More questions in Bayview shooting

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After receiving a San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) press release issued July 21 stating that the man who died July 16 following an officer-involved shooting in the Bayview had been killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, I phoned the city's Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Amy Hart.
 
I asked Hart to walk me through how the conclusion that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted had been reached. But Hart responded that the Medical Examiner has not reached any conclusion so far about the cause of Harding's death.

"That's not a component of the press release that we issued," Hart said. "Maybe it's a question that would be best addressed to the San Francisco Police Department, probably their homicide division. For us, the cause and manner of death are pending. So, we are going to complete our investigation before we discuss the manner of death. The question that you're asking is something that came from the police press release, so you have to ask them the nature of why they said that."

I called the SFPD and left a message, and I'll be sure to provide an update once they call back.

The SFPD release stated that the Medical Examiner had detected two gunshot wounds in the body of Kenneth Wade Harding, Jr., the 19-year-old from Washington state who died after being shot on a crowded sidewalk in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood. One gunshot wound entered and exited Harding’s left leg, the statement said. A second gunshot wound entered the right side of Harding’s neck, and the bullet remained in his head. The round that was lodged in his head was of .380 caliber, police said, so it could not have come from a .40 caliber SFPD-issued firearm.

A .380 caliber round was discovered in the pocket of the jacket Harding was wearing, the press release added. "Based upon evidence known at this time including: officer and witness statements that Harding shot at the police officers, Shot Spotter data, video tape evidence that depicts a firearm at the scene that was subsequently taken and the location of gunshot residue on Harding’s right hand, it appears that Mr. Harding’s head wound was self inflicted," the press release stated.

The Medical Examiner's office hasn't issued a death certificate yet, Hart said, and it generally takes several weeks to determine the cause of death.

I asked Hart if the Medical Examiner's office had any way to determine which bullet had entered Harding's body first.

"I wouldn't say there's a good way, except for eyewitness accounts," she responded, adding that the Medical Examiner's Office doesn't have information to determine which bullet entered the body first.

While the Medical Examiner determined that the .380 caliber bullet entered through the right side of the neck, it is the ballistics section of SFPD's crime lab that determines the caliber of the rounds, Hart explained.

When I asked Hart what process the Medical Examiner's office would follow to determine the cause of death, she said, "It's a completion of our investigation that will need to happen here at the Medical Examiner's office. We're going to make a final determination, and what goes into an investigation depends on a case, there's no set thing that has to happen." Eventually, she said, the various components of the investigation, such as witness accounts, the ballistics analysis, and the examination of the body will be merged.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ed Lee offered brief comments to the media today in response to the most recent findings released by the SFPD. The mayor attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bayview Branch Library at Third and Revere streets, which is expected to open in December of 2012. Here's a video of Lee's response to the latest evidence released by SFPD:

Video by Rebecca Bowe

Lee was joined by District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen as well as Sen. Mark Leno, Sen. Leland Yee, Sup. Scott Weiner, newly installed Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin, City Librarian Luis Herrera, and other prominent San Franciscans. City officials emphasized the positive at the press conference, stressing that the new library would be a center for learning that could serve the youth of the Bayview and offered hope for the future of a neighborhood in transition. "It's not all doom and gloom here," Cohen told reporters.

I asked Cohen if she had a comment about the police deparment's latest findings, but she declined to say anything about it.

At this point, there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Harding's death. So far, the gun that discharged the .380 caliber bullet into Harding's head has not been recovered by police. Police believe an unidentified man in a hooded sweatshirt who can be seen in a YouTube video picking up a silvery object off the sidewalk removed Harding's weapon from the scene, and they say they are searching for the man and the gun. But if the object shown in the video is a gun, and it was Harding's gun, it's still not clear how it wound up some 10 yards away from the body after he shot himself.

Comments

At last, a good piece of journalism on this case.

Questions are still the order of the day. Conclusions are not yet on the menu.

Except for one conclusion:

Tim Redmond was eager to use this story as a finger-wagging tool for pushing ideology in people's face - and he got many of the facts wrong along the way.

Tim Redmond's behavior is the sort of thing we'd expect from a high-school journalism class. No, I'm mistaken. High-schoolers would know better.

