Protesters marching against the recent police-involved shooting of a young man — who police say fired at them and ran during a routine train fare check — became violent on Tuesday, hurling flares, smoke bombs, and a hammer at police. KGO-TV reports a motorcycle cop was injured when protesters tried to push him off his cycle. About 35 protesters were arrested at the end of the day:
The march began moving through the Mission and Castro districts around 6 p.m., and it came the same day investigators said tests found gun residue on 19-year-old Kenneth Harding’s hand — the young man who ran from police — indicating he fired the first shot at officers Saturday.
Police Chief Greg Suhr said the Seattle man fired the first shot at the officers, who shot back about nine times. Harding was pronounced dead after the chase in the Bayview neighborhood that began when officers approached him for not paying his fare on a light-rail train.
Harding was on parole for promoting prostitution in Washington state and was a person of interest in a fatal shooting in Seattle last week, authorities said.
During the protest Tuesday, some marchers carried a banner reading “They can’t shoot us all.” Others chanted, “How do you spell murder? S-F-P-D.” Video posted on YouTube also shows protesters shouting, “Cops! Pigs! Murderers!” while also carrying a sign saying, “Fu** the police:”
The group arrived at a Muni light rail station, where they overturned garbage cans and attempted to break ticket machines, KTVU-TV reported. Video footage showed a protester throwing a smoke bomb.
Esparza tells the news station that police declared the gathering of about 150 protesters an unlawful assembly around 7:45 p.m.
After the group left the light rail station, they moved toward the Mission Police Station, where they threw a hammer toward a window. The Chronicle reports officers were not hit in that attempt.
According to KGO, the mob also tried to splash the station with paint and threw flares. It also says protesters vandalized a Bank of America at 18th and Castro street.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.