Activists are calling for a shutdown of Muni lines Monday to mark the one-year anniversary of a police shooting in the Bayview District.
No specific time was set for the action on flyers being circulated by the “Ad Hoc Committee For a Muni Shut Down on July 16.” However, a message from organizers indicated that supporters would gather at 5:30 a.m. at Third and Palou streets.
Muni officials would say only that they are aware of the event and will take it into consideration as they manage service throughout the day, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokeswoman Kristen Holland said.
San Francisco police will be on the scene to facilitate the first amendment rights of the protestors, provide traffic control and monitor the scene, as they do for any protest, said Officer Gordon Shyy.
“We’ll have officers and supervisors on the scene and they’ll assess the situation as it goes and make a decision on what our response will be it if does cause a major problem,” Shyy said.
The flyers calling for the shutdown cite the June 5 shooting of 15-year-old Derrick Gaines by South San Francisco police and the July 16, 2011 shooting of Kenneth Harding, Jr., 19, who died after an encounter with police conducting Muni fare inspections.
“We want free transit for all youth,” organizers said in a message sent Thursday. “No youth should have to worry about losing his or her life for not having a $2 transit fare.”
Protestors are also asking for federal charges against officers involved in Harding’s shooting, the message read.
Police initially said Harding, a parolee who was wanted for questioning in connection with a Seattle homicide, was shot and killed by officers after he exchanged gunfire with police who tried to detain him for fare evasion.
However, investigators later said the gun that fired the fatal shot was not a police weapon, and it appeared Harding had shot himself.
Confusion and outrage arose over the death when no gun was discovered on Harding’s body and videos circulated that showed him bleeding slowly to death on the pavement in front of a crowd.
Police said the weapon that fired the fatal shot was recovered after a search, and that amateur video showed someone removing the gun from his body immediately after the shooting.
The Monday protest is scheduled to be the last in a series of “Days of Action,” according to flyers. Organizers say they are holding a free community hip-hop show on Saturday at City College of San Francisco and a community feed on Sunday at Third and Palou streets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News