#mitúWORLD

San Francisco Police Have Shot And Killed A Homeless Mexican Man

On Thursday, San Francisco police shot and killed Luis Gongora, a 45-year-old homeless Mexican man. The authorities claim that Gongora was armed with a knife and charged at them, but multiple eyewitness accounts contradict the official police narrative.

What are the police saying?

Credit: San Francisco Chronicle

The SFPD says the altercation began after they received a phone call from the city’s homeless outreach team alerting them of a man with a big knife walking along a homeless encampment on Shotwell Street, located in the Mission District, a historically Latino neighborhood that has been transformed by gentrification.

According to four witness statements released by the police, Gongora was sitting down, but got up abruptly and charged at the police with the weapon in hand. SFPD first fired beanbag rounds to subdue him, but were ineffective in stopping Gongora. As a result — and because they claimed that they feared for their lives — SFPD opened fire.

The San Francisco Chronicle obtained surveillance video of the incident, but the actual shooting took place outside of the camera frame, so it’s difficult to say what actually happened.

“They need to realize that some people don’t speak English.”

Credit: Mission Local/Vimeo

Not everyone is buying what the police are saying. John Visor, who lived in the homeless encampment with Gongora and claims to have been his friend, said that Gongora wasn’t a threat.

“He didn’t charge at the officers,” Visor told The Guardian. “He was going in circles because he didn’t understand what they said. He had a knife on him, but he didn’t have it out. He had it in his hip, and when he hit the ground, that’s when it fell out.”

Stephanie Grant, another witness who also lived in the camp, suggested that Gongora’s inability to speak English contributed to his death.

“They need to realize that some people don’t speak English,” Grant told the Guardian. “They didn’t wait for anything. It all happened so fast.”

The Latino Mario Woods?

Credit: @JusticeOrElse/Twitter

Luis Gongora’s death is drawing comparisons to Mario Woods, the 26-year-old black man who was shot and killed by SFPD last December. Police defended the Woods death, citing that because he had just stabbed someone he prone to do harm to somebody else. But video evidence of Mario Woods’s final moments — filmed by a middle schooler — has the feel of an execution by firing squad. (You can watch the very graphic video here.) As a result, beleaguered San Francisco mayor Ed Lee asked the Justice Department to look into the shooting.

There’s also Alex Nieto, the 28-year-old Mexican-American who was killed while casually eating a burrito in Bernal Hill Park, located in yet another neighborhood that’s transitioning from working-class Latinos to tech bro enclave.

As was the case after the deaths of Woods and Nieto, activists took to the streets to protest the police shooting. On Sunday, a group of 40 or so protestors shut down traffic near where Gongora was shot. Meanwhile, Mayor Lee announced over the weekend that the city was going to take down homeless encampments like the one found on Shotwell Street because of safety concerns.

READ: Latinos Pushed Out of One of San Francisco’s Coolest Neighborhoods

Like this? Then share it with your friends with a click of the button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Video Shows Massive 139-Year-Old Victorian House Moved Entirely In One Piece Through San Francisco Streets

Things That Matter

Video Shows Massive 139-Year-Old Victorian House Moved Entirely In One Piece Through San Francisco Streets

Sometimes, home isn’t just where the heart is, it’s where you pack it up and move it. San Francisco resident Tim Brown seems to know this truth after buying a home in 2013 and moving it to a new location.

The 139-year-old Victorian house was moved in one piece through the streets of San Francisco to a new location.

The 5,170-square-foot house was relocated from its original address at 807 Franklin St. to 635 Fulton St., just a few blocks away.

Brown bought the home in 2013 with plans to repair it after it fell into disrepair. According to Hoodline, the house has six bedrooms and three baths and “will be relocated to 635 Fulton Street, where an existing building, which housed Bryant Mortuary for nearly 60 years, has already been moved to the eastern side of the 10,415-square-foot site to make room for it. The move is currently slated to occur on February 21, barring any rain delays.”

The house will be combined and turned into a 17-unit apartment building according to a report by SF Gate. A 47-unit apartment complex will be built in the house’s previous lot.

According to users on Twitter, the house’s move became somewhat of a parade as onlookers came out to watch a truck slowly move the historic house.

“It’s the most excitement I’ve had in 10 years. What if it topples?” Camilla Blomqvist said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to Phil Joy, a veteran house mover, the house’s quarter-mile move took several years to plan.

According to Joy, the move was particularly difficult because the house was 80 feet in length and part of the path required going downhill.

