Drawing and Analysis of the Autopsy Report

Alex Nieto Autopsy Front Back_001

Drawing based on the Autopsy Report

Last month, the Medical Examiner’s Office released a (sloppy) autopsy report to the media, without giving the Nieto Family the detailed report.  The Nieto Family received a one page summary, while the media received the complete report.

For Alex’s 7th month anniversary (today 10/21/2014) of being killed by SFPD officers, we’ve completed a drawing based on the information in the autopsy. We’re not forensic medics, but we’ve done our best to follow the information in the autopsy report to recreate the path of the entry wounds. The Autopsy Report is publicly available, so you can check our drawing and analysis against the original.

Alex Nieto Autopsy Front Back_001

Analysis of Autopsy Report

There are four upward trajectory wounds. These likely correspond to initial shots fired uphill by officers at Alex. The wounds would indicate that Alex had his hands up (either surrendering or raising hands for cover).  Besides these upward shots to the wrists and left arm, there is an upward shot to his right leg. The wound to the leg would explain Greg Suhr’s account that Alex fell to the ground after initial shots fired. Alive, but wounded and on the ground, officers subsequently fired a series of downward shots (direction head to toe) that killed Alex, even if he was not a threat to officers or anyone else. Downward shots when Alex was already on the ground can imply criminal intent and murder.

Alex Nieto Autopsy Side_001We believe this is a crime. Not only was Alex defenseless and down on the ground, but executing him was a deliberate, calculated decision by officers involved. The audio of the shots shows a six second pause, in which officers had time to think, before opting to release a deadly volley of shots on Alex. (Listen to audio below.)

Sequence of Shots

Upward bullet wounds K, L, M and N: While we are not certain of the sequence of all shots, we feel confident that Alex was first shot in the right leg, left wrist and arm, and right wrist (graze). These upward shots would indicate that he was upright and his hands were raised in surrender or perhaps instinctively raised for cover in a fetal position reaction.

These wounds are consistent with reports of shots fired uphill at Alex without sufficient warning. The wound to the right leg and contusions to his left knee would be consistent with accounts (by Chief Suhr and Lawsuit Witnesses) that Alex fell to the ground after initial shots fired. These upward shots (marked in blue) are not fatal wounds.

The rest of the shots were fired in a downward trajectory (marked in red), i.e. with officers firing from above Alex.

Downward bullet wound B: Alex was shot in the top right lip in a straight downward direction. The shot lodges in his mandible. This shot is also not fatal, even if extremely shocking.

Downward (head to toe direction) bullet wounds A, C, D+E (3 shots), I and J: The autopsy next shows six wounds caused by seven downward trajectory shots entering Alex in a head to toe direction: left temple, three to the left shoulder, one each to the right and left chest, and one to the back (lodging in L3.) The seven downward trajectory shots can be explained in two ways:

(1) Alex was shot in the back and fell onto his back, while officer(s) approaching from the back continued to shoot in a downward trajectory from head to toe, or

(2) Alex fell forward, over his knees, defenseless, while officer(s) approaching from the front continued to shoot at him straight on even if he must have been reclined and not presenting any threat whatsover.

Please note that eyewitness accounts mentioned in the Federal Lawsuit state that while Alex was first encountered by officers who jumped out of a police car downhill from him, armed officers had also gathered on the footpath behind him. If Alex was shot from behind after he was already on the ground, it is truly incomprehensible what type of threat he could have presented to officers shooting him in the back. Only through full discovery will we be able to understand, which officers were positioned behind and in front of him, and which officers shot these downward shots into Alex.

 Alex Nieto Autopsy Side_001 (2)

Either way, it is evident that Alex suffered multiple execution-style shots once he was incapacitated and on the ground. Alex Nieto could have survived the initial upward shots fired had officers not paused and deliberately decided to silence him. The downward series of shots seem to imply a criminal intent that cannot be justified by SFPD nor the City.

Downward bullet wounds F, G and H: The remaining three shots are explained by officers flanking Alex left and right once he is down, and shooting downward, from the sides into his right and left arms and left chest. The left side shots enter his left lung and pleural cavity, while the right side shot lodges back into his right scapula.

We hope that this information helps to understand the unlawful act committed by officers against Alex Nieto. Alex’s Story brings into question the legitimacy of a City government that defends lethal unwarranted violence from its police force. We continue to hope for full transparency and accountability, and express our desire for a government that increases human services for its residents, rather than force.

