Harding's family speaks out

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Adante Pointer, an attorney with the Law Offices of John Burris, addresses the media as Harding's family sits to the right.
Photo by Rebecca Bowe

On July 25, the family of Kenneth Wade Harding, Jr. -- the 19-year-old who was killed in the Bayview by a gunshot wound after he ran from being detained for MUNI fare evasion by San Francisco police -- attended a press conference in Oakland at the law offices of John Burris.

News of Harding's criminal history quickly surfaced in the days following his death, with reports focusing on how the African American man from Seattle had served time in prison 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.

Harding's mother, Denika Chatman, presented an alternative profile of her son, describing him as an independent person who cared for his family and dreamed of a music career as a rapper. Chatman said Harding had planned on attending Seattle Central Community College and would have turned 20 on Aug. 5. As for his criminal background and allegations that he violated his parole, "it doesn't have anything to do with what happened to him," she said.

Chatman and Pointer asserted that Harding was not in San Francisco because he was on the run. Instead, they said, he was there to visit with family and friends in the Bay Area and meet with his music manager. Chatman said Harding's older brother is signed on with a record label in San Francisco, but declined to say which label.

Attorney Adante Pointer called Harding's death "a tragedy and a shocking incident, which has brought us here seeking answers." While he did not directly address the police account of the shooting thus far -- that he was killed not by multiple rounds fired by San Francisco police officers, but a self-inflicted gunshot wound -- Pointer did express skepticism.

"Those stories continuously shift," Pointer said. "That's nothing that you can build any kind of trust or credibility with." He added, "This community is seeking some type of logical explanation as to what happened, as opposed to what amounts to be knee-jerk speculation."

Pointer said his office had met with five eyewitnesses so far and hoped to find more. "There are eyewitnesses, there are persons in that community who've said this young man never fired a shot," he said. "That's inconsistent with what the police have said ... let's find out what the truth is."

Pointer and Chatman were joined by members of Harding's extended family, as well as African American community leaders in the Bay Area including Nation of Islam minister Rev. Christopher Muhammad and Rev. Renard Allen of San Francisco's Third Baptist Church. Also present was Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, the 20-year-old Hayward man who was fatally shot Jan. 1, 2009 by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in a case which prompted riots. The Law Offices of John Burris represented Grant's mother in a federal civil rights lawsuit against BART, striking a $1.3 million settlement with the transit agency in late June.  

Video by Rebecca Bowe

Comments

because the whole episode occurred in a matter of seconds.

Memory is a tricky thing as well, twenty people can watch the same event and twenty different stories will be produced.

Evolving details isn't a conspiracy.

...and that "he was getting his life together and had an aspiring career in the music field." Who takes that seriously anymore?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 10:54 am

LOL - hence his attempt to prostitute a 13-year old girl. He was really attempting to emulate "thug life." And he met the same end as Biggie and Tupac too! What a cliche'.

Sounds like a real winner. Too bad this ambulance chasing attorney didn't interview the girls he sex trafficked.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 11:16 am

Is the older brother who is signed with a record label the same brother who may be wanted in another murder investigation?

Posted by Guest666 on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 11:25 am

The family seeks closure, people.

Posted by Marcus on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

When Oscar Grant was shot the BART Police painted a picture of a thug and a no good low life. One year later BART killed another man and called it suicide by police. Few months later they kill a drunk hippy and try to cover it up.
A victim may be at other times a criminal, but a victim in the context of a thing like this a VICTIM.
The police need to stop their lies, stop their murders, and stop acting more criminal then the supposed people they protect us from

Posted by GuestAnon on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

while he was "growing up", he wouldn't have turned into such an unsympathetic "victim".

Now of course, they just want money.

