sfpd.shooting.7.17.jpgFamily members of a Seattle man who died in an officer-involved shooting in San Francisco police want to find out what really happened in the deadly incident, an attorney said today.

Adante Pointer, an associate of Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, said he has not yet decided whether to file a lawsuit on behalf of the family of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding Jr. but at this point wants to “help them get the answers they deserve.”

Pointer alleged that San Francisco police have given out “conflicting” versions of what happened to Harding in a confrontation that began at about 4:45 p.m. on July 16, when police said he ran from officers who had attempted to detain him for fare evasion at a San Francisco Municipal Railway light-rail stop at Third Street and Palou Avenue.

Police initially said officers fatally shot Harding after he fired at them but they later said they believe he killed himself with his own gun. They said they do not know if it was an accident or Harding shot himself on purpose.

San Francisco chief medical examiner Dr. Amy Hart said that the bullet believed to have killed Harding that was removed from his head was a .380-caliber bullet, which is inconsistent with the service ammunition used by San Francisco police.

Police said last week that they also found an unused .380-caliber bullet in Harding’s right jacket pocket.

Pointer said, “The truth seems to be far at hand” and he wants San Francisco police to release records, witness statements and other documents so that Harding’s family “can have the closure they deserve.”

Pointer said witnesses he has interviewed claim that Harding “never fired a shot” at police and “was in full sprint” away from police when he was shot and killed.

No weapon was found by police at the scene, but amateur video footage captured in the shooting’s aftermath showed a passerby picking up what police investigators believe was Harding’s gun and taking it from the area before police could establish the crime scene.

A cellphone and several bullet casings were also apparently taken from the scene, police said.

Pointer also alleged that San Francisco police have engaged in “a concerted attack on the character and reputation” of Harding, who allegedly had a criminal record as a juvenile in Seattle and was considered a person of interest in a recent homicide in that city.

Harding’s mother, Denika Chatman of Seattle, said, “I’m angry and hurt and I want justice done.”

Chatman said she does not know what happened when her son was killed.

She said he came to San Francisco recently because “he was going to meet his manager and get his career started” as a rap singer.

Chatman said Harding’s older brother has had a recording contract with a label in San Francisco for 10 years and wanted to help Harding get his career going.

Chatman said Harding planned to return to Seattle in the fall to attend a community college there.

She described her son as “a God-fearing person who loved the Lord” and attended a private Christian school.

“He was a very loving, caring and giving person and he loved his mother,” Chatman said.

Harding’s sister and several of his aunts and uncles joined Chatman at the news conference at the office that Pointe shares with Burris, who is out of town.

Several religious and community leaders from San Francisco and Oakland also participated, as did Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant III, the Hayward man who was fatally shot by a BART police officer at the Fruitvale station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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  • Mo Chin

    I’ll bet the parents of the dead, pregnant 19 year old girl want closure too. Or how about the the parents of the 14 year old girl he victimized.Oh was the poor guy getting his G.E.D. too. He was getting his life together. He was a thug running from justice. PERIOD. and the fact that the ambulance chaser has not filed a lawsuit already tells me he doesn’t believe the story either. Give me a break.

  • Mo Chin

    I’ll bet the parents of the dead, pregnant 19 year old girl want closure too. Or how about the the parents of the 14 year old girl he victimized.Oh was the poor guy getting his G.E.D. too. He was getting his life together. He was a thug running from justice. PERIOD. and the fact that the ambulance chaser has not filed a lawsuit already tells me he doesn’t believe the story either. Give me a break.

  • Soonerdiver

    Yeah right…”Pointer also alleged that San Francisco police have engaged in “a concerted attack on the character and reputation” of Harding, who allegedly had a criminal record as a juvenile in Seattle and was considered a person of interest in a recent homicide in that city.

    Harding’s mother, Denika Chatman of Seattle, said, “I’m angry and hurt and I want justice done.”

    Yeah her poor church going, God fearing son who was pimping a 14 year old girl! Lovely son who respects women…???

    Also, he came to SF to get his rap career going… but violated his parole in so doing! He jumped parole and came to SF… snuck on a MUNI transit and was carrying a gun…

    What part of “good riddence” don’t you people out there understand? Send his pimpin’ a$$ back to Seattle and let his momma build a shrine to honor her son in her front yard. Oh yeah momma… think about the closer the dead girl and her unborn baby’s family want. I hope you bring a legal law suit and win big bucks and then the gals family takes it away from your sorry a$$!

  • Soonerdiver

    Yeah right…”Pointer also alleged that San Francisco police have engaged in “a concerted attack on the character and reputation” of Harding, who allegedly had a criminal record as a juvenile in Seattle and was considered a person of interest in a recent homicide in that city.

    Harding’s mother, Denika Chatman of Seattle, said, “I’m angry and hurt and I want justice done.”

    Yeah her poor church going, God fearing son who was pimping a 14 year old girl! Lovely son who respects women…???

    Also, he came to SF to get his rap career going… but violated his parole in so doing! He jumped parole and came to SF… snuck on a MUNI transit and was carrying a gun…

    What part of “good riddence” don’t you people out there understand? Send his pimpin’ a$$ back to Seattle and let his momma build a shrine to honor her son in her front yard. Oh yeah momma… think about the closer the dead girl and her unborn baby’s family want. I hope you bring a legal law suit and win big bucks and then the gals family takes it away from your sorry a$$!

  • jordanpattern

    “Person of interest” is not the same thing as “guilty of the crime.” Think on that, please.

  • jordanpattern

    “Person of interest” is not the same thing as “guilty of the crime.” Think on that, please.

  • Soonerdiver

    Any more than the fact he was “guilty of pimping a 14 year old” or that he is “guilty of jumping parole” to come to SF or that he is accused of shooting at police officers for a simple matter of riding a public transit without paying.

    Yeah this angel needs a monument errected in his honour… he is a young, up-coming rapper who will instill pride in the community… after he would of gotten back out of jail for jumping parole.

    A saint he ain’t!

  • Soonerdiver

    Any more than the fact he was “guilty of pimping a 14 year old” or that he is “guilty of jumping parole” to come to SF or that he is accused of shooting at police officers for a simple matter of riding a public transit without paying.

    Yeah this angel needs a monument errected in his honour… he is a young, up-coming rapper who will instill pride in the community… after he would of gotten back out of jail for jumping parole.

    A saint he ain’t!

  • Mo Chin

    How about convicted pimp of a 14 year old girl and on parole. And now his brother is a” person of interest” in a homicide. Such a nice got fearing family.give me a break

  • Mo Chin

    How about convicted pimp of a 14 year old girl and on parole. And now his brother is a” person of interest” in a homicide. Such a nice got fearing family.give me a break

  • Mo Chin

    Think on that…Jordan

  • Mo Chin

    Think on that…Jordan