Well-known civil rights attorney John Burris says he is planning to ask the California attorney general to investigate the shooting deaths of two men by San Francisco police officers, on behalf of the families of the men killed.
Family members spoke out Tuesday on the steps of the San Francisco Hall of Justice Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m not okay with this, Gascon,” said Gwen Woods, mother of Mario Woods.
Surrounded by dozens of civil rights activists and supporters Woods spoke through tears.
“I will never let you forget his name,” Woods said, referring to her son. “This is not an agenda for me. This is my life.” She continued to say Mario Woods was loved and was not an “animal.”
She says she is furious at Gascon for not prosecuting the police officers who shot and killed her son. Mario Woods in December 2015.
The shooting was captured on video.
Police say Woods had stabbed someone and wouldn’t drop the knife.
Woods’ mother says Gascon’s announcement last week not to file any criminal charges against the officers was like reliving her son’s death.
She also had a message for the officers involved in her son’s shooting.
She referred to the officers responsible for her son’s death as “hate mongers” and did not want them allowed back into the community.
“You may have gotten off for this one, but there is higher justice and I am praying you get yours,” said Woods.
The family of Luis Gongora Pat is also angry at Gascon.
Four months after the woods shooting, police shot and killed Pat who they say was threatening them with a knife.
Pat’s brother spoke through a translator.
“Gascon, put your big boy pants on and try to find the courage to do your job,” said Jose Gongora Pat..
But civil rights attorney John Burris says the DA should have pursued manslaughter charges if he didn’t think he could prove murder.
But a spokesman for Gascon says while the shootings may not be justified the law prevents the district attorney from filing criminal charges.
“In a use of force case the applicable charges are murder or manslaughter. And there is a complete self-deference to either charge because they had a subjective belief they were in fear of their safety or someone else’s,” said spokesman Max Szabo.
The DA’s office says it welcomes any review from the California attorney general.
“I loved that kid. And he was worth me fighting for,” said Woods