An Open Letter to San Francisco Protestors

…and by open letter I mean this is a one-way conversation.  I have no desire to have a back-and-forth about what follows.  I know that will anger you.  Tell you what, why don’t you go riot.  In your own neighborhood.  I don’t live there.  Moron.

Dear angry for the sake of being angry protestor:

Do you have the first bloody clue what you’re protesting?  “Police brutality”?  “Excessive Force”?  “Another good man/boy of color killed by the Man”?  Let’s talk about Kenneth Harding shall we?  I know this will more than likely upset you because you’re not huge fans of facts and evidence, but I’m going to have to ask you to play along.

According the SeattlePi.com, our poor Mr. Harding was a 19-year-old convicted pimp and was a “person of interest” in the slaying of a pregnant teen, Tanaya Gilbert.  Oh, and the pimp thing?  He was recently convicted of pimping a 13-year-old girl.  He was released from prison after serving only a portion of his two-year sentence (read: parolee).  Before sentencing, his bottom feeder attorney described Harding as a young man on the mend following his…wait for it…juvenile robbery conviction.

The defense attorney said, “Kenneth Harding looks forward to re-enrolling in community college upon his release from custody.  He recognizes that his former lifestyle does not provide long-term choices, and has used the time for reflection and development of plans for the future.”  Hard to argue the long-term choices bit.

One other thing about Harding’s past.  He pleaded out to attempted first-degree promoting prostitution after initially being charged with child rape.  (That’s a post for another time about how crime gets dealt down to improve “closure rates”).  I just want to make sure you understand the background of the man/boy about whom you’re so darn perturbed.  Oh, and he was in violation of his parole by simply being in San Francisco.

Now, let’s move on the incident itself.  Police were conducting Muni fare inspections when Harding took off running after not paying his fare (read: act of guilt).  The police (like they’re supposed to) ran after Harding.  At some point during the foot pursuit, Harding fired shots at police.  They returned fire.  They were better shots than Harding.

Here’s a lesson for you wannabe pimps/gangstas: if you shoot at the po-po, we will shoot back.  We don’t pull any of that gangsta-hold-the-gun-sideways bullshit, either.  So, protestors, are you upset at the lack of ability in Harding’s shooting skill?  Are you protesting at the lack of senseless innocent bystander death?  No?

Okay.  It’s a race thing, right?  I mean Harding was a black guy and the cops were white, right?  I mean, Lord knows all cops are white.  Hang on…turns out there is a video on sfweekly.com taken by a bystander.  There appears to be two Hispanic officers, one black officer and maybe a white officer in the background.  (Be warned the video contains graphic images and language).

So, you watched the video, right?  You’re mad that the officers didn’t render medical aid?  Let’s talk about that.  First, about 40 seconds into the video you can hear SFFD sirens.  Do you think there were just driving by or do you think the police called them.  Nevermind, I wouldn’t want you to hurt your brains.  Why didn’t the officers render aid while waiting on the ambulance?  Watch the video again.  How many angry people in the mob crowd did you see?  Five to every one officer?  Ten?  That crowd delayed Harding getting medical attention.  The cops had to protect themselves and pay attention to the crowd instead of rendering aid.

By the way, Happy Medic and I have talked about scene safety/security in the past.  Did this scene look safe to you?  That crowd should have been happy Harding received medical attention at all.

Let’s recap.  You’re protesting the justified shooting of an armed/dangerous (a redundant term if ever there was one) parolee/sex offender wanted in connection for a murder in Seattle that was shooting (corroborated by gun shot residue and witness statements) arbitrarily at cops (and the public, by the by)?

I’ll assume that makes sense.  Your reaction?  Using sticks and hammers to vandalize buildings and smash signs, disrupting traffic and cable cars and refusing to disperse after a lawful order to do so.  I’d ask you to explain the correlation by, as I previously stated, I’m not interested in your point of view.  That plus you’re a bunch of fools that just like to break shit and fuck up honest citizens commute.

