Anger erupts over police shootings - Page 3

Two recent officer-involved shootings spark protests throughout San Francisco

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Police Chief Greg Suhr (left) and Elvira Pollard, mother of another police shooting victim, speak at the July 20 meeting
GUARDIAN PHOTOS BY REBECCA BOWE

By July 22, confusion was still swirling over why a gun hadn't immediately been recovered from the scene of the shooting, and there still wasn't any clarity on whether an online video of a passerby removing a silvery object from the sidewalk showed a person who retrieved Harding's firearm after the shooting, as police have claimed. Police recovered a gun that was initially believed to be Harding's, but later reported that the gun could not have been the same weapon that discharged a .380 caliber round into the victim's head.

Chris Jackson, a Bayview resident who sits on the board of City College of San Francisco and ran for District 10 supervisor in 2010, said after the City Hall meeting that he felt it had amounted to little more than a lecture from the city's top officials. Jackson said he perceived a need for a policy shift in terms of how to deal with fare evasion and violence prevention. "We need a better approach," he said. "We cannot address this with more cops on the T line."

After Harding's death, it came to light that the 19-year-old Washington state man had served time for attempting to promote prostitution, and had been named as a person of interest in connection with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Seattle woman. Yet a widely circulated online video showing him writhing on the sidewalk in a pool of blood after being shot, while a handful of officers continued to stand around with weapons drawn, sparked outrage. Once the forum at the Bayview Opera House had broken up, LaDonna Callaway condemned the police response, saying, "They didn't have to shoot him as many times as they did."

Angelique Mayhem, a Bayview resident who stood nearby, told the Guardian that she didn't think the meeting had solved anything. "A boy gets gunned down. We don't know if there was a gun there, but we do know that for 40 damn years, people have been getting gunned down in this community," Mayhem said. "People are angrier now than when they were when they walked in the door. We're a community that's truly in pain, that's truly frustrated, and really needs some respect."

Comments

This is excellently written and well researched. It is a very sensitive perspective. I would like to point out, however, that Kenneth Harding was declared dead at the San Francisco General Hospital, were I trained in trauma neurosurgery, at 7pm on July 16, 2011. He was not dead when he lay on the street face down in a pool of his own blood, arching his neck back to breathe and kicking his legs! The blurred video image of the gun an unidentified witness posted on youtube was at least 25 feet away from his mortally injured body. Could he have run that far...or farther with a .038 bullet lodged in the inner table of the right side of his skull???

Posted by GuestAhimsa Porter Sumchai MD on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

Amy Hart, M.D., the San Francisco Medical Examiner has not...and will not issue an official cause of death because Kenneth Harding, Jr. died of hemorrhagic shock and medical negligence at the San Francisco General Hospital. He was declared dead at 7pm. He was witnessed being shot at 4:40pm.

Posted by GuestAhimsa Porter Sumchai MD on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

What a poster child for "police violence." A felon who either killed himself or someone else (NOT the police) shot.

Really can't seem to muster up any tears for dead sex traffickers transitioning to "independent rappers."

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

I couldn't agree with you more Lucretia. Well said.

Posted by Exacto on Jul. 29, 2011 @ 3:54 am

your tears should be for the unjustified actions of the police who let the man fester in his own blood. The didn't run a background check on him before firing rounds at him and chasing him down. This could have been anybody they are hunting Black Male Youth criminals or not. This is an ongoing problem with officers.
When the police are above the law and street sweeping with their guns and unmarked guns that is a problem. Where did the .38 come from again, watch the video.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2011 @ 10:24 am

There are many ways to spin this, and it is your right to report it any way you want, Rebecca, but at the late date of July 27, 11 days on, we would expect you to have the basic facts right. Saying Harding was shot "multiple times" is simply wrong, unless you have some secret information.

The medical examiner says he was shot once in the leg by police. Do you think the medical examiner is part of a cover up? If so, fine, but report that--with some, even meager, evidence to support it. Otherwise, you are just printing misinformation.

This kind of reporting hurts the credibility of the SFBG, and the cause of liberalism.

--Dana

Posted by Dana on Aug. 01, 2011 @ 7:44 am

Hey Dana, thanks for reading. SFPD SpotShotter data revealed that there were nine rounds fired; police have explained this by stating that they believe Harding fired the first round, followed by eight rounds fired by police. A spokesperson from SFPD media relations confirmed to me last week that this was also his understanding of what that data revealed.Therefore the current understanding is that SFPD shot at him eight times, with just one bullet striking him in the leg. At the time I was writing this story this information was not as clear as I did not have much of an opportunity to process the info. from the July 21 press release or speak with the SFPD and medical examiner due to deadline constraints, but more up-to-date information has since been published on our Politics Blog. Your critique has some merit in that it might have been more accurate to say that police shot AT Harding multiple times.

Posted by rebecca on Aug. 01, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

For God's sake - you people are pathetic losers. The man was on parole from Washington State for two felonies, one of which was for raping a child. He had just recently shot and killed one person and had wounded several others in Seattle while he was out on parole, and he came to San Francisco on the run from cops up there. There was gunshot residue on his hands and police say that he was shooting over his shoulder while he was running from them and accidentally shot himself. Yeah - lets cry him a river.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 17, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

perhaps you didn't realize that.

"For God's sake - you people are pathetic losers. The man was on parole from Washington State for two felonies, one of which was for raping a child. He had just recently shot and killed one person and had wounded several others in Seattle while he was out on parole, and he came to San Francisco on the run from cops up there. There was gunshot residue on his hands and police say that he was shooting over his shoulder while he was running from them and accidentally shot himself. Yeah - lets cry him a river."

Posted by RamRod on Aug. 17, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

you can kiss my ass, there is no way the cops knew that shit before they cut him in half, so get it straight asshole they killed him because he ran from paying a bus fare and thats all there is to it. there are 4-5 videos from all different angles and not one of them shows a gun and not one of them shows him shooting at the cops. So take your fucking soap box and get the fuck out of here

Posted by Guest on Sep. 03, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

u have a definite problem-there is no evidence he was nearly cut in half!! he was shot once in the leg!! get a grip on urself-ur the reason nobody pays any attention anymore to these situations-ur just a trouble maker.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2012 @ 7:53 pm