“We had to get 15 different city agencies to agree to this,” Joy explained about the house which cost Brown nearly $400,000 in moving costs and fees.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A San Francisco Mural Is Honoring An Undocumented Guatemalan Immigrant Who Was Unarmed And Killed By Police

Things That Matter

A San Francisco Mural Is Honoring An Undocumented Guatemalan Immigrant Who Was Unarmed And Killed By Police

The people of San Francisco have a lot of heart. Yes, the wealthy thrive there, and the homeless community continues to grow, but somewhere in the middle is an empowering group of fighters for justice. They do not back down but instead make their voices heard loud and clear. It’s a tight-knit alliance that is responsible for forcing change on all fronts of authority. San Franciscans are also incredibly beautiful at honoring fallen residents. 

Almost five years after 20-year-old Amilcar Perez-Lopez was gunned down by police in San Francisco, artists are honoring him with a massive mural in the Mission District.

Credit: crashgrammy / Instagram

The mural was designed and directed in community and collaboration by Carla Elana Wojczuk with, Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), Justice4Amilcar Coalition, Mission community, Lucía González Ippolito, and assisted by Flavia Elisa Mora; Lead Muralists: Carla Elana Wojczuk, Lucía González Ippolito, Cristian Muńoz, Anna Lisa Escobedo, Adrianna Adams, Flavia Elisa Mora (painting and poetry), Pancho Pescador; lettering: Sonia G Molin. The mural is titled “Alto al Fuego en La Misón” and the most prominent subject on the mural is Perez-Lopez, the undocumented young man from Guatemala.

On Feb. 26, 2015, Perez-Lopez was fatally shot by the SFPD, who were in plainclothes in the Mission District. The officers reported that they “opened fire to protect themselves and others from a man who was acting erratically and was armed with a knife,” the SFGate reports. Witnesses told a different story. They said Perez-Lopez was running for his life, which is why he was shot in the back. 

The Perez-Lopez investigation went on for years, and in the end, the SFPD was never charged, but Police Chief Greg Suhr did resign from his post. However, it wasn’t just because of the pushback from the Perez-Lopez investigation but from multiple fatal shootings of unarmed people at the hands of the police. His parents eventually won a settlement from the SFPD

Aside from the artful depiction of Perez-Lopez, the mural also pays tribute to Black and brown people who have died as a result of police brutality as well as people who have died on the southern border.

Credit: amaya_papaya28 / Instagram

During the year in which he was killed, Perez-Lopez “was one of the 67 Latino people killed,” the Guardian reports. The publication adds that Perez-Lopez was also one of the 58 percent who was killed and unarmed. 

“‘Why didn’t you put in Jessica Williams?’ Or, ‘Why didn’t you put in this person?’ The truth of the matter is that we just didn’t have enough space,” Ippolito told the SFWeekly. “And I wish we could include a lot more.”

Ippolito said she and the rest of the mural team were confronted with the fact they didn’t have enough space to put every person that lost their life because of the SFPD. The mural is already one of the largest murals “to be painted in the Latino Cultural Corridor in a decade,” according to the local publication. 

“That was the hardest part,” Anna Lisa Escobedo, another artist on this project, said to SF Weekly. “From the community, a lot of people were saying, ‘We are missing this person, this person, this person.’ We could do five more murals and focus on people who had the same circumstances, and that is sad.”

This isn’t the first artwork that has honored Perez-Lopez.

Credit: msmichellemeow / Instagram

His painted portrait was seen throughout the streets of San Francisco when residents demanded justice in his death. A couple of months after he was killed, artist YESCKA painted a mural that included Perez-Lopez. The mural was painted on the sidewall of the gallery Red Poppy Art House, which is located just blocks two from where Perez-Lopez was shot and killed. 

The mural by Ippolito is pretty remarkable because of its use of bright colors, and the inclusion of Mexican motifs, both the Guatemalan and San Francisco landscape, and Perez-Lopez in his signature Giants baseball cap. But the mural is also representative of an altar of sorts. Perez-Lopez is pictured inside an altar, and the rest of the people that are honored in the painting are seen on prayer candles. 

The other deceased individuals on the mural include Roxana Hernandez, Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, and Oscar and Valeria Martinez, who died either on the southern border or in ICE custody. 

Credit: cialuart / Instagram

This mural is a perfect addition to the many outstanding paintings that the city of San Francisco has to offer. 

One of my favorite things to do when I am back in the Mission is to go on a walking tour to gaze at the stunning murals that depict the people of San Francisco, but also the history of our community.  

READ: One Of The Major Artists In The Chicano Art Movement Has Died At 75

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com