California and the Bay Area in particular have let you people run rough shod for far too long.  You’ve lost your perspective, if ever you truly had it.  You are nothing more than a bunch of maladjusted miscreants hell-bent on doing damage for no other reason than you think you may get away with it (and maybe a nice new pair of Air Jordans to boot).  Whatever happened to the days of “Ask. Tell. Take.”?  These multi-hour crime parades only represent to the rest of us the absolute denigration of society as a whole because good people refuse to speak out for fear of retaliation.  To quote one of my favorite movies, “Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.”  When the right to protest and peaceably assemble is overshadowed by violence and out-and-out disregard for the safety of the public and property, that right ceases to be a right and crosses over into the realm of criminal behavior.

How many of the “protestors” arrested (43 at last count) will actually be prosecuted and see any significant jail time?  I choose not to think about that to avoid the risk of a potential aneurysm.

The only saving grace I’ve seen about this entire incident is reading the comments on the blogosphere and seeing the overwhelming majority stating just about the same thing as I’ve said here.  Some less eloquently, but much more succinctly.

Photo Credit: Flickr and Franco Folini

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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20 thoughts on “An Open Letter to San Francisco Protestors

  1. Did you see how they had a “town hall meeting” in the bayview last night and the SFPD Chief was basically shouted out of the room? What a joke.

    Also, the thing you missed in your review of Mr. Harding is that society pushed this young man into a life of crime because he had no other options. I mean, hard work is hard! Why would he do that? Totally not his fault.

    Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself.

  2. I’m not going to argue that san francisco doesn’t have a certain political segment that frequently make fools of themselves, but this just makes the whole bay area look bad!!

    PS. Where are all the naacp people admonishing the protestors’ behavior? oh right… they’re at SFO protesting a guy getting kicked off the airplane because he wouldn’t pull up his pants…

  3. Amen! Couldn’t have said it better. Thank you for your service and thank you for this post. Makes me feel like I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  4. I totally agree with the writer, these idiot rioters are nothing but criminals with tiny brains. A step below the neandrathal {sic} man.

  5. Very well said! If the group had any credibility would have shut the fuck up once they heard Harding’s background. I love how they question the evidence stating, “we don’t believe their evidence.” Then calling for independent investigations of officer involved shootings. Independent? Really? What would one of those look like? Who, pray tell, would train these independent investigators? Then once trained, who would pay them? Taxpayers? Then they become public employees morons. The office of citizen complaints is such a success isn’t it? The whole city needs an enema. I don’t work in the city and am glad I don’t have to deal with its politics. Hats off to the SFPD officers for being able to function in such an environment.

  6. That’s one of my favorite movies too. I have often wondered if LEO types like The Boondock Saints. On the one hand, I’m sure you are officially supposed to frown on vigilantism. But on the other hand, I’ve suspected that LEOs, who see so many people who are pure scum repeatedly escaping just punishment, might have an illicit desire to cut through the red tape and other bullshit and give rapists and murderers what they deserve.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. And I second everything you said about these protesters.

  7. Just watched Boondock Saints – All Saints Day yesterday. Yes, coppers love the idea of street justice even if they can’t admit it publicly. I’m retired, so I have no such injunction. Back in the day officers were frequent dispensers of such justice, which is where the name ‘Beat and Release’ originates. Nowadays, not so much thanks to effeminate liberals and certain protected classes.

    You did a fine job of summing things up. I lived in Richmond in the early eighties and I truly miss Northern California in general, the Bay Area in particular. The weather, the culture, the range of environment – definitely not available in South Carolina. The upside, however, is I don’t have to deal with as many liberal weenies here. If that area ever tends back toward the conservative, all-American side of things, give me a shout.

  8. Very well said. I’m tired of people calling police pigs, murderers, etc. If he did the wrong thing, and he was putting the life of peace keepers and bystanders in danger, he’s should be restrained or contained, even if it means using deadly force.

    For far too long, minorities have relied on their status quo to support their crimes, lack of self-improvement and addictions. We need to solve the homelessness, addiction and crime problems in this city, even if it means removing said individuals from our city.

