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 Public Health Organization of Graduate Students at San Francisco State University condemns the actions of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) in the unjust shooting of Mario Woods, a young African American man who was a resident of Bayview Hunters Point, on Dec. 2, 2015. The current situation in which SFPD officers kill community members with impunity is intolerable.
As the community prepares for a showdown at the Police Commission meeting this evening, the following list of demands has been released by Etecia Brown on behalf of #BlackLivesMatter, #BlacknSF and #Last3Percent and these videos have been posted by CRC Media Corps and by Jameel Rasheed Patterson on behalf of Lets Talk Communities.
The community is outraged at the execution of young brother Mario K. Woods. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at the young age of 26, Mario Woods was gunned down by SFPD, the largest gang in San Francisco. Chief Greg Suhr didn’t even claim his officers feared for their lives, saying only that Mario “could not be allowed to move away from the scene.” Surrounded by 10 or more officers and shot over 25 times – that is not fearing for your life or safety; that’s overkill, that’s murderous behavior – and the community is demanding the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr!
Liz Washington dedicates her story to Treasure Island mothers suffering Child Protective Services’ human rights abuses. Liz Washington’s Tenderloin apartment door rattled. Bursting in, hands on guns, San Francisco cops grabbed her nursing infant. Liz’ daughter remembers her mom’s screams. “‘Please don’t take my baby!’” Even after moving to Treasure Island, Liz never escaped CPS’ ravenous appetite for masterminding abductions of her daughter and sons.
At a time that the Department of Justice is calling the citing, arresting and forced displacement of homeless people for sleeping cruel and unusual punishment, new data from the SFPD indicates that it is fully engaged in this practice: Homeless people received 11,920 citations for resting in public space in 2014. A total of 13,390 citations were given to homeless people for anti-homeless “offenses.”
The Coalition on Homelessness Report, “Punishing the Poorest: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty in San Francisco,” details the effects of criminalization on homeless residents of San Francisco. The COH report documents and analyzes the impacts of the rising tide of anti-homeless laws in our era of mass incarceration on those experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.
On April 3rd of this year, the entire world was focused on the SFPD. A scandal had emerged surrounding the federal corruption case of former Sgt. Ian Furminger. A spate of violent text messages sent between SFPD officers was exposed. While people debated the meaning of this distasteful police behavior, the SFPD, in collusion with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, was cleaning up and covering up fresh blood. Another Black man had been killed while in the custody of San Francisco law enforcement. His name was Darnell Benson.
A collective of community folks organized with the family of Asa Benjamin Sullivan recently launched a people’s investigation into the killing of Asa by San Francisco police in 2006. Asa Sullivan was killed when SFPD responded to a “well-being check” at his residence then tracked him into an attic and shot him 17 times.* Police cannot be allowed to kill people and then claim that person was responsible for his own death and call it “suicide by cop.”
Devaughn Frierson Jr., better known as Bo, endeavors every day to protect his community and, like the Black Panthers, he doesn’t turn his back to abuse by police. As a community journalist who is a Black disabled man like Bo, I wanted to get to know what drives this activist, who is a hero to his neighbors but was treated abominably by San Francisco police.
On Dec. 9, Supervisor John Avalos introduced a resolution to the Board of Supervisors to address racial profiling and the use of force by police officers, nationally and locally, as well as to uphold the right to nonviolent protest. Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Malia Cohen and Eric Mar signed as cosponsors. A final vote on the resolution will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and a large showing of support is vital to its passage.
On Tuesday, June 6, 2006, around 8 p.m., an SFPD officer fatally shot Brother Asa as he crouched in an attic’s two-and-a-half-foot crawl space, hiding because he’d recently spent a short time in jail and was afraid of going back. According to press reports, officers were responding to a neighbor’s complaint of possible trespassers, yet Asa and his friend were there with the tenants’ permission.
On Friday, Oct. 3, Antolin Marenco was dead, found “blue” and hanging in his cell in SF County Jail, an apparent suicide. I say apparent because evidence surrounding his death is still coming in and, as someone who was in regular contact with Antolin, I can say with certainty that if he took his own life, he was driven to this extreme act by over a year of sustained torture, brutality and neglect at the hands of the SFPD and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.
For true self-determination, we must each play our part. If you are not a member of the NAACP, consider becoming one. If you are already a member, resolve to serve as a volunteer, if not an officer or committee member. Attend a meeting and bring a friend or family member. Not a joiner? Donate to fund initiatives. Do your part to support an organization that has sustained us and defended us for so long.
Folks all over the Bay Area have grown weary of brutality by out of control police, from the murder of unarmed 13-year-old Andy Lopez last month in Santa Rosa to Alan Blueford in Oakland to 61-year-old disabled Andrea Naharro, shot this past weekend in San Jose. Valencia Gardens is in the historic Mission District, currently undergoing massive gentrification. As more white folks have been moving in, many Black and Brown folks are being profiled and stopped by police.
There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013. The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).
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 email@example.com.
The Blueford family and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford coalition (JAB) held a vigil for Alan on the one-year anniversary of his murder by Oakland police officer Miguel Masso. JAB has based itself deep within the Afrikan community that birthed it and has brought together many organizations and individuals to fight for justice for Alan and to stop continued police violence.
Crooked laws, crooked cops – they all need 2 be stopped. It’s a shame, a shame how they getting away wit’ murder, wit’ no blame. RIP Kenneth Harding, James Earl Rivera, Derrick Gaines, Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford, Jason Smith, Kendrec McDade, Christian Gomez and all the brothas and sistas who have lost their precious lives to this rotten system and their minions. You are not forgotten.
San Franciscans working from 2004 to 2013 to keep tasers out of SFPD officers’ hands as they “talk down” people in public crisis are today celebrating SFPD Chief Greg Suhr’s Wednesday, April 10, decision to drop his “less lethal” taser proposal for San Francisco cops. Idriss Stelley Foundation Program Director Jeremy Miller affirmed: “The Police Commission should be commended for engaging this issue seriously in a manner that befits their political responsibility. Tasers torture and kill. They are unaccountable weapons for unaccountable officers. But it was the people of San Francisco who forced Suhr’s hand.”