Community still outraged man comes to meeting with loaded gun

April 12, 2010 6:58:16 PM PDT
Members of a San Francisco neighborhood are incensed at one of the largest developers in the country because one of its employees brought a gun to a community meeting and now, one San Francisco supervisor is demanding an apology.

Residents of Bayview-Hunters Point are still outraged over an incident that happened in February at a Nation of Islam mosque.

Conscious Youth Media Crew caught video of the meeting where the speaker, an Environmental Protection Agency scientist, discussed the development of the Hunters Point shipyard. Community activists believe toxins from the work are poisoning the air.

The developer, Lennar Corporation, sent someone to take notes. According to a police report, the man was a retired police officer who was discovered carrying a loaded concealed weapon. That's legal, but those at the meeting had no idea who the man was and say he gave phony names.

"When he came in with an assumed name, packing a gun and trying to hide it, and taping, from my view, his intent was not peaceful," said community activist Marie Harrison.

Lennar's president says he regrets the incident, but sent the retired officer rather than a company employee because he said "...some community meetings have devolved into hostility accompanied by intimidation."

Speaker after speaker on Monday said they were the ones that were scared.

"These individuals frightened a whole group of children, mothers, elders..." said Minister Christopher Muhammad from the Nation of Islam.

According to the police report, members of the Nation of Islam took the man outside and handcuffed him to a light pole, called police, and tried to make a citizen's arrest. Now police are investigating.

In a statement the still unidentified man said, "I thought I was going to die. It was going bad really quick."

Supervisor Chris Daly believes the community response was appropriate and he sponsored a resolution, urging Lennar to issue a written apology for bringing a gun into a mosque.

"It's the Nation of Islam's house! It's their house!" said Daly.

The resolution now moves to the full board for a vote.


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