    I don’t want to hear comments about me being racist, hypocrite or anything similar. I was born and raised in Central America, I came here because I studied hard and earned a B.S. and M.S. from american universities and I have earned the right to work for companies that appreciate my work. I am not the son of a rich man, I’m just a hard working individual that believes in self responsibility. I believe most anyone can do it, if they have the will.

    Awesome, awesome article. I like the headline of the page too, “If you got stopped, you deserved it”. Couldn’t be more accurate. The times I’ve been stopped, I know it was my fault.

  9. just goes to show the public (in general terms) ain’t very bright. now I can’t say i’ve done it, but it seems to me even the most slightly educated (hell you don’t even need an education to know this) person would realize that when you shoot bullets at the police they are indeed gonna shoot back in force. and they’re probably much better shooters than you. that about summed the story perfectly.

    the fact we find out later this punk was a loser in society and probable murderer is just icing on the cake.

    if you are stupid enough to shoot at the po-po, you will learn fast what the permanent consequences of that action are.

    the linked video was an appalling view of society in general. the officers had to surely fear for their lives at that stage. I know i would have.

    you have to waste at least one officer watching Harding since you don’t know if he has another gun or is still in possession of his original gun while he’s moving. turn your back on him laying on teh concrete and you might get shot. on the other hand, you have to worry about the mob of idiots behind you doing something equally stupid.

    what a travesty. the moron mob is lucky this didn’t get worse. officers involved should get medals for how they handled it.

  10. I prefer the Russian approach:

    Live ammunition, 50/50 poisonous gas, and tanks.

    Shout, I’d settle for a 3 inch line from the nearest hydrant.

    ~Brian

  11. Since that Meserle/Grant incident a few years ago, I have watched with the bitter rancor of both rage and disgust building within my very core as the media, the arm chair quarterbacks and the uneducated masses use flawed logic, skewed ‘evidence’ (any looser and I’d need to call it speculation) and generally ignorant methodology to play judge, jury & executioner every time an Officer involved shooting occurs. Most of them don’t take the time to educate themselves on the defined force options within the agency’s policies, look further into the root cause for the initial contact with the recently deceased and finally consider if they were in fact “the cops” themselves how they’d react. I certainly doubt any of them would hesitate to pull their gun to shoot the threat if their lives were on the line. These are the same socially crippled sheeple that get angry when the cops don’t arrive fast enough because someone stole their (insert random ‘valuable’ item here) from their unlocked car at 3am. Anyone, regardless of race, color creed or financial standing, which decides to resist the authorities (ANY authorities), is subject to some form of physical ‘inspiration’ to comply. No, I’m not saying shooting the suspect in the back in front of a train full of people is justified, nor would it be my first choice for such a racially motivated crime; because it was obvious to everyone at home that this was ABSOLUTELY racially motivated and there was no probably cause for contacting Grant and his associates. He was actually picked at random from his church group there on the platform and executed… OH WAIT! That’s right; he was being contacted for a REASON and had previous history with BART… Damn, almost managed to understand the protestors point of view; unfortunately, at my age I don’t have the flexibility to bend over and lodge my head in my own ass. Guess I’ll just have to keep on working; millions of people on government aid are counting on me.

    Gang bangers, pimps, dope dealers, armed robbers and all other cross section of the plight of society beware; shooting at the cops (or trying to rob the wrong civilians) can and will be hazardous to your health. Attention pandering liberal idiot protestors;
    #1. Get a job, the other tax payers and I are tired of supporting your lazy asses
    #2 if you find the scum of the earth so endearing, go hang out in their neighborhoods and you can all complain about how ‘the Man’ is oppressing you today.
    #3 the next time on of these poor oppressed souls decides to rob you at knife point, gun point or by simply bludgeoning you with a random object; please try and having a meaningful conversation with them about how you’re feeling and your support of their “cause”. I’m sure they’ll just stop in their tracks…

  12. The evidence supports the guilt of this young man. People protesting this shooting are misdirecting their anger. They should save it for one of the many incidences of true police brutality. I would compile a list but it would not get much love here and will more than likely get too much justification and rationalization. Of course police do no wrong even when they are doing wrong. They aren’t the law. They are above it!