According to KTVU, activist Geoffrea Morris led the conference in the Tenderloin neighborhood where most of the violence has been taking place. “Any homicide in the city is difficult and inexcusable,” Morris said. “But when we look at the last 30 days, three women, three black women ranging from 32 to 35, this is a travesty.”
On January 5, 32-year-old Emma Hunt, a mom of two, was gunned down in the Tenderloin district making her death the city’s first homicide of 2020.
Her death was after the December 19 homicide of 33-year-old Ronisha Cook. Also a mother of two, Cook was fatally shot in Tenderloin as well. Just a few days before Cook’s death, 35-year-old Latanette McDaniel was stabbed to death in the Potrero Hill neighborhood on December 14. McDaniel left behind seven children.
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney attended the Monday press conference and noted that neighborhoods like Tenderloin experienced a disproportionate amount of violence. He acknowledged that McDaniel, Cook and Hunt’s death point to an epidemic that needs an immediate response.
“What is most important is that we listen to the leaders within our community, listen to Black women in our community, leaders who tell us what we should do to prevent this in the future,” Haney said.
Supervisor Shamann Walton was pushing community policing as one response.
“We’re going to put the right resources on the street, more community ambassadors, more officers on foot patrol being a part of the fabric of community and not just for response but actually spending time in communities, so that our neighbors and our families know our officers and they get to be a part of the community that they serve,” Walton said.
California director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, Tinisch Hollins, stressed more responses to violence, pointing out that Black people make up roughly 13% of the total U.S. population but experience 51% of violent crime. She explained that in California, only one in 10 received access to victim compensation and services.
“We need to be diligent about removing barriers to victims’ compensation, trauma recovery services, and other things that are going to help us heal and restore our communities,” Hollins said. She further challenged the city to make services like domestic violence prevention, as well as social and mental health assistance more accessible. “We need to prioritize those who are most harmed and least helped, most impacted and that instance we’re speaking specifically about the black community and specifically about black women,” she said.
Along with demands for the city, community members gathered to stress that 11 kids were left motherless because of the violence. “I want to center on the needs of the 11 children,” said Hollins, “who are now remaining motherless, who need our support, who need us to show up, make sure that they continue to thrive and grow and heal.”