Denika Chatman, the mother of parolee Kenneth Harding who died during a chase with San Francisco police last year in which he accidentally shot himself in the neck while apparently attempting to shoot at the cops chasing him has now filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming that the city failed to provide immediate medical care to her son as he lay dying in the street. The 19-year-old Harding was fleeing police at the time because he was suspected of fare evasion on Muni, and he was on parole at the time for pimping a 14-year-old girl in the Seattle area. He was also a person of interest in the murder of a 19-year-old woman last year in Seattle.
His mother has repeatedly said in the press that she did not accept the official account of what happened July 16, 2011, and has implied that the police were still at fault. The grieving woman has now taken a new tactic, however, in seeking restitution for his death. Chatman's attorney says of Harding in the Chronicle, "He was killed needlessly," failing to indicate that Harding technically killed himself. The lawsuit, which will use that infamous cell-phone video as evidence, states that officers left Harding "writhing in pain with blood gushing out of his neck."
Earlier this month, you'll recall, protesters marked the day of Harding's death by disrupting Muni for a bit. It remains unclear to us why Harding has been chosen to serve as a martyr, given his not-so-stellar record and the self-inflicted wound, but we'll say no more.