Can We Trust SFPD on the Shooting of 19 year old Kenneth Harding?

Here’s a few stories and updates on the recent tragic shooting of 19 year old Kenneth Harding this past Saturday in the SF Bayview district… First we have our Hard Knock Radio coverage where we spoke to several witnesses to the shooting along with community activists. Folks we talk to in the Bayview vehemently refute the accounts given by the police who claim Harding shot at them. Witnesses we spoke to in the Bayview say that’s not true.

Others also want to know why we have not seen the multiple witnesses the police have laid claim to.. Why have they not step forth to speak? Why haven’t other news agencies discovered these witnesses and brought them forth for us to hear and see?

SFPD also claims to have found gun residue on the hands of Kenneth Harding. My question is what news outlets have independently verified this?

SFPD has recently been rocked by one of the largest scandals in its history

Some may ask why be so distrustful of SF Finest? Well as SF Film maker and Bayview resident Kevin Epps pointed out SFPD has already lost credibility with the public. Many have forgotten it was just 3 months ago SFPD was rocked with a scandal that involved dozens of felony cases being dropped because cops were shown on video behaving in unethical manners ranging from falsifying reports, illegally searching suspects, stealing from victims etc. What was shown was believed to be the tip of the iceberg and as results a federal investigation was launched.

If that wasn’t enough the scandal which was the largest in recent history of SFPD wasn’t discovered and ‘policed’ by the department itself. It was Jeff Adachi, the city’s public defender, and private defense lawyers who did the heavy lifting. Much of the scandal took place during the tenure of former police chief George Gascon who now serves as district attorney-Talk about conflict of interest. At last count a whooping 57 felony cases were dropped.

With all that in mind, there’s no way the citizens of SF, especially those in the Bayview can confidently trust the police are gonna be forthright in their findings especially if something egregious took place.

19 year old Kenneth Harding shot

It’s interesting to note that many who staunchly support the police while overlooking these recent scandals are hell bent on suggesting that because Harding had a criminal past he deserved to be shot. That’s wrong on all angles. As community advocate and SF City Commissioner La Mesha Irizarry pointed out, it doesn’t matter if Harding was the poster child for a chain saw massacre, he gets to have his day in court like anyone else. Police are not judge , jury and executioner no matter what. Even if he shot at them as alleged by the police, once he was taken down, medical aid was to be immediately administered. Police are trained to be first responders.. The graphic video along with witness statements shows the police didn’t aid Harding, they let him die.

Anyway you can peep the coverage we did the other day in the Bayview by accessing the following links

http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/71633

The archive will be available up till August 1 2011..

You can also peep the archive on Swift FM

http://swift.fm/mrdaveyd/swift/129819/

Below are a couple of stories we encourage folks to peep including this one from Tiny Gray-Garcia of POOR Magazine titled
Killed for riding while Poor

We sat together: elders, youth, workers, students, and folks. We were on our way to a low-paid job, an overpriced university, a pre-gentrified home and a public school. There was laughter and shouts, murmurs and silence. Then suddenly, there were nine heavily armed police officers and fare inspectors walking through the crowded 14 Mission Muni line. One stopped in front of me and my son.

“I don’t have a transfer, I lost it,” I tentatively answered a cop who asked to see my paperwork as I clutched my son’s stroller and tried to see how close I was to the back door of the bus.

“We will have to write you a citation and you will have to step off the bus — now.” He was yelling at me and was flanked by another officer. I knew I couldn’t make a run for it, but I almost tried.

I thought of this moment when I heard about the 19-year-old man shot by the SFPD while running away from a Muni bus because he didn’t have a transfer in the Bayview July 16.

Shot and killed for not having $2 bus fare.

At a press conference held July 18 at the scene of the shooting, Joanne Abernathy from People Organized to Win Employment Rights made the point: “No one should be shot for not having enough money to ride the bus.”

You can continue reading the article at SF Bay Guardian.

You can also check out footage of the protest in SF tonite where 35 were arrested

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/07/19/18685332.php

Over 35 people were arrested for protesting the shooting of 19 year old Kenneth Harding