Join us on TUE 10/21 & WED 10/22 to remember Alex on Bernal Hill (Tue), and demand accountability at the Police Commission (Wed)

6th Month Anniversary: Educators and Community for Alex Nieto! Sunday, Sept. 21st, 5p.m.



Alex Nieto Oree Original

This Sunday, September 21st, 2014 is the six month anniversary of the killing of our beloved friend, Alex Nieto. In his honor, we are holding an event entitled “Educators for Alex” at 5:00 p.m. at the northeast side of Bernal Hill Park, the place where he was killed by the San Francisco Police Department. A voracious reader, Alex loved learning; he had completed his associates degree and was almost ready to transfer to a four year university. We invite students, educators, administrators, and the general public to join us for an afternoon of poetry, education, and community. This will be a great opportunity for you to connect with others to learn how to navigate through the education system. In doing this, we honor Alex’s beautiful spirit. Learn more about Alex’s Story.

SF Medical Examiner’s Report is a Desperate Dud


The San Francisco Medical Examiner has ruled the death of Alejandro (Alex) Nieto as a homicide, not death by natural causes, not death by accident, not death by suicide. This is a death by homicide. Unfortunately, because much of their report seems to be an intentional sabotage to our justice cause, we hereby emphatically re-request the federal department of justice to thoroughly investigate this homicide. San Francisco and their apparatus cannot be trusted.


While the medical examiner report contains much information that is irrelevant to Alex’s death, it does state that he had up to fourteen wounds in both his head and body, from the front and back; the trajectory of those wounds were both downward and upward, which seems to indicate he was shot while lying on the ground. What justification can be used to fire up to fifteen rounds into someone who is lying on the ground?

The report also indicates that most of the bullets hit Alex in the front of the body; both head wounds were to the face. But there were at least two gunshot wounds in his back. Eyewitness reports indicate that two officers approached him from behind. What kind of threat does a man facing away from officers present?


During a meeting with the Nietos and their attorney on Friday, May 16, District Attorney Gascon promised that when the autopsy report would be completed, he would personally notify us in advance. He did not. In fact, the family received a summary report, while the media received the full report. While we could only address a summary report, the media reacted to a full biased report that we did not have access to comment on at the time.

To add insult to injury, the Medical Examiner’s Office called the Nieto Family to tell them they could request the full report for $38.

This biased report seems to be an attempt to shock us, but the community stands strong and ready.


Let us review the uncontested facts of this case:

On Friday, March 21st, 2014, at the time police encountered Alex Nieto, they knew absolutely nothing about his history. At this present time, six months later, we have no evidence that any 911 call, witness statement, or radio dispatch notified police officers before they encountered Alex that he was in any way acting aggressively or erratically. In fact, information provided by police and eyewitnesses consistently report him as NOT a threat.

Facts: Alex Nieto was a hard-working, outstanding college student, a volunteer at the Youth Guidance Center Juvenile Hall, a loving son, and positive community activist. This is not the portrait of someone who is so ill that they cannot perform productively in society. How could he be so dysfunctional yet at the same time perform so many positive duties? A security guard, Alex Nieto was scheduled for work in less than two hours when the police killed him.

When one can’t deal with facts, one attempts to slander the victim.

Learn more about Alex’s Story!


There is no reason or authority for the Medical Examiner to act as a police detective investigating any possible rationale for anything that happened on Bernal Heights on Friday, March 21. Their job is simply to conduct an examination of the body and notify the public of the medical examination concerning the cause of death. The San Francisco Medical Examiner is not a detective agency; if they were, then they should also be investigating the background and disciplinary records of the police officers who killed Alex Nieto, yet we still do not even have those officers’ names. The San Francisco Medical Examiner is supposed to be unbiased and transparent in safeguarding the public good, yet here they are obviously attempting to besmirch the character of Alex Nieto, even though that is not their job.


The report also claims that Alex brandished his taser, yet it is not the medical examiner’s job to make any determinations on possible brandishing of tasers. In an unbiased manner, they are simply supposed to determine cause of death. Their statement about brandishing obviously shows that they are using the police account as fact, which is not part of the medical examiner’s job.

But we should question why the medical examiner used the term “brandishing.” Who gave the medical examiner that language? It is critically important to understand that the Medical Examiner chose to pander to SFPD by including a CONTESTED version of events into their report. Even this language shows the need for further evidence. At the townhall meeting at Leonard Flynn Elementary School on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, the Chief of Police Greg Suhr consistently and repeatedly stated that Alex Nieto had “pointed” the taser at officers. Brandishing and pointing are not the same action. There is inconsistency in this vital detail that is unraveling the competing police accounts.