Posted by Walter on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

The guy had a .45 on him (no rounds shot) and a video shows a civilian picking up another gun (his other gun) at the scene near his body before police could clear the scene. Lets put 2 and 2 together. He pulled the .38 and shot at or tried to shoot at the cops while running. Cops hit him in the leg and he accidentally shot himself in the process. Sucks that someone died due to what started as a Muni fare violation but if you run from cops and pull out a gun, you have to blame yourself.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

a red herring here. The simple fact is that he encountered some cops somewhere and, given that he was wanted for a horrendous crime and was therefore facing serious hard time, he decided to run and/or shoot his way out of trouble.

That almost never works out well.

Posted by Walter on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

Dude,,, what video were you watching? If you are speaking of the video where the guy in a hooded gray and white stripped sweat shirt retreived something from the ground... LOOK AGAIN!!! and turn the sound on as well because one can clearly see that the item retreived was NOT A GUN... It was a CELL PHONE... the guy retreiving it can be clEarly saying two times "phone... phone"

Get a clue and quit rushing to judgement because irrespective of whatever this deceased persons background was it could never give rise to having been shot in the back numerous times.

On anothere note, if in fact the victim did shoot himself, the ballistics willl not match the guns of the officers other than the round claimed to have hit him in the leg.

I am just CURIOUS...HOW DOES ONE SHOOT ONE'S SELF MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE BACK??

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

Dude,,, what video were you watching? If you are speaking of the video where the guy in a hooded gray and white stripped sweat shirt retreived something from the ground... LOOK AGAIN!!! and turn the sound on as well because one can clearly see that the item retreived was NOT A GUN... It was a CELL PHONE... the guy retreiving it can be clEarly saying two times "phone... phone"

Get a clue and quit rushing to judgement because irrespective of whatever this deceased persons background was it could never give rise to having been shot in the back numerous times.

On anothere note, if in fact the victim did shoot himself, the ballistics willl not match the guns of the officers other than the round claimed to have hit him in the leg.

I am just CURIOUS...HOW DOES ONE SHOOT ONE'S SELF MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE BACK

Posted by Guest XTC on Jul. 31, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

"HOW DOES ONE SHOOT ONE'S SELF MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE BACK."

- Guest GTC

The Medical Examiner found that the mortal wound to Harding came from a bullet from his own gun that went into his neck and head. This finding is consistent with someone running away from the police, with his back turned to them, and firing back wildly over his shoulder. He stumbled or got careless and blasted himself.

"Get a clue and quit rushing to judgement because irrespective of whatever this deceased persons background..."

- Guest GTC

Harding was stupid and violent throughout his life. These are the traits that led to his death.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 31, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

“Harding's mother, Denika Chatman, presented an alternative profile of her son … As for his criminal background and allegations that he violated his parole, ‘it doesn't have anything to do with what happened to him," she said.’”

There you have the whole problem in a nutshell.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

I think the public should seek closure against his family for raising a public nuisance. They should all be feeling deep, deep shame and self-guilt instead of acting like they won the lottery.

The fact that Mr. Harding apparently started a gun battle with cops then shot himself only compounds the idiocy of their complaints.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

Since Oscar Grant was actually shot by the authorities vs. this guy who was NOT killed by the police - it's going to be difficult to see how she scores the same payday. Although the ambulance chaser and the professional race warriors of the Nation of Islam will do their best to make sure she does.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

Where's dad?

Posted by GuestMartin on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

She was 17 when she had her oldest and then 20 when she gave birth to the victim in this case. Both of her children are criminals, one now dead and the other wanted for committing a felony murder. And she hasn't even reached middle age.

Yet she blames everyone but herself for the way her boys turned out. She flew down to San Francisco from Seattle to hold a press conference with professional race warriors and an attorney renowned for taking large fees from those he "represents" in these cases. A press conference where her "alternative view" consisted of presenting her son as some kind of misunderstood angel - not a convicted sex traffickers from Seattle's CD.

The whole thing is so sordid and sad.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

Damn! The cycle continues!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

It was a difficult week for the Harding/Chatman family.

Their oldest son (convicted rapist) died with his own hand, and the younger son is suspected of killing an old man in Seattle last week.

The family is grieving...Cash settlement is needed...time to bring in Big Bad (I get 40% cut) Burress.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 7:53 am