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Friday, July 22, 2011

Bayview Shooting Aftermath: Pastors to Pay Muni Rides for Poor Kids

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM

click to enlarge Bayview kids will get a free ride Monday.
  • Bayview kids will get a free ride Monday.

The death of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding Jr. on Saturday can be traced back to a Muni fare inspection gone terribly awry. According to police, Harding ran from cops as they checked passengers' tickets riding the T on Third Street. Harding allegedly fired his pistol at police, leading to an exchange of bullets. Harding fell to the ground, bleeding, and later died.

Witnesses say Harding was trying to dodge his Muni fare. Given how fired up the community has been about the shooting, local pastors are stepping in to help others who might find themselves in a similar situation with no cash to pay the fare.

On Monday, Reverend Ishmael Burch, one of the seven clergy in the Concerned Citizens Committee, says pastors will be out on the T-Third train platforms in the Bayview starting at 8 a.m. to pay the $2 bus fare for San Francisco's youngsters who don't have the dough.

Burch says he's been talking to people in the Bayview since Saturday's

shooting, and at least 25 of them have said they've gotten a ticket for skipping their

fare.

Burch says the money will come "out of pocket" from

the pastors, including the $100 he raised at St. Andrew's

Missionary Baptist Church in the Western Addition, where he is the pastor.

"A lot of times they don't have money to get

on the train," Burch says, admitting that the action is also an attempt to get some positive

press for the beleaguered neighborhood. "Since there's such negativity

coming out [about the neighborhood in the press], we want the media to

be there. We're going to pay whatever it costs and make sure the kids

are safe."

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Lauren Smiley

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