Mario Woods remembered by community on his birthday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Friday is the first official Mario Woods Remembrance Day, to honor a man who was killed by San Francisco police. Today would have been Woods' 27th birthday.

The stabbing suspect was shot multiple times last December in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood. His death, recorded by cellphones, sparked national outrage.

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People began gathering at 5 p.m. at the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church in San Francisco.

"This day represents a healing process for the community," said Daniel Muhammad of the Justice for Woods Coaliion.

Across the street, balloons and pictures fill the area near where San Francisco police shot and killed Woods in December. Woods had a knife and police had said he was walking towards officers with it.

Officers shot Woods more than 20 times. The incident was captured on cellphone video. There have been several protests since.

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"All lives matter, but black lives must matter cause black lives are being taken," Muhammad said.

In January, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution naming July 22 Mario Woods Remembrance Day. It has not been without critique. The motion angered law enforcement officers.

"Everyone is going to have a different take on why they voted for it. For me, it was about bringing awareness, said San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee.

Yee says he's seen positive changes within the police force recently.

"They're going through re-training to be a little more sensitive to things. There's some reform happening now. It's important for me anyway personally that we don't want anybody to die. We don't want our police officers to get hurt. We don't want our citizens to get hurt," Yee said.

"With a lot of the criticism for the supervisors passing this has been a hard issue to carry for the city, but it's also a turning point," Muhammad said.

Remembrance ceremonies continue Saturday with a Mario Woods celebration of life event.

Click here for full coverage on the investigation into the shooting death of Mario Woods.
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