An alter on the steps of Mission High School for Daunte Wright and Roger Allen. Photo by Julian Mark

Approximately 200 demonstrators gathered at Mission High School on Thursday evening and marched to Mission Police Station, shouting “fuck the police” and chanting the names of Daunte Wright and Roger Allen — two unarmed Black men killed by police in recent days. 

Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man, was shot by a Minnesota police officer on Sunday during a traffic stop. Allen, a 44-year-old Black man, was shot by an unidentified Daly City police officer, who purportedly mistook a pellet gun in Allen’s possession for a firearm. 

Although the men were killed 2,000 miles apart, their images sat side-by-side on the steps of Mission High School Thursday on a makeshift altar where protesters lit candles and set down flowers. 

“We can’t get distracted by reform,” said Aditi Joshi, a 26-year-old organizer with the group Defund SFPD Now, in front of a crowd at Mission High. “Abolition is the only path to justice.” 

It was a common refrain: Defunding and ultimately abolishing the police was the only way to stop the police killing of Black men. “I don’t think abolition is super radical,” said Samantha, 20, standing near the tennis courts at Dolores Park. 

Protesters gather at Mission High and prepare to march through the Mission. Photo by Julian Mark.

The demonstration began around 6:30 p.m. and slowly built up to a crowd of about 200 marchers, many of whom wore black clothing. It began as a largely solemn affair, with a moment of silence and speeches on the high school’s front steps. But the protest grew in intensity as demonstrators began marching down 18th Street toward Valencia around 7:30 p.m., chanting “No justice, no peace — no racist police!” and “Stand up! Fight back!” 

Marchers turned onto Valencia Street, heading north, and stopped in front of Mission Station, where they were met with police guarding the building in riot gear. As the protesters chanted and sometimes heckled the police, the police largely watched them stoically. Some protesters accused the cops of smirking and rolling their eyes. 

Marching down 18th Street, chanting “No justice, no peace!” Photo by Julian Mark.

A key moment came at Mission Station when Talika Fletcher, Allen’s 30-year-old younger sister, addressed the hundreds gathered in front of the police station — including the cops. “My brother is in the morgue right now,” she said through a bullhorn, her body pressed against metal barricades set up at the police station. 

Allen was reportedly parked on Niantic Avenue between Citrus and Westlake avenues, when police asked him if he needed help with a flat tire. A struggle ensued, and police purportedly mistook a pellet gun in Allen’s possession for a real gun and shot Allen in the chest, the San Francisco Examiner reported

“My brother was my heart,” Fletcher said, addressing the police officers. “I can’t even look at ya’ll. I’m terrified of ya’ll.” 

“Say my brother’s name,” she continued. 

“Roger Allen!” the crowd yelled back. 

Talika Fletcher, Roger Allen’s younger sister, speaks to police through a bullhorn. Photo by Julian Mark.

It was a sparse crowd compared to the demonstrations in June, 2020, when some 15,000 protesters gathered at Mission High School and marched through the city following the killing of George Floyd, who died after Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.  

But almost a year later, with the murder trial of Chauvin drawing to a close and a new round of police killings in public view, people who marched on Thursday said momentum for a change should not be lost. 

“Last year I saw more people than I’ve ever seen come out and protest against injustice, and I want to see people keep that same energy,” said Xla, 18, who said she grew up in Bayview.  “Just because last year was more publicized doesn’t mean it was the first murder to happen at the hands of police — and it’s not going to be the last unless we keep … making our voices heard.” 

Protesters burn a “Blue Lives Matter” flag, among the final actions of the evening. Photo by Julian Mark.

Julian Mark

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Let’s be honest the bulk of these deaths are related to perceived criminals resisting arrest. When a person dives into a car an officer knows that car might be used as or could contain a weapon. When it is dark and a person who is carrying what is believed to be a weapon runs an officer does not know who the runner might shot. I do not advocate deadly force in all situations , but Cops have a right not to die. On any given day Cops interact with Millions of people, I refuse to trash them all over the sad death of a handful of criminals that resisted arrest.

  2. It’s disingenuous for Mission Local to characterize Roger Allen as “unarmed” as he was holding a replica Glock pellet pistol in his lap, and reportedly pointed it at the head of a police officer during a struggle for the gun.

    If Mission Local strives to be taken as a serious news source, it should present balanced information, rather than cherry-pick details to support a preconceived narrative.

    There’s no doubt that police abuses take place And that protests and reforms are needed. However, the Roger Allen case is hardly a case of police abuse. Police officers face a very real danger of armed criminals, and to paint every police shooting as an abuse of police power does a disservice to the cause of the police reform movement.


    1. by the way, this is in reference to the lead paragraph:

      “Around 200 demonstrators gathered at Mission High School on Thursday evening and marched to Mission Police Station, shouting “fuck the police” and chanting the names of Daunte Wright and Roger Allen — two unarmed Black men killed by police in recent days. “

  3. Joseph, your comment is sad. You minimize the killing of innocent people. You center police instead of the people killed by police. You play the classic authoritarian refrain: “He was no angel.”

    When you say, “perceived criminals,” you think it mitigates the killings, but what it actually does is reveal your racism. Who does our society perceive to be criminals? Disproportionately Black men. So by your logic, every single Black man — who will be disproportionately perceived as a criminal no matter what he does — can be killed by police, and it’s automatically justified, case closed. Because he’s a perceived criminal. Shame on you.

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