Police say they were forced to shoot 26-year-old Mario Woods last Wednesday, but residents of the Bayview District in San Francisco and Black Lives Matter Bay Area say video of the shooting shows otherwise.
Hundreds of people gathered on Third Street Thursday night as part of a vigil honoring Woods, holding protest signs and chanting “No justice, no peace”.
The group marched to a nearby Town Hall meeting, and then to the Bayview district police station, where about 50 officers stood guard in riot gear, some gripping less than lethal weapons.
The protest dispersed around 9 p.m.
“How can you feel a threat when you have 10 cops around you?” said Chemika Hollis, a 26-year-old Bayview resident. “Now his mother no longer has a son and it’s just too much. I’m tired of people getting killed and shot by police.”
Woods’ mother, Gwendolyn Woods, was at the vigil.
“I was born and raised here in this community,” she said, “and officers don’t care an iota about people of color. You feel inferior. It’s an ugly dynamic.”
Woods mother called for peace as she spoke to a crowded church.
“We’re not going to destroy our community,” she said. “We will keep the peace. We’re going to do it peacefully. We’re going to pray that the system works.”
The following evening Black Lives Matter Bay Area presented a list of demands, which include: a public apology for Woods’ death, the release of the names of officers involved, a federal investigation, officers involved to be fired and charged with murder, police chief Surh’s resignation, and SFPD to pay for Woods’ funeral.