On December 7, the family of O’Shaine Evans, a 26-year-old Oakland resident killed by San Francisco cop David Goff, commemorated the two month anniversary of his death with a vigil in Oakland’s Oscar Grant Plaza attended by about fifty supporters, including several members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Evans was shot as he sat in his mother’s car. Goff first claimed that he saw a gun in Evans’ lap and shot Evans after he refused an order to put his hands up. Goff later changed his story, saying Evans pointed the unloaded gun at him.
At the vigil, Evans’ close friend Bobby McWoodson said, “Growing up we knew everything about each other. Its an insult for the police to to talk about him like an animal. They are lying. It’s a cover-up. There’s no way he had a gun. It’s like when someone tells you they know your aunt’s gumbo recipe, and you know your aunt’s allergic to celery. But the first thing they tell you to do to make the gumbo is chop celery.”
The SFPD claim that Evans’s supposed gun had been stolen in New York state, but offer no explanation how it came into O’Shaine’s
possession. When police departments collect guns at crime scenes, the weapons are held as evidence. Thus, stolen guns are easy for cops to acquire.
On October 10, SF Police Chief Greg Suhr held a town hall meeting to assert that Goff was right to kill Evans because, predictably, Goff reasonably feared for his life. The SFPD declined to invite Evans’ own family to the meeting. They learned of it indirectly.
Since then, Evans’relatives, particularly his sister Cadine Williams and mother Angela Naggie, have become leaders in the Bay Area movement against police murder that has exploded in the light of the Mike Brown and Eric Garner decisions. Williams has spoken at rallies attended by thousands in Oakland. At the vigil, she remembered her brother saying, “First the police assassinate your loved one, then they assassinate their character. My mother has been under the weather, and O’Shaine was the kind of son who would be helping his mother out. We’re not going to stop shutting down the streets till we see justice.”
At a rally against police brutality in San Francisco, organized by the ANSWER Coalition, on December 6, Angela Naggie addressed the crowd. She said, “Twenty-six years into my son’s life, his life was stolen. He was on his way to being a boxer. He wasn’t doing anything. He was just siting in my car. And all the police had to do, David Goff, was come to the window and talk to my son, because he’s a human being. But all he did was fire seven bullets into him, in the head, in the heart. They pronounced him dead at nine-thirty that night, and they didn’t call me until seven minutes after two o’clock in the morning… They just called me from the coroner’s office to let me know that my son was killed by the SFPD. I called my other kids and we all traveled over here to see my son before he was tucked away.
“When I got to the hospital they said we cannot see him because he was already in the morgue. And I asked, ‘How can I not see my son? How can I know he really is my son? How can I not identify my son?’ And they said no, I cannot see him. Not until the day of his funeral, that’s the day I get to see him.
“So I’m here not only for justice for my son, but for all the stolen lives taken by all these officers. They are licensed criminals! They are licensed to kill us! And we’re sick and tired of it!”