Protesters Disrupt MUNI On One-Year Anniversary Death of Kenneth Harding

Written by Maggie Rose Ortins. Posted in Crime, News, Transportation

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Published on July 17, 2012 with 4 Comments

A makeshift memorial was erected Monday at Mendell Plaza to mark the one year anniversary of the shooting death of Kenneth Harding, Jr. Photo by Maggie Ortins.

By Maggie Ortins

July 17, 2012

Demonstrators disrupted San Francisco Municipal Railway service Monday morning to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding Jr.

Harding died in an exchange of gunfire with police after he dodged his Muni fare and fled from officers. Family and supporters maintain Harding was shot by police, who allowed him to bleed to death of multiple gunshot wounds. However, investigators later said that the bullet that killed Harding appeared to have been fired from his own gun, not a police weapon.

Today’s action brought Harding’s mother a modicum of relief.

“My son was racially profiled on the T-train, stopped and frisked, gave chase and then shot and bled to death for 28 minutes,” said Denika Chatman, who came in disguise to avoid the scrutiny of police. Chatman said she wants the officers charged with the murder of her son.

Denika Chatman mother of Kenneth Harding dons a black veil in mourning for her son as she stands with family and friends in Mendell Plaza. Photo by Maggie Ortins

Shortly before 7am, protesters gathered at Church and Duboce streets, blocking light-rail cars from entering and exiting the tunnel system, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said. Shuttle buses substituted for the N and J lines until 7:30am when the protesters were cleared from the intersection, Rose said.

The protesters then moved to the Muni headquarters at 1 Van Ness Ave., holding signs that read, “RIP Little Kenny,” “They Shoot Us Down, We Shut It Down” and “Stop the Brutality.”

Police in riot gear stood by but made no arrests. The plan was to gather again at Third Street and Palou Avenue for a 5pm vigil.

The Oscar Grant Foundation and Labor Black and Brown helped organize the event.

“Harding was shot over a $2 ticket,” longtime activist Charles DeBois said. “We are appealing to all workers of union people to use union power to fight for themselves.”

“We cost the city money and time and we are very successful in what we wanted to accomplish,” said Marco Harding, the victim’s uncle. “We hope to bring this to national awareness.”

Bay City News Service contributed to this report

Maggie Rose Ortins

Maggie Rose Ortins is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. She is a student at San Francisco State University.

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  1. I’m usually not supportive of transit disruptions because these actions only inconvenience people that should support economic, social and transit justice.

    But this case is different because a young man was summarily executed on suspicion of fare evasion.  The SFPD’s pronouncements in the Chronicle cannot be trusted because the SFPD and Chronicle lie to us early and often. 

    The time to vet the SFPD’s assertions endlessly trumpeted in the Chronicl eis in a court of law under the rules of evidence, a forum which will never be available to Harding because he was summarily executed on suspicion of committing an infraction.

  2. This douche shot himself. Good riddance!!

  3. Unfortunately, I suspect most people couldn’t care less about this.  Some are too busy hating on people (hating seems to be the “in thing” these days) for supposedly inconveniencing people.  Kenneth Harding Jr. has been the one inconvenienced since he’s no longer living. I’m not sure how people would have been inconvenienced by this protest since the protest wouldn’t stop people from continuing their texting addiction and they could certainly remain living in their luxury/big SUVs sipping their lattes while sitting in the street.

    I do have a request for Bay City News Service.  Could you please pass this map of the Muni metro around to your writers?  Here’s the metro map:

    What’s my point?  The point is that one doesn’t have to go on and on about “light rail cars.”  When BART is written about, I’ve never seen a writer write about “heavy rail cars.”  Therefore, what difference does it make what kind of car/train it is?  Nor does one have to write “San Francisco Municipal Railway” (I know that’s the “official name,” but it sounds dated to me).  The name of the subway system is the Muni metro.  But no where in Bay City articles do they ever say that, that I’ve read.  It’s as if no one from Bay City’s rides the metro, or if they do they don’t know what to call it because muni has never had the intelligence to put the word “metro” on the side of the cars like in other cities.

    So in the case of this protest, the N and J Muni metro lines were effected.  That’s all one really needed to say.

    Gracias.  Ciao.

  4. Too bad the citizens of SF must be inconvenienced by these criminal lowlifes. Mr Harding was a convicted criminal and a suspect in a murder. He was not an innocent child as he was protrayed. None of the protestors were present at the shooting .  The police were. Who should people trust? The police or anarchist criminals.