There's nothing progressive about total ineptitude. Not to mention self-righteousness.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

Good piece. Re: the last paragraph, hadn't the police said earlier that someone had taken the gun from the scene and that they tracked him and it down? Now that is no longer the case? It's a very strange case.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

Yes, the story has changed. They did recover a gun, but it was not the same gun that discharged the .380 caliber round that wound up lodged in Harding's head. This is from the press release:

"It should be noted that the firearm recovered early on in this investigation is of .45 caliber.  It is not consistent with the .380/9mm evidence recovered from Harding’s body and could not have fired the shot that wounded Harding.  The Police Department believes that the weapon used by Harding is still outstanding and requests assistance from the public in recovering this firearm as well as the cell phone and bullet casings that were removed from the scene."

Posted by rebecca on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

Why are you so angry?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

Thug life doesn't pay - he couldn't even afford to ride MUNI.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

I agree. Death penalty for anyone convicted of pimping. As well as for anyone who claims that they are a "pimp."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

She said so on numerous occasions. And what Andrea Dworkin wanted - I want.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

Why am I not surprised that you identify with the 'miserable, hateful, ant-sex' wing of the feminist movement?

Arthur Evans, that self-hating man, he loves Andrea Dworkin too.

Me... I say, the fewer Andrea Dworkins out there, the better. I'm glad she's dead. Good riddance.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

"Arthur Evans, that self-hating man, he loves Andrea Dworkin too."

- Greg

Aren't you getting a little carried away here with your own rhetoric?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:04 am

LOL - you totally don't get it.

Yes, I am TOTALLY identified with the Andrea Dworkin - Katherine MacKinnon wing of the feminist movement. As you can tell from my previous posts I just love hateful, bitter ideologues - especially ridiculous anti-male leftists.

I know you're not THAT dumb Greg.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

You actually do come off as quite hateful and meanspirited, so I thought your statement of apparent support for Dworkin would be consistent with that attitude.

I should have known better, as consistency isn't exactly one of your hallmarks. In fact you proudly flaunt your inconsistency. At one point when your irrationality was challenged, you said "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds." At another point, when you made totally contradictory statements on the death penalty, you said, "The Snaps is for it AND against it." No need to be accused of flip-floppery here, as in "she was for it BEFORE she was against it." Oh no, "The Snaps" is so brilliant that she can be for it AND against it *at the same time*!

Well anyway, I'm glad that Doworkinism is one mental illness that you're not afflicted with. At least not at the moment. Given your uncanny ability to proudly simultaneously hold contradictory opinions, I wouldn't be surprised if, in the very next post, you declared your undying devotion to her.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

:-)

If you really think having contradictory opinions is a symptom of mental illness then you clearly don't understand how 99.99% of the population thinks about every issue under the sun. Nearly EVERYONE has contradictory opinions about most issues, whether they're political, ethical, sexual or a combination of all of those things - that's absolutely normal. We have evolved to learn to process everything contradictorily in order to survive - at least the most successful of us have.

What is not normal is thinking there's only one right way to do things and one way to think about things and that way is the way that YOU feel. I really find it quite disturbing when I hear others talk about how rigidly they hold their views - it's antithetical to the way I was raised and how I view politics and society.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

Wow.... You're obviously not very intelligent. Too bad the police don't ever kill the right people.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

You corrected the font, make you look less angry :-)

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

A dead mutt? Oh boo-hoo!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 5:55 am

bump (ignore this, just bumping a troll link down the list)

Posted by vigilante on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

Surely the police cannot be saying that this is the guy who took the gun away from the scene still:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2JJcpwYjbI

clearly that is a cellphone right?

shot in the leg, fell, accidental shot self in the head is plausible but not whilst they clearly lied about this part of the story

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 9:41 am

Rebecca,

Thank you for putting in the time to actually pursue the facts behind this story. The rest of the media seems content to regurgitate whatever press release SFPD hands them.

I'm not sure why some people are so angry at those of us who want to know what actually happened. I guess they feel like we're unfairly tempering their gleeful celebration of the extrajudicial killing they all seem to believe this man had coming to him, because of his past crimes, regardless of the circumstances of this incident.

