Morning Muni shutdown commemorates death of Kenneth Harding, Jr.

Harding's mother Denika Chatman holds a sign with his image as protesters block the J train at Church and Duboce

More than 50 protesters disrupted Muni service for about an hour this morning before peacefully leaving to march down Market, in commemoration of the death of Kenneth Harding, Jr., on July 16, 2011.

After gathering at 14th and Market, the group marched to the intersection of Duboce and Church, where Muni trains headed outbound exit the tunnel. Soon, at least four outbound trains and two inbound trains were backed up.

Buses replaced their service.

Some passengers were angered, while most took literature from protesters on their way to catch another train. A few joined in the picket line. Drivers, meanwhile, were mostly nonchalant. “I’m just enjoying the show,” said one driver.

“They shoot us down, we shut it down,” protesters chanted. They also mentioned the names of Raheim Brown Jr., Derrick Gaines, Oscar Grant, and other young African American Bay Area men killed by police.

As a police line closed in, one protester shouted at cops, "you are all complicit!" The group left the intersection around 7:30 without much confrontation with police.

Denika Chatman, Harding’s mother, has been organizing a movement demanding that the police who shot him be charged with murder since his death.

Harding, 19, was stopped by police last year as part of a ticket check while exiting the T train at third and Palou. He ran, and police shot at him. He fell and bled for about thirty minutes, while police surrounded him, before he was taken to a hospital.

Police say Harding pulled a gun out as he ran and shot at them, and that the fatal bullet in his neck was his own. They say that, since the bullet that killed him was from a .380-caliber handgun and police carry .40 caliber guns, Harding shot himself. No gun was found on Harding, but police acquired a gun a week after the shooting that they believe Harding used.

Police have pointed to a video which they say shows a man picking up the gun at the scene, while Harding’s family members and supporters say the object is a cell phone.

By no accounts did police know Harding's identity before shooting.

Officers Richard Hastings and Matthew Lopez have recieved medals of valor for their handling of the incident.

Dorian Maxwell, a whistleblower former Muni driver who refused to operate his bus and made noise about unsafe conditions on Muni, attended the protest as well. He said Labor Black and Brown, one of the organizations who planned the protest, supported him after he risked his job.

“Your life is in danger if you’re riding the Muni,” Maxwell told the crowd, pointing out what he identified as partially flat tires on a nearby 22 Fillmore.

“We wanted to combine the brutality of the police with the workers getting victimized,” said protest organizer Charles Du Bois.

Chatman has also connected her demonstrations to the movement for free Muni tickets for youth.

“I wanted to organize a Muni shutdown, and it just started growing from there,” Chatman said. It was in honor of Kenny, and to unite the community as well. Because a lot of them witness these horrible murders and I wanted to do something to give back to a community that has supported me since this happened.”

After marching down Market stopping traffic every few blocks, the group ended with a speak-out in front of SFMTA headquarters. There were no arrests. A vigil is planned for 5pm at Third and Palou, in Mendell Plaza, the spot when Harding died. Supporters call the plaza Kenny's Plaza in Harding's honor.



Look, i'm trying to be sensitive to folks here, but let me get this straight.

The kid is on the run from Seattle where he (allegedly) shot and killed a pregnant woman. He's carrying a gun around on a bus. He runs from the far inspectors and the police. He shoots at the police. He gets shot (maybe even by his own gun).

... now people think it's right to "protest" this by punishing normal people just trying to get to work?

Please, people, do a little thinking. Look at yourselves. This kid may have had a troubled life, but he got *exactly* what was coming to him. The end.

Posted by Absolon on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

They want you to think these horrible things that are not true. He was never charged with that murder in Seattle and two men have been in custody for over a year since the day after the murder occurred in Seattle for the murder. They don't want you to care that's why they slander and dehumanize the victims to take away any sense of empathy. These are all public records and facts that you can look up your self instead of judging. The police knew that they had people in custody before the murder of my son even occurred so it was a smear campaign.

Posted by Guest Denika Chatman on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

Where are the protests against the murderers of the two teenagers who were shot in Hunter's Point this month?

Is anyone out there willing to disclose their names? Or too much fear in the community to stop the gang warfare?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

I'm sure all of you commenting have never once experienced police brutality... And I'm sure most of you have the privilege of being white males...
Also, I'm sure most of you have never set foot in HP or even live in San Francisco...

And the murders of two teenagers? Where the police to prevent crime? Did they solve the murders? No? And what about the teenager that was killed by South City PD?