Consider that this narrative of the taser firing is a different story than that told at the Town Hall meeting. SFPD are changing their story; trying to increase the perception of threat when there was none. If the taser had been fired, this would have been the first story told. SFPD and the City are digging themselves deeper into the hole of their fabricated story.

Remember, eyewitnesses consistently say Alex was never a threat, never raised his taser, nor moved to touch his taser. The Medical Examiner’s is deliberately and shamelessly facilitating SFPD’s cover up; showing that besides its general incompetence, the M.E. cannot be trusted as an independent examiner.

The Medical Examiner’s report also states the taser was discharged. Again, this is a contested fact in a lawsuit which explains that witnesses confirm that Alex never touched his taser. There is absolutely no reason why police narrative of events should even be in the AUTOPSY report. This is a violation of the public trust.

  • If the taser were discharged while Alex was lying down, then Alex may have discharged it in self-defense of his life.
  • If the taser was discharged, was it due to one of the fifteen bullets that attacked Alex Nieto?
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, did police discharge the taser to cover up the fact that Alex never had a taser in his hand?
  • Even if the taser had been discharged, which we have no proof that it was discharged by Alex, this would indicate that if Alex was upright, officers would or should have immediately known that Alex did not discharge a firearm, as the sound of a taser being discharged is not the blast of a pistol, and, of course, no bullet would have ejected from the taser. Yet the police continued to fire into Alex while he was lying down.

Note again that the witness(es) contradict any possibility of Alex brandishing, pointing, or discharging any taser, as they state that Alex never pointed a taser nor was he warned by the police before the police shot him multiple times.


Alex’s past mental well-being is irrelevant to the issue of whether the police are liable or criminally accountable for his homicide. An isolated incident, years back, in which Alex needed medical attention in no manner justifies an unlawful police murder. In fact, it is unrelated to March 21st, 2014.

Any smear tactics cannot contradict or explain witness statements concerning this police shooting. Officers did not know who Alex was or anything about any mental illness. No evidence whatsoever has been brought forth that police knew anything about Alex’s history prior to encountering him, so any issues that Alex may have had in 2011, three full years before his killing, are completely irrelevant and should not have equated to a death sentence without due process at the hands of the police.

We also question why police officers, who should be protecting and serving communities, continue to stigmatize and criminalize mental illness. Mental illness is not a crime. Mental illness is a recoverable condition.


The medical examiner’s job is to examine the decedent’s body, not his medical history. According to experienced attorneys in the field, the type of report that the medical examiner has issued in this case is a grotesque, unprecedented type of report that goes well beyond the scope of the medical examiner’s duties. Furthermore, we ask these questions: why did the medical examiner even requisition Alex’s medical history when they knew exactly how he had been killed—by gunshot wounds? How would the medical examiner have known that Alex had medical records at San Francisco General Hospital? Was it that the San Francisco Police Department, after killing a completely innocent man and then through their desperate attempt to slander Alex’s name by intimidating and interrogating various people, told the medical examiner to dig into Alex’s specific confidential medical records? In less than one business day after the killing, who gave the medical examiner permission to access Alex Nieto’s medical records, which are confidential private information that must be subpoenaed by an authorized agent? Who authorized the medical examiner to use the language that was used to summarize only certain information about Alex Nieto’s confidential medical records? The medical examiner has absolutely no expertise to perform a psychological profile or police detective evaluation concerning Alex Nieto.


The San Francisco Medical Examiner has violated the public trust.

The San Francisco city apparatus continues to push forward slanderous information to negatively assassinate Alex’s character, when the focus should remain on the killing of an innocent man. Highest level San Francisco officials seem to be embracing this ridiculous report in order to cover up their negligence and possible criminality. A desperate dud, this report is their attempt to counter our positive and effective community efforts.

When looked at with critical and reasonable eyes, this medical examiner’s report is proof that our efforts are forcing them into desperation.

Continue to question. Continue to spread the word. Continue the good fight.

Continue Amor and Justice for Alex Nieto!

UPDATE: Read Medical Examiner’s Report Ruling Homicide as Cause of Death

10/21 Alex’s 7th Month Anniversary, 10/22 Police Commission Meeting

Flyer Police Commission Oct 22

10/21 7th Month Anniversary, Come Remember Alex at Burritos on Bernal (6-7pm), then back to Giants World Series!