Posted by Keep up the good work. on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

I've noticed the Chronicle's entire coverage of the City budget is a regurgitation of the Mayor's press releases...Good to see someone asking questions for a change.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

Bowe has written a good story. It's factual and tries to present what happened and is fair is owning up to what isn't known. It's just not clear what took place last weekend, and I guess that is what Lee means when he used the word "Wow." I liked how this reporter teased out a tension that exists between the SFPD, the work of its crime lab and the Medical Examiner's office. That is good reporting.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

"the fewer Andrea Dworkins out there, the better. I'm glad she's dead."

- Greg

You sound like people in the religious right.

The extremes of the political spectrum are alike.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

Andrea Dworkin was an extremist. You sound like people in the religious right.

The extremes of the political spectrum are alike.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

Who else are glad to see dead?

I bet you have a long list, right?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

This exchange here is indicative of how Arthur Evans uses language to attack:

"Are you glad that she's dead too, Marc?"

I am not glad that Andrea Dworkin is dead. She was an unhappy extremist whose writing and practical philosophy I disagreed with. However she did not hurt anyone during her lifetime, did not kill or rape anyone, so there was no reason to celebrate her death.

"Who else are glad to see dead?"

Presuming an answer to the above question, Arthur Evans then proceeds to assert bad acts that have not been substantiated.

I'm not sure which is sadder, Andrea Dworkin's pathetic former life or Arthur Evans' fading, sloppy rhetorical skills.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

Marcos,
Perhaps I was a bit harsh in my choice of words. True, she did not kill or rape anyone. All she did was write hateful words. But as we can see time and time again with acts of senseless violence, words can serve as inspiration to violent acts by unstable people. So am I glad that there is one less person writing hateful words? You bet I am. Instead of the word "dead," I could have chosen to say something more euphemistic, such as 'I'm glad that she's not out there writing her hateul words anymore.' But everyone would still know what I mean, and I'm not one to mince words.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

Greg, Aside from Valeria Solanas and Lorena Bobbit, I mean, seriously, has there been a rash of female on male violence due to Dworkin's writings?

Has Dworkin's writings kept otherwise law abiding men from getting off to porn? Should we raise money to start a foundation to offer support services to such porn-deprived men wherever Mackinnon and Dworkin's ideas are law?

Yes, you too can be an orgasm donor to porn starved men in the Saskatchewan heartland?

Have men and women been deprived of raucous fucking with ardor as Dworkin disapproved of, preferring some sort of more feminine rubbing together of organs as in: http://www.jimgoad.net/pdf/parfrey.pdf ?

Well, have they?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

"I'm not one to mince words."

- Greg

Unminced words and a shallow mind are an unhappy combination.

Mince words, think deeply, act with self-restraint.

Especially if you claim to be the vanguard.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 8:30 am

Marc,

Review this thread. Greg said he's glad Andrea Dworkin is dead. I challenged him on that score, pointing out that such a mentality is common to both ends of the political spectrum.

You defended him.

There's nothing progressive about gloating over the fact that people are dead.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

Really Arthur - Dworkin was an extremist who in the end will be known more for her outrageously anti-male writings than for anything else. There's nothing at all wrong with saying you could care less, or are glad, that she's dead. I'm glad Idi Amin is dead and I'll be overjoyed when Robert Mugabe is dead too. Sometimes the world is better off without certain people. That's not unreasonable - it's a fact.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

Andrea Dworkin certainly had her faults, but she was no Idi Amin.

The only persons who lived in my own lifetime, and whom I was glad to see dead, were Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Dan White.

And even so, I have to ask myself whether such feelings are ever appropriate for any mortal being to have, and especially for a good and refined person.

There's a Latin saying that comes to mind:

Memento mori.

"Be mindful that you are dying."

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

Your personal viewpoints are your own. Because someone else feels differently doesn't mean they're weird or wrong.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

"and especially for a good and refined person."

that's something you'll never have to worry about.....you don't have the best reputation around in case you're unaware of that. not long ago someone on another message forum referred to you as a "horse's ass." i know you will consider that (gasp!) "foul-mouthed" (LOL)....deal with it. just saying....you have a most delusional and self-righteous view of yourself. most of the nonstop criticisms you throw at others in your repetitive and monotonous style also apply to you, but you fail to see it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

"most of the nonstop criticisms you throw at others in your repetitive and monotonous style also apply to you, but you fail to see it."

