About 300 people came out for free food and fun at the fourth annual Mario Woods Remembrance Day at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Bayview last Saturday.
Wearing their signature yellow shirts, the Black Cowboys Assoc. brought horses for the children to ride. There was face-painting, a jumpy house and an arts and crafts table and popcorn an sweet ices.
The day began with prayer at an altar for Woods and a brief litany of ancestor songs offered by Oakland’s Awon Ohun Omnira. Several poets took the stage as the afternoon wore on and the DJ kept the happy vibes going with old and new school R&B.Besides the family of Mario Woods, his mother, Gwen, a brother and uncle and aunts, other survivors of police terror came out to give support but also to relax. Rick Perez, the father of Pedie Perez who was killed in 2014, was present as was Denika Chatman, the mother of Kenneth Harding, killed by S.F. police in 2011 and Oscar Grant’s uncie,Cephus ‘Uncle Bobby’ Johnson. Oscar Grant was killed by BART police in 2009.The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously declared Woods’ birthday, July 22, a citywide observance just a few weeks after Woods was shot 20 times and killed by police on Dec. 2, 2015. Caught on cell phone video by a passerby the shooting prompted a nationwide outcry. After an investigation lasting more than two years, the San Francisco district attorney declined to charge the police officers and the city of San Francisco settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family in March.