Is it just us, or is this scandal cleaning up really well for the San Francisco Police Department?
The man fatally shot on Saturday evening after failing to show valid bus fare, as originally stated by a police spokesperson, has now been identified as an ex-con who was wanted for the murder of a pregnant woman?
The man who police officers shot and killed after he fired at them during a foot chase in Bayview-Hunters Point was a 19-year-old Washington state parolee sought for questioning in the slaying last week of a pregnant woman in Seattle, the San Francisco police chief said Sunday.
The man, who was fatally wounded Saturday afternoon while fleeing from officers who had tried to cite him for Muni fare evasion, had recently been released from a prison in Washington after serving time for convictions stemming from a King County sex offense, said Chief Greg Suhr.
KGO-TV in San Francisco identified the dead man as Kenneth Harding. Washington state records shows he has convictions for promoting prostitution and assault.
Suhr did not release the man’s name. But he said Seattle police detectives were seeking him as a person of interest in the slaying Wednesday of Tanaya Gilbert, 19, which also killed her unborn child. Three others were injured. A day after the shooting, gunfire marred a vigil for Gilbert.
In San Francisco, the man was stopped at 4:44 p.m. by two uniformed officers who, while patrolling Third Street between Oakdale and Palou avenues as part of a violence-reduction effort, conducted a fare inspection on a light rail platform.
The man took off, drew a gun, and ran more than a block into Mendell Plaza as the officers chased him, Suhr said.
“He was shooting indiscriminately, more than one time,” Suhr said of the man, who apparently fired over his shoulder. “He fired at them, they fired back. That is what officers are going to do. If you fire at the police, they are going to shoot back.”
An amateur video has since surfaced online showing the fatally injured man and what appears to be a gun on the pavement nearby. The weapon was taken from the scene, but Suhr said the .45 caliber silver pistol was recovered Saturday night with the help of informants.
“We’re very appreciative of the efforts of the community,” Suhr said. “We have the weapon back, and we are running tests on everything.”
As the graphic amateur video shows, the shooting prompted an angry reaction from people in the neighborhood who gathered around the fallen man. Hours later, after midnight, police responded to a small demonstration in the Mission District related to the shooting.
Rosa Bankston, the aunt of the pregnant victim in Seattle, said Sunday that police in Seattle had contacted the family to notify them of the San Francisco shooting. Bankston said Gilbert, a community college student, was killed a day after she turned 19.
“It was a freak accident – she was in a wrong place at the wrong time,” Bankston said. The shooter, she said, “had a dispute with someone on the street and he opened fire. She was an innocent girl caught in the cross fire. It’s a sad case, just a sad case.”
And just like that the murders of two Black teenagers are solved? Sounds a little too convenient for us.
Further more: even if Keith Harding was a murder SUSPECT, which means he had not been found guilty of anything, does that justify him being gunned down on the street?