Police say the protest is in response to the officer-involved shooting in the Mission Thursday night that wounded a 22-year-old who police say was armed with a TEC-9. Police guarded the Mission District police station since it was vandalized Thursday night. They say protesters began throwing bottles, paint, and even a large hammer at officers during the Friday night protest. One officer was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The protest began with a group that assembled near Dolores Park then moved to 16th and Mission streets where there is a US Bank and a Wells Fargo branch. Protesters smashed windows and spray-painted graffiti at both businesses. They even damaged the Farina restaurant nearby on 18th Street, between Dearborn and Linda streets. Police caught up with them and that's when the group dispersed.
No arrests were made. Protesters were passing out anti-police fliers talking about the shooting Thursday night and saying "You can't shoot us all..."
Police plan to keep extra officers out on the streets all night.
It was a chaotic scene in San Francisco's Mission District Thursday night when an officer shot and wounded a reputed gang member, sparking a spontaneous protest against the police shooting. Neighbors, however, are defending the actions of police now that they know the shooting victim was armed with an assault weapon.
Police have yet to release the name of the person who was shot, but we do know that he was armed and dangerous. And despite his young age, he has a violent history. ABC7 News has obtained information from the 22-year-old's rap sheet which lists the young man as an identified gang member who has been convicted for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was recently jailed for a parole violation and released about two weeks ago.
Thursday night's shooting happened just after 8 p.m. on the 200 block of 14th Street. Officers from the gang task force were cruising the neighborhood as part of Operation Night Light, "And that's designed to get juvenile offenders that are on probation back in their homes after curfew to be in compliance with their probation," said SFPD public information officer Sgt. Mike Andraychak. Police have been especially vigilant in the Mission following a fatal shooting Sunday at Garfield Park on 26th and Treat Streets; this, on top of continuing gang activity.
Police say two plainclothes officers recognized a gang member who was out on parole, walking down 14th Street. One of the officers got out of the car and approached the man, who police say began running. They say he pulled out a TEC-9 assault pistol, which investigators later recovered at the scene and found to be fully loaded with a 25 round magazine. Police say the officer ordered the man to drop his weapon, "Instead he turned toward the officer with that assault pistol in hand," Andraychak said. "Fearing for his safety, the officer fired shots at the suspect."
After the shooting, dozens of protesters surrounded Mission police station, as someone spray painted "killers" on the front door. Demonstrators marched around the Mission for several hours, while riot police monitored their movements. One protester said they were angry at police, noting, "They're thugs and gangsters and murderers and should be treated as such and tried in a court of law."
But once they heard the suspect was armed with an assault weapon, neighborhood residents told ABC7 News they believe the shooting was justified, "You'd better protect yourself real fast cause a TEC-9 will take out a lot of people within a 30 second pull of a trigger," neighborhood resident Rex said.
Moya Watson is glad police are taking the gang problem seriously. She says her neighbors have been victims of the gun battles, "They've had bullets come into their houses, people have had bullets whiz by them and ding against the poles."
The man who was shot is in San Francisco General Hospital where he is being treated for non-life threatening wounds.