Oh I forgot, police can kill people, and get put on paid vacation... And then they have people like you to back them up because they don't affect your nice community.

Posted by ftp on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

Stop and frisk will make this worse. It will invite these interactions between police and young people. We need to find a better way.
Doing a little time over a gun is just a chance ruin a persons outlook on the world and make it impossible to get a job. Prison isn't hard enough to be a deterrent to revisit-ism. Doing a couple years is little more than a right of passage into a life of crime.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

..."a better way."..As in keeping the basketball courts open late nights ?
To paraphrase one of our more astute BOS members : "The progressive
era in S.F. politics is over."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

I AM AFRICAN AMERICAN. And I would not be caught dead in Hunter's Point. It is a neighborhood of and for gangland terrorists that have women and children, and men, living in FEAR.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

I am a white woman and am not in fear of Hunters Point, just some of the people there. Most of the people I know in Hunters Point, and Bayview, where I live, are family, only some are gangs.

Of those individuals I fear, I do not run from them. The only way to combat fear is to look it is the face, and move past. Of course, I would not put myself in the middle of a gang situation, but I will never give up on family because they are there.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

Lets see how liberal you would be if you got shot at. That teenager that was killed in south city also had a gun, and pointed it at police. Instead of yelling race, and police brutality, why dont you look at the parents or the culture that bred the mentality that it is ok to carry illegal weapons? Or point them at law enforcement? Go around and blame everyone but yourselves. And yes, it does not affect my nice community, because people in my community act right. They don't carry weapons, deal drugs, run from the cops, POINT GUNS AT COPS, steal from each other, graffiti everything... I can go on. We live in a nice community because we make it that way, but if people in yours want to act like thugs/animals, they will get treated like thugs/animals. And whose tax dollars do you think are going to fund welfare, and social programs that are supposed to help that community? I'll give you a hint... probably not yours. All worked up on a tuesday morning... I cannot wait until SF and Oakland get too expensive for these monsters to live in.

Posted by GetOut on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 4:32 am

Poor Kenneth Harding found out quickly the life of a pimp, which is what he was - a trafficker of underaged girls for sex - wasn't all he was expecting.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

The Guardian is often upset that the peasants are too stupid to see through the non-sense of the corporate media who always it seems makes things up. The Guardian would never make anything up.

The science of ballistics. (science, another way of knowing)

Recovery of bullets can be a very useful part of forensic ballistics. A variety of bullet designs exist, some that are specific to the firearm. Furthermore, the scouring of a bullet's surface as it encounters the grooves of the firearm barrel can produce a distinctive pattern that enables a bullet to be matched with the firearm. A weapon recovered from a suspect can be test fired and the bullet pattern compared with a bullet recovered from the scene to either implicate or dismiss involvement of the firearm in the crime.

Harding's bullet went up through his arm and into his head. If the cops shot him it would have not followed that trajectory.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

None of your links talk about the trajectory of the bullet through Kenneth Harding. The Bay Citizen just repeated the police lies without examining the evidence. There was no gun found. The police would not even produce the guy who allegedly took this mystery gun. Someone picked up something on the video, but it could've been anything. It could've been a cellphone. All the witnesses say that they heard no shots coming from Kenneth. And the subsequent harassment of the witnesses tells me that the police were trying to cover up their murder of Kenneth Harding Jr.

Posted by Guest ShutDown @ matlock on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

the internet.

I should have used "along the arm" not through.


"Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Amy Hart said her office’s preliminary autopsy suggests Harding was killed by a .380-caliber bullet that entered his neck on the right side and lodged in his head. Another live .380-caliber bullet was found in Harding’s right jacket pocket, Biel said."

This also includes elsewhere on the "internet" the finding of powder burns on the deceased, the cops being to far away to produce them.

gun found

"Police said lab ballistics tests confirmed the gun — a small silver and black AMT .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol that police believe was snatched from the ground by an onlooker as Harding lay dying — matched the weapon that fired the bullet that killed Harding."

If you found the gun would you want the cops to ell the media who you are not knowing the friends the dead guy has still alive? What a ridiculous and naive comment.

