The family of Kenneth Harding, who died during an alleged firefight with cops in the Bayview on July 16, has tapped Oakland attorney John Burris to represent them, the lawyer said in a statement Monday.
Burris also represented Oscar Grant’s family after Grant was killed by a former BART police officer on New Year’s Day 2009.
The attorney will hold a news conference at his Oakland office Monday afternoon.
Harding, 19, of Seattle, was killed during an alleged firefight with two San Francisco police officers in the Bayview on July 16. The shooting touched a raw nerve in the community. Some distrust the police account of the events that led to Harding’s death.
In a statement Monday afternoon, Burris said SFPD “made many conflicting and shifting claims regarding what happened during this incident and Mr. Harding’s background.”
“The family of Mr. Harding is entitled to know how their loved one met his tragic death,” Burris said.
Police say evidence shows that Harding fatally shot himself, and that he may have done so accidentally after a shot, probably fired by police, hit him in the leg.
“The family requests SFPD make their investigation transparent and release the details of their investigation so that Mr. Harding’s family and the concerned public can determine what actually took place,” Burris said in the statement.
He also said Harding’s criminal history, which includes a conviction for the attempted pimping of a 14-year-old girl in Seattle, does not justify his death.