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Monday, January 11, 2016

It Was a Disturbing Weekend for Public Transportation in the Bay Area

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 1:38 PM

  • Rafael Castillo/Flickr
It was an atypically grisly weekend for public transit around the Bay.

On Saturday evening, a BART passenger was shot dead on a train near the West Oakland station — a shooting whose chaotic aftermath was captured on cell phones and shared via social media. The train was en route to San Francisco at the time. 

Then, early this morning, the downtown Berkeley BART station closed briefly after crews discovered the severed right foot of a woman who’d been struck, but not killed, by a train 22 days earlier in December. (The macabre find was “an unusual start to the work week,” a BART spokesman told ABC News.)

And, closer to home, the San Francisco Police Department reports that a 14-year-old boy aboard a Muni bus at Park Presidio and Geary had a knife pulled on him. Around 9:10 p.m. on Saturday night, the boy told another passenger, a twentysomething man, to quiet down. (An unruly fellow passenger on Muni? Surely you jest.)

According to Kron 4, the man approached the boy, put a knife to his chest, and demanded his shoes. He then stuck the knife to the boy’s throat and demanded his cellphone. The boy handed over his phone but not his shoes.

The suspect remains at large, as does the suspect in the fatal BART shooting near West Oakland station. That man is described as “slim, 6 feet 3 inches tall, black, wearing a green hooded jacket, blue jeans, and red and black boxer shorts. He was also wearing tan military-style boots and a backpack."

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Alleged Oakland University Gunman Declared Mentally Incompetent to Stand Trial

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 10:31 AM

One Goh
  • One Goh
A judge has ruled that One Goh, the 47-year-old man accused of killing seven people at Oikos University in Oakland in 2012, is incompetent to stand trial. Goh was previously declared mentally incompetent in 2013, but in July of this year, a psychiatrist deemed him fit to assist his attorneys. As Kron 4 reports, Alameda County Superior  Court Judge Gloria Rhynes disagrees.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

There's an "Epidemic of Violence" Against Trans People — Even in San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 11:04 AM

At least 21 trans people have been murdered in the U.S. this year - TIM WANG/FLICKR
  • Tim Wang/Flickr
  • At least 21 trans people have been murdered in the U.S. this year

A headline on Mother Jones today is depressing but not particularly surprising: “More Transgender People Have Been Killed in 2015 Than Any Other Year on Record.” It’s a poignant reminder on the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance that much legal and social legwork remains to be done — even in notoriously liberal California.

Just this week, a 25-year-old transwoman in San Francisco was assaulted for the second time since January. According to the Chronicle, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission says that 79 percent of transgender people the agency surveyed last year reported being the victims of violence in the city, and 88 percent reported being harassed.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

We Ask the SFPD: Can You Tell A Real Gun From a Replica?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 3:20 PM

  • xroper7/Flickr

Here’s a recipe for a bad night: Police officers fatally shoot a suspect they believe to be armed, only to find out moments later they’ve just killed someone who was brandishing a toy.

That's what happened Sunday night in Oakland, when a still-unidentified man approached cops while allegedly holding what appeared to be a gun. The officers, who had arrived to roust an illegal street racing and stunt driving huddle, only realized later that the gun was a replica.

It’s a nightmare for the department and a blood-chilling scenario for the public, so we may wonder, isn’t there a way to avoid this? Cops are trained to differentiate dangerous situations in ways that civilians can’t, right? Surely a police officer can employ his keen deductive skills and 21st century technology to distinguish a deadly weapon from a plaything?

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Man Killed by SFPD Last Week Struggled to Make Ends Meet, Lived in Hotels With His Mother

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Scene of the shooting at Eighth and Market - MICHAEL BARBA/SF EXAMINER
  • Michael Barba/SF Examiner
  • Scene of the shooting at Eighth and Market
New details have emerged about Herbert Benitez, the 27-year-old man killed by an SFPD officer last week.

Benitez had been throwing bottles into the street on the south side of Eighth and Market and acting erratically when a nearby construction crew flagged down a police car. Officers attempted to talk to Benitez, but when he wrested an officer’s gun from its holster, the officer's partner shot and killed Benitez. 

He died at the scene.

As KRON 4 reports, Benitez lived with his mother, a Salvadoran immigrant who came to San Francisco in 1982 (the pair had been at the Main Library together just prior to the shooting).

After graduating from high school in Daly City, Benitez worked as a bank teller at Washington Mutual, and also tutored children. In 2008, when the bank shut down, he worked as a dishwasher until losing that job as well.

Per KRON 4, Benitez and his mother moved from hotel to hotel, struggling to make ends meet. Benitez’s mother cannot afford to bury her son nor have a funeral ceremony.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Suspect in Virginia Shooting Has Ties to San Francisco

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Seconds before the shooting. - VIA YOUTUBE
  • via YouTube
  • Seconds before the shooting.
The alleged gunman who shot and killed two members of a TV news crew in Roanoke, Virginia, this morning has ties to San Francisco.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Kenyatta Butler, Donzel Gaines Identified as Teens Murdered at Crocker Amazon

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 9:31 AM

Medical authorities say it was 18-year-old Kenyatta Butler Jr. of San Leandro and 19-year-old Donzel Gaines of San Francisco who were gunned down yesterday morning while sitting inside a parked car at Crocker Amazon playground in the city's Excelsior District. 

Police say the two victims were sitting inside a 2002 Chevrolet Camaro at about 9:30 a.m. on the 700 block of Moscow when an unidentified gunman fired nine rounds inside the car. 

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Amilcar Perez-Lopez: Mission District Residents Protest Police After Shooting of Young Immigrant Man

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Bill Simpich, a neighbor of Amilcar Perez-Lopez, addresses a crowd before Monday's meeting - COURTESY: AUTHOR
  • Courtesy: Author
  • Bill Simpich, a neighbor of Amilcar Perez-Lopez, addresses a crowd before Monday's meeting

Last week, police shot and killed 21-year-old Amilcar Perez-Lopez, a Guatemalan immigrant, escalating the already tense relationship between police and community members in the Mission District. Angry residents gathered outside a community hearing last night to draw attention to the Thursday night shooting near 24th and Folsom streets. 

Though the SFPD called the meeting in response to the shooting, the gathering, located at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, seemed to spiral out of the Department's control before it even began. At a separate press conference held outside the school one hour before the police arrived, neighbors, teachers, and community organizers passionately defended Perez-Lopez, claiming the crime didn't go down exactly how police are saying it did.

Witnesses have a different version of what happened when police shot and killed Perez-Lopez, community members say.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Taja DeJesus Identified as Woman Found Stabbed to Death in Stairway

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 4:21 PM

San Francisco authorities say it was 36-year-old Taja DeJesus who was found murdered in a stairwell in the city's Bayview District earlier this week.

According to police, DeJesus was found at about 9 a.m. on Sunday on the steps of a building in the 1400 block of McKinnon Avenue near Lane Street with multiple stab wounds. She died at the scene. 

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Man Stabbed to Death in the Bayview

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 10:09 AM

An unidentified man was fatally stabbed yesterday morning in the city's Bayview neighborhood, according to police reports. 

On Sunday at about 9 a.m., police were called out to the 1400 block of  McKinnon Avenue where they located a man, between the ages of 25-30, in a stairway with stab wounds. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

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