I just did a little search, in California it seems quite legal for the next of kin to have an independent autopsy performed, looks like "California Health and Safety Code Section 7113." One wonders why the mother didn't avail herself to such a thing, I would guess she had a fair amount of lawyers coming out of the wood work to foot the bill for such a thing. John Burris could sneeze that money out.

as to conspiracy theories

"Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead"

Benjamin Franklin

Posted by matlock on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 12:57 am

Thank Gawd Big Bad ('I get 50% cut") Burris has upped an lawyered onto the scene here. He will seek Social Justice and Social Equality for himself and all involved

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 7:26 am

So here's the reality:

The man who was convicted in Washington state for attempting to pimp out a 13 year old girl, who was currently on parole but wanted in connection with the murder of a pregnant woman, who also had previously been convicted of armed robbery, who was carrying a firearm, and was somehow dumb enough to attempt to dodge a $2 MUNI fair... is dead.

** So. The. Fuck. What. **

Delete my comment SFBG, go ahead. But for all your talk of how the majority really feels, that's some majority talk for you. The guy was a proven shitbag who shot himself. And if the cops did it, thanks for cleaning up.

The majority of voters, taxpayers, and pretty much everyone who isn't his mom, some permanently unemployed "activist" and a City College losty.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

Harding was NOT wanted for that woman's murder, and she wasn't pregnant. The real culprit in that crime was arrested. The 14-year old lied about her age on MySpace, hence no statutory rape/abuse of a minor conviction.

Posted by Not Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 12:25 am

Like the FACT that it is not just the police stating that Harding shot himself, but the SF Medical Examiner.

You also leave out the FACTS that Harding was on Parole out of Washington for pimping an underage girl, and was being sought there in connection with a murder. Did the SFPD know this at the time they tried to stop him- nope. But it certainly does explain Harding's own behavior. nHe was a felon in violation of his parole, was apparently in possession of a firearm (another felony) and was being sought for a murder. I guess when the hard facts don't fit your little world view they stay on the cutting room floor huh?

Posted by D.native on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

1) I have archived the ORIGINAL video of the young Samoan kid picking up the ALLEGED gun, where he can been seen showing a small, rectangular silvery object and exlaiming in front of the camera : "Look ! It's his CELL PHONE", before he walkout off in the crowd. The original video was deleted from Youtube, then reintroduced 2 days later, with the cell phone on the ground being replaced with the much larger and blurred image of a gun,

2) Kenny did not "Kill a pregnant girl", The coroner issued a statement that the autopsy of Tayana Davis recealed she was not pregnant.

3) although Seattle PD had issued a communique that Kenny was "a person of interest" in the murder of Tayana, 2 days after Kenny's killing in San Francisco, they actually took 2 other Youth into custody for that very murder, one as accesory and the other for committing the homicide.

SF Fist that sore excuse for journalism, published an article this morning entitled "Protest in support of a choild rapist".I heard the same contention fromn an Asian Ch 7 reporter this morning, while I was on Church and Duboce.
Kennt had been in a relationship with his girlfriend, both were MINORS when he allegedly suggested she could work the street, The girl would have refused and talked to authorities. There is NO statutory rape between minors.
While I will never condone sex woirk by children, in poor neighborhoods of Color, when OVERTRAINED kids apply for many jobs and never get hired, when some of them are babies raising babies and have bno access to free childcare to go to work. sadly they ay resort to illicit activities. Prostiotution is still a crime, but in my book, and within many kids I work with, abject poverty, institutionalized racism and environmental toxicitym the lack of residential treatment beds for substance users is a way more obcene crime.
Add Blyth, predatory loans, forclusures, evictions, constant police harassment and school push outs through kids bused out of their neighorhood, the city creates estrangement, lissing the irganic Hood support and social network. Then the "authoritoes" can contend "See ? You need us to *Catch The Bad Guys"

I kicee and work in Bayview Hunters Point since 1997, and in 14 years of continued occupancy, U have not ONCE be subjected to assaults, theftsm uinndults or mare disrespect. When one consistently treat people with dignity and respect, it is reciprocal,

Bow let us talk about guns and power residue. I took the 15 week SF POlice Citizen traiing 2 years after they shot mty only child Idriss Stelley i
n a painstaking effort to get a grip ' on organizational
culture that lead to the 48 bullets that killed my 23 yr, child,
, who did not have a gun and sat
alone in the back seat of an emptied theater at the Metreon.

Beats officers makes no secret that they can carry extra guns concealed on their persons, that they jokingly refer to "Throw Away guns"m it is not a violation of their P&P. then the gun us fired, dropped at clie prominity, an officer who has fired the gun kneels
by the inconscious body of a comatose or deceased subjectm and take quick, plong prctice seconds to intoduce gun powder residue on hands & clothing
from the thrown awat gung victim,and a empty cassing or 2 ar rhe scene for thre "Throw Away Gun", sometimes pishing the Houdini artistry to place a bullet from the Thrown Away gun into the deceased pocket, and Voila (Gun powder residue does not come with a name tag....)

