The San Francisco Police Department defended itself Monday against claims two cops fatally shot an unarmed man in the Bayview district last weekend, releasing evidence suggesting the suspect had first fired at them.
Kenneth Harding, 19, of Seattle was killed while fleeing from two cops conducting a Muni fare inspection near the Third Street and Oakdale Avenue stop. His death sparked outrage among people who watched the videotaped aftermath of the incident, some of whom say police shot an unarmed man and refused to let anyone near him as he bled to death.
But at Monday’s news conference, police Chief Greg Suhr presented evidence indicating Harding fired the first shot as he ran through the crowded Mendell Plaza. The evidence included results of a ShotSpotter gunshot-location system used to determine when and where firearms are discharged.
According to data from ShotSpotter — which was deployed in the Bayview in 2008 — three separate firearms unloaded 10 shots over six seconds. The first shot was one of two fired from where Harding was located, police said. Two to six seconds later, eight more shots were fired from where the officers were located.