Mario Woods was a 26-year-old man living in San Francisco. On December 2, 2015, Mario was boarding a bus when he was confronted by San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) officers, because he matched the description of an assailant in a nearby knife attack. Mario held a knife during the confrontation, and when he refused to drop it, SFPD officers pepper-sprayed and shot him four times with a bean-bag gun. When he still refused to drop his knife, five police officers opened fire on Mario, killing him. Autopsy reports reveal he was shot at least 20 times.
In February 2016, dressed in Black Panther garb, Beyoncé’s Super Bowl dancers held up signs that read “Justice for Mario Woods.”
The shooting led to a federal review of the SFPD and the eventual resignation of San Francisco’s police chief, but no charges were filed against the officers involved. After filing a wrongful death lawsuit, Mario Woods’ mother settled with the city for an undisclosed sum in 2019.