Teen who recorded Mario Woods' SFPD shooting death speaks out

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A teenager, who recorded video of the shooting death of a San Francisco man in the Bayview District at the hands of police, said the video has gone viral on his social media accounts.

The video shows a group of San Francisco police officers open fire on 26-year-old Mario Woods on December 2, 2015 after they said Woods refused to drop a knife. Police said less lethal, high-powered bean bags did not subdue Woods, who was accused of stabbing a person before he was shot and killed.

Christian Hernandez recorded the video and shared it on social media.

“When I heard the shots I started to panic to be honest,” he said.

Hernandez went home, but did not share the video with anyone until the topic was brought up in his class at San Francisco State University.

Professor Larry Salomon, a professor of Ethnic Studies at SFSU, used the video as a topic of conversation for students. He is glad many people are watching the video.

“The video I think allows people to make up their own minds,” Salomon said.

Hernandez said the video is spreading like wildfire.

“I’m getting constant re-tweets, comments, blowing up my phone,” he said. “My phone is going crazy.”

As a resident of the Bayview, Hernandez said he knows many people are upset by the actions of the officers.

He said he was glad he was recording because of how powerful the video has become.

“The larger lesson is that none of this is new and we shouldn’t speculate that it’s new,” Salomon added.  “It’s not an epidemic. It’s just being covered a lot more because we have video.”

Woods’ death has already sparked a vigil and protest in SF’s Bayview Thursday night. Police held a Friday evening town-hall meeting on the matter at City College San Francisco’s Bayview campus at 1800 Oakdale.