group, held a public forum in the Koret Auditorium of San Francisco’s Public Library. It was Saturday, Sept. 24, and featured D.A. George Gascón’s specially appointed Blue Ribbon Panel – the forum appropriately titled, “Making SFPD Accountable: A Community Conversation.” And what a conversation this was – one I could not miss!
While two heavily armed police officers stood directly across the street watching us, a group of the most impacted, unhoused, criminalized, injured, disabled, Black, Brown, Trans and Indigenous peoples gathered to demand a 90-day moratorium on the killing of our Black, Brown, disabled and unhoused residents of this city and all cities struggling with the ongoing murder of our children, youth, elders and families.