A memorial for Kenneth Harding took place in San Francisco's Bayview District Monday evening. Asked if they would disrupt Muni service again like they did Monday morning, Harding's mother said, "It's still left to be seen."
San Francisco police were called in to monitor the 7.a.m. protest at Market Street in San Francisco, but then the group split and moved toward Church Street and Duboce Avenue to disrupt Muni service. Shuttle buses were ready to transport riders, but police admit they didn't expect the protesters to move. "We didn't anticipate them to take over the N and J Lines, so when we were able to get our resources together and come on scene, they dispersed," said SFPD Ofc. Gordon Shyy.
"It's more making a symbolic statement that we're opposed to MTA enforcing and criminalizing poor people of color," protester Mesha Irizarry told ABC7 News. The protest was to commemorate the death of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding one year ago. Harding was involved in a shootout with police who were checking out Muni ticket evaders. Police maintain Harding fired at them first. The coroner later ruled the bullet that killed him came from his own gun. Police believe Harding may have accidentally shot himself after he was hit in the leg by one of the officers.
Harding's mother was at Monday's protest. She doesn't believe what investigators have told her. "If that were the case, then the investigation would be closed and would be ruled a suicide, and there wouldn't be an open active investigation still," Denika Chatman told ABC7. Harding was a parolee and a person of interest in the murder of a 19-year-old Seattle woman, but police didn't know that at the time of the shooting.
With regards to the police investigation, Harding's mother is correct. It is still an open case. Monday's memorial began around 5 p.m. and it remained peaceful. Stay tuned to ABC7 News for updates on any Muni service disruptions.