Community members share anger at recent violence in Bayview

A solemn procession filed up Third Street in Bayview-Hunters Point on Thursday night to the sites of several recent homicides in a neighborhood that has been battered by violence. 

Among the marchers were the families of Dante Glenn and Maria Lourdes Soza, both killed in gun violence minutes apart Tuesday, only two days after another homicide in the district.

“I can't even be mad at the people who shot her,” said Blanca Soza, who added that she was angry when she first heard her older sister, Maria Lourdes, had been killed in front of her children.

Others at the vigil and gathering beforehand, many of whom have participated in similarly somber events, spoke about their anger at the continued violence in the neighborhood as well as about who they feel is to blame for its continuance and what needs to be done.

“I'm angry,” said Mattie Scott, who added that there would be a different response to such ongoing killings if it was happening in  the Castro or Pacific Heights. “The City is not angry enough at this situation.”

Some blamed a culture that looks down on anyone who helps police catch the perpetrators of murder as snitches, instead of seeing them as part of the solution.

“We need to discontinue using the snitch word,” said Herb Lewis, who has lost two brothers to violence.

Shawn Richard, who runs the anti-violence group Brothers Against Guns, said that the community needs to start taking responsibility for its own instead of always looking to outsiders for help or blaming its problems on the police.

Malia Cohen, the district's supervisor, said that too few dollars are coming to the Bayview to prevent violence. In the past five years, for instance, The City spent $208 million on such programs. It is unclear how much of that money went to the Bayview.

And with much of the money spent on violence reduction so spread out and unaccounted for, it's hard to say if it is being effective or even reaching the community, she added.

As the vigil, which included Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, walked along Third Street, Ed Donaldson, who previously ran for supervisor, waved his arm along the street to point out that just hours before it had been the scene of a very different event.

“There was a running gun battle going up Third Street today,” he said.

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