Activists rally for man killed by SFPD in Mission

Activists in San Francisco’s Mission District Wednesday remembered the victim of an officer-involved shooting that occurred nearly two years ago as they simultaneously mourned the loss of another life at the hands of police Tuesday night.

Police fatally shot a man as they were investigating a robbery near 20th and Capp streets around 10:35 p.m. Tuesday.

According to police, two people flagged down officers and described being robbed by the occupants of a black Honda Civic. Officers caught up with a vehicle matching that description nearby on Capp Street between 21st and 22nd streets.

Two people in the vehicle were detained. Officers tried to detain a third person, who was reportedly in the car’s trunk, and that’s when the officer-involved shooting occurred. A gun was found in the car’s trunk, police said.

Police have not released further details about exactly how the shooting occurred.

A handful of members of the group Justice For Luis Gongora Pat today rallied outside the Mission police station at Valencia and 17th streets to protest the recent police shooting.

Adriana Camarena with the group said today’s impromptu rally was a reaction to “this new tragedy.”

Camarena said:

“We want SFPD to change … There’s no police accountability, no one to enforce it.”

Group members earlier today met at the site of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Luis Gongora Pat, which occurred near the corner of Shotwell and 19th streets on April 7, 2016.

Today marked exactly one year and 11 months since that shooting.

Officers shot Gongora Pat, 45, several times after Homeless Outreach Team members called police because they allegedly saw him swinging a large kitchen knife.

The officers reportedly told him to put down the knife, in both English and Spanish, several times and struck him with less-lethal beanbag rounds. However, officers shot him when he ran toward them with the knife, according to police.

Gongora Pat’s family has since been advocating for San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon to charge the officers with murder.

Of Gascon, Camarena said:

“He never charges any officers in a shooting. Never since he entered office.”

Last week, Gongora Pat’s family met with Gascon for the first time since the shooting to discuss updates in the investigation.

According to the group, Gascon explained why the law makes it hard for him to charge officers in shootings but said he is between six to eight weeks away from reaching a decision on whether the officers, identified as Sgt. Nate Steger and Officer Michael Mellone, will be charged.

 

A vigil and march will be held this evening for the victim in Tuesday’s shooting. The vigil is planned at 5 p.m. near the site of the shooting at Capp and 20th streets.