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

Very nice response, ma'm.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 8:15 am

""While I will never condone sex woirk by children, in poor neighborhoods of Color, when OVERTRAINED kids apply for many jobs and never get hired, when some of them are babies raising babies and have bno access to free childcare to go to work. sadly they ay resort to illicit activities.""

Good point. People living in poor neighborhoods sometimes have to resort to prostitution (with the aid of pimps) just to keep from dying of starvation.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Prostitution seems to be okay when gay men do it or when white women from middle class and above backgrounds do.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

To keep other pimps from attacking the prostitutes I suppose.

There is no lower form of life than the pimp.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

Agree with Marcos. It should be okay for teenage minors just as it is for gay men and middle-class women of no color.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

With the vast amount of starvation in African-American communities (which can be hard to see being that blacks have the highest obesity rates in the US) we must understand the reliance of some on the "black" market for their cash money.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

Paying for sex and arranging for other people to have paid sex is legal just so long as you film it and they are of legal age.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

The girl was a minor and not by just a year or two - she was 14 years old. Stop conflating legal, consensual sexual activity with that of an adult pimping out a child - it's fucking disgusting.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

I am his biological uncle and the young lady lied to him about her age and when he told her he was moving to California she got mad and said u ain't leaving me so she called the police and reported him and said he was trying to pimp her!

Posted by GuestUncle Art on Aug. 02, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

I really wish the "supporters" of Mr. Harding would stick to the facts instead of trying to create doubt on certain elements of his past.

The fact is that nobody has been charged with Tanaya Gilbert's murder and nobody is in custody for that crime. Mr. Harding was a "person of interest" at the time of his death and that is still the case. The two persons in custody are charged with a shooting that took place at Ms. Gilbert's memorial.

Furthermore, perhaps Ms. Chapman would be better served with attempting to help her other son who also appears to have a dangerous, violent streak.

Posted by Guest666 on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

If people claim that Harding did not shoot himself has there been any effort to challenge the ballistics test? As far as I know the ballistics test is accurate. If not wheres the legal challenge?

My theory is that he was probably trying to toss the gun and it went off. That he has become a rallying point for the community is more a symbol of the desperation people are facing in Bayview than a legitimate organizing effort to address police brutality. Its really sad, but if you go around carrying a gun on the bus dont be surprised if this happens.

He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 11:35 am

I feel sorry for the mom. I'm sure losing your son sucks, no matter how shitty the kid is.

Tell her she owes Muni two dollars, though.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

bad parenting = bad kids. In this case we as a Society have not lost a damn thing.
Breeding does not = parenting either, I'm sure his mama knew about his lifestyle, maybe she was even proud of it. I'd like to know how many tax payer dollars went into raising the little thug. But if enough of these primitives protest I'm sure she will win "the lotto"
Mama needs to drop it and take a real good look at herself, you didn't do your job!
Take some personal responsibility for once in your life.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 02, 2012 @ 8:23 am

Hmm, so the cops wake up in the morning, have coffee, put on their badges while they ponder which poor black kids they can go out and kill that day? Such bullshit. What a bunch of conspiracy theorists. What about the white cops that get killed each year trying to keep rapists and murderers off the street?

When white cops (even white people that are not cops) get shot and killed by blacks, their families don't parade around the city blaming it on the rest of the black people in our country! If they are so racist, then why don't they do it? Seems to me like there are a lot more racist blacks than white. Kenny wa white and got shot shot by a black cop, that would have been the end of it. The white people would have said "what a dumbass, running from the cops and shooting at them", he got what he asked for".

I feel bad for Kenny's mom, but she is being racist herself. If anything, blame the cops, NOT THE WHITE PEOPLE.

If these thugs (black and white alike) were not out there raping, shooting, pimping out women, dealing, and other illegal shit, they would live a lot longer! Like they say, don't hate the player, hate the game.

There's just no way the blacks and whites will ever live together in harmony with people like this running around stirring up shit and breeding hate.

Posted by Dubstep_Dj on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

Justice for Kenny! We shut it down for you and all victims of police brutality! We shut it down for the injustices that young black men and women face every day by this racist capitalist system. The system of capitalism is the real criminal for the crimes of exploitation of the highest degree persistent for centuries. Labor Black & Brown! Shut the City Down!

Posted by LiberationPoet on Sep. 01, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

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