Mario Woods was mourned by family and friends in a closed coffin service yesterday at the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, just across the street from where he was shot and killed by five SFPD officers on December 2nd, an incident captured in new enhanced bystander video released by attorney John Burris, who has filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the police department.
“When you tell his story, please be a little bit compassionate," the Examiner quotes Gwen Woods, the victim's mother, who recalled her 26-year-old son's interest in Japanese anime and Houston rap as well as his enthusiasm for black intellectuals like James Baldwin and Langston Hughes.
Woods remembered calling her son "scooter" as a young child. Before he could walk, he would scoot his way across the ground. San Francisco magazine reveals that the bereaved mother discovered her child's death on Facebook.
Among mourners, there was also anger. "The police “shot him 21 times and got a paid vacation,” Eric Jones, a friend of Woods, read a poem he wrote for the occasion. “Mario got a body bag instead of a citation / Gunned down like a slave on a plantation."
A program recalled that Woods, known to some friends by his middle name, Keith, was born in San Francisco, then lived briefly in Houston before returning to attend El Dorado Middle School, Martin Luther King Middle School, and Balboa High School.
According to CBS SF, DeWitt Lacy — an attorney with Burris' law office — also spoke. “San Francisco,” Lacy said, “needs to know that this community will not stand for injustice.”
Today at 11 a.m., protesters will gather at 850 Bryant, the Hall of Justice, to call for what they see as just that. Their demands: Charge the five officers who shot woods with murder and remove Police Chief Greg Suhr from his post. After the rally at Brant Street, the group will march to District Attorney George Gascón's doorstep, but where to from there?