- Guest

You don't regard this as a repetitive criticism?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 8:34 am

Why is this not evidence of the decline of our "moderate sect?" Someone who constantly criticizes progressives (Lucretia) just said something bad on the internet. When Greg and Marc did this that was of course enough to cause David Waggoner to lose a commission appointment according to you. Are Lucretia's comments about Dworkin going to swing the election to Avalos?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

"the fewer Andrea Dworkins out there, the better. I'm glad she's dead."

You sound like people in the religious right.

The extremes of the political spectrum are alike.

Andrea Dworkin was an extremist. You sound like people in the religious right.

The extremes of the political spectrum are alike.

Greg is glad that Dworkin is dead. Arthur decries this as being extremist. I mention that Dworkin was extremist.

Now Arthur asserts that challenging his non-sequitur means that I am defending Greg.

Is there no extent to the rhetorical depths to which Arthur Evans will sink to avoid discussing why the cops executed someone for fare evasion?

Anything?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

Marcos, would you not consider yourself on the extremist left? I know from your post that's where I would consider you.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 6:11 am

I don't consider myself "extreme left," more so progressive populist.

In any instance, I am not making an extremist leftist argument here, although I could have, just pointing out Arthur Evans' diminishing intellectual capacity as measured by his increasingly desperate postings here.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 7:16 am

I'd put you far left too!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 10:01 am

"Marcos, would you not consider yourself on the extremist left?"

- Guest

If Marc Salomon ever got his hands on significant power, many people would end up in Gulags.

The good news is that he's self-marginalizing. The more loudly he bangs the drum for any candidate or cause, the more likely the candidate or cause is to lose. This has been his record for ten years now.

So we're all safe.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 10:02 am

When was the last time I tried to get my hands on "significant power," or any power at all?

Arthur Evans insists upon personalizing the discussion away from the topic at hand--the killing of a civilian by the SFPD under questionable circumstances?

This is what happens when propagandists use ad hominem arguments to cover up for the inadequacy of their arguments.

Those with significant power or any power at all fear me, because I trust in the wisdom of the people over that of the leaders or organizers. Followed to its logical conclusion, this would result in the usurpation of that franchise in favor of participatory democracy.

And nobody with a scintilla of power would want that, would they? The question is why someone like Arthur Evans, without a scintilla of power, would be pimping for those in power, distracting the conversation away from shady policy violence onto me?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 10:18 am

about how left-wing Marc is or is not. Given that his sole reason for being here is ego (and way too much time on his hands), the very worst thing we can do is indulge him by discussing him as if his position on anything is of real relevance.

Posted by Walter on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 11:02 am

None of you all would respond to me if I were not a threat to the positions you advocate in this forum.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 11:46 am

“Those with significant power or any power at all fear me…”

“None of you all would respond to me if I were not a threat to the positions you advocate in this forum.”

No, these are not quotes from the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik but from the posts of our own Marc Salomon.

Anybody see a red flag here?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

These places are where the average person is most likely to encounter violence.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

there are quite a few routes that I won't take, including the 9 and 14 - they are freakshows.

Posted by Walter on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 8:03 am

I take Muni several times every day, mostly the #33, #37, #24, and #71 buses.

I commonly witness people pushing in through the back door without paying. The drivers are often afraid to say anything, and with good reason.

The fare evaders are usually abusive to each other and other passengers. They carry knives. They blast loud music on their radios. They scream incoherently at the top of their lungs. They spray graffiti on walls and seats. They urinate on the floor. They provoke fights. The most threatening among them are the males.

This behavior is not acceptable in a civilized society. It's time to get them under control.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 8:44 am

I'm really disappointed with all the anti-pimp talk around here lately. As Greg stated so eloquently above, anyone who's anti-pimp is obviously anti-male, anti-sex, and (worst of all) a feminist. Women need a man with a strong pimp-hand in order to properly express themselves sexually --- on a stage while strangers throw dollar bills at them. Anyone who says otherwise is a Republican.

Posted by RamRod on Jul. 29, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

You're really going to try to lie about what someone wrote a little higher on the same page?
Where did he say that?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 29, 2011 @ 10:03 pm