Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011-07-20 "SF police arrest 35 in protest of fatal shooting" by Marisa Lagos from "San Francisco Chronicle" newspaper
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gunshot residue was found on the hand of a man fatally shot by San Francisco police, officials said Tuesday, a finding that could bolster officers' assertion that the man opened fire on them before he was killed. Also Tuesday, more than 35 people protesting the shooting were arrested in downtown San Francisco.
Kenneth Wade Harding, 19, was shot and killed in the Bayview neighborhood Saturday after he allegedly fired at two officers who had asked him if he had a Muni ticket.
Harding was a Washington state parolee who was being sought for questioning in connection with a Seattle killing last week. He ran from the San Francisco officers and fired a gun from under his arm before the officers shot back and struck him, police said.
About 150 people gathered in Dolores Park at 5 p.m. to protest Harding's shooting and Bay Area police conduct in general.
Dozens of protesters marched from the park through the Mission and Castro districts during the evening, shutting down streets and at one point storming the Castro Muni station. Inside, some protesters threw smoke bombs and used sticks and hammers to smash signs and vandalized a Bank of America branch, according to police.
They also stopped in front of the Mission Police Station, where they threw a hammer at officers, who were not hit. One protester attempted to take a camera away from a member of a local TV news crew - police made an arrest in that incident, Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said.
The protesters moved toward downtown and the Powell Street cable car turnaround, disrupting Muni service and traffic. When they ignored orders to clear the street, police surrounded the group and made arrests. Several others were arrested nearby after scuffling with police.
The discovery of gunshot residue on Harding's right hand "supports statements from witnesses that Harding held the gun in his right hand as he fired at the police officers," Esparza said.
The residue could indicate either that Harding fired a gun, was in close proximity to a gun as it was fired, or touched a gun or other object with gunshot residue, Esparza said.
In addition to Saturday's shooting, there has been outrage over a July 3 shooting in which BART police killed Charles Blair Hill, a 45-year-old transient. Police said Hill threw a bottle at two officers and pulled a knife before one of the officers shot him to death on the BART Civic Center Station platform in San Francisco.
But it was the Saturday shooting that most outraged protesters. Police did not find a gun at the scene, near Third Street and Oakdale Avenue, but an online video taken just after Harding was shot showed what appeared to be a gun on the ground. Police later found what they believe was the gun, a .45-caliber pistol, at the home of a parolee in the Bayview.
Police Chief Greg Suhr is scheduled to attend a community meeting about the shooting at 6 p.m. today at the Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St.

Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle
Police surround several dozen protesters, upset about the recent police shooting of Kenneth Wade Harding, before arresting them near Union Square on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in San Francisco. Harding, a 19-year-old Washington state parolee, opened fire on officers before he was killed.

2011-07-21 "Police detail 43 arrests in S.F. protest of cops" by Marisa Lagos from "San Francisco Chronicle" newspaper
(07-20) 16:11 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A total of 43 people were arrested Tuesday night during a raucous protest against police conduct in San Francisco, two of them for assault, authorities said today.
The protest was a response to Saturday's fatal shooting of a Washington state parolee by officers who chased him in the Bayview neighborhood after stopping him to see if he was riding Muni without a ticket.
Police officials said the man, 19-year-old Kenneth Wade Harding, had first fired at the two officers. On Tuesday, one hour before the protest, police announced they had found gunshot residue on Harding's right hand.
Tuesday's demonstration turned violent at several points, including when a protester attacked a CBS news cameraman and attempted to steal his camera in the Mission District.
Police said one person was arrested for assault in that attack, while another person was arrested for an assault in the Castro District. No further details were provided.
The march ended at Powell and Ellis streets, where protesters refused police commands to disperse. Those demonstrators were loaded into vans and cited for failing to obey a lawful order and for being in a roadway, said Officer Albie Esparza.
He said 17 of the arrestees were San Francisco residents, 25 were from other California counties, and one was from out of state.
The protesters also vandalized a Bank of America ATM in the Castro and equipment in the Castro Muni station, Esparza said.
Someone threw a hammer at officers lined up in front of the Mission police station, he said, though no officers were struck or injured and no one was arrested.

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