Today, Tuesday 10/21 is Alex’s 7th Month Anniversary. We’ll be at Bernal Heights Park at Alex’s Memorial Site from 6-7pm. (Please meet directly on the hill, not at Precita Park.) Alex was a huge Giants fan like you all, so join us for a moment, and then we’ll be back to the game that he loved. He would have loved to see the Giants in their third World Series.

Talking about love, we have a love story to tell you on the hill…

10/22 Police Commission Meeting, Wed. 6pm, Balboa High School

We hope that you will join us in demanding transparency and accountability in the homicide of Alex Nieto on Wednesday 10/22 at the Police Commission meeting at Balboa High School at 6pm. Public comments are at start of meeting. Each person has two minutes. (Facebook invite here.)
Balboa High School
Green Room
1000 Cayuga Street
San Francisco

For Alex’s 7th month anniversary and in preparation for the Police Commission meeting we have released a Drawing and Analysis of the Autopsy Report. Please check it out!

Despite the release of the autopsy report, at the seven month milestone of Alex’s homicide, his family, friends and community continue to be kept in the dark on essential facts. We have not received basic information from SFPD nor the City, and we request your support in demanding the following during public comments at the Police Commission meetings and through upcoming actions:

  • Original unedited 911 call or transcript to determine the threat to which Officers responded armed and in fear of their lives. According to Chief Greg Suhr (Town Hall Meeting) they were responding to a call about a man in a red jacket, eating sunflower seeds or chips, with a “gun” at his hip (i.e. a holstered weapon.) Therefore, there is no proof of threat that would have elicited the repeated lethal force exacted upon Alex.
  • Witness statements about Alex’s conduct and officer conduct. Again, what was the threat to which officers responded.
  • Police reports that might illuminate us of findings from the homicide investigation, as to why officers discharged their weapon and whether they are considered suspects of a homicide.
  • Names of officers involved. The public deserves to know who are the officers involved, as well as: what is their history? which community are they working in? what type of administrative sanctions if any have been issued?
  • Total number of officers at scene: We would like to know how many officers were on scene; not only the number of officers who shot at Alex. We have heard that at least 10 possibly up to 20 officers responded to the 911 call on the ringside road, weapons drawn and showing no caution as they ran towards the hill.
  • Number of bullets shot at Alex. We know from the autopsy report that his body has 14 to 15 bullet wounds caused by at least 10 bullets.  But, how many rounds total were discharged? What type of caliber? The autopsy report says 40 caliber, but aas there another type of weapon used?
  • 73 photographs attached to the autopsy report mentioning objects strewn about his body, including number of bullet casings found at the scene.
  • Any other information withheld by SFPD or the Police Commission that can clarify events of that day.

10/22 is the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality. The date was inaugurated in 1996 by the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation to bring those under the gun and those not under the gun as a powerful voice to expose the epidemic of police brutality.

This national day of action coincides with the San Francisco Police Commission meeting. Please join us in demanding transparency and accountability for Alex’s homicide and speak out against police brutality in San Francisco!

Public comments are at the beginning (6pm). Each person has two minutes to speak.


Maria Villalta Resignation

Dear community,

I come to you with a heavy heart. These last six months I have been working along side of wonderful people in the justice and love for Alex Nieto committee.

Due to personal reasons I would like to inform you that I will no longer be working with them as part of the committee.

I am a strong supporter of the family and will continue to work towards getting them justice and keeping Alex’s memory alive.

This decision did not come easy for me because I love working for and towards a larger cause. I have been debating on leaving the committe the last month and I believe my desicion is the best.

I know the committe will continue to do great work and with the support of the community they will keep Alex’s memory alive.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

In solidarity,
Maria Villalta

Breaking! Medical Examiner Rules Death of Alex Nieto A Homicide

Summary Autopsy Report Med Ex_001 RED

The San Francisco Medical Examiner has ruled the death of Alex Nieto a homicide. Therefore, we demand a thorough investigation into his homicide by the San Francisco District Attorney or, as emphatically requested, an outside federal investigation. We also demand a full detailed autopsy report be released immediately.

A summary report was mailed to Refugio and Elvira Nieto consisting of two brief lines stating the following:



We find this summary unsatisfactory. After nearly six months of examining and investigating, the San Francisco Medical Examiner causes the family and community only further grief and angst by summarizing Alex Nieto’s cause of death as “multiple gunshot wounds.” We demand to know how many gunshots entered into Alex’s body and head, and whether those entry wounds were from the front or back of his body. We demand the full autopsy report.

Alex Nieto had a California Medical Marijuana Card. In the state of California, someone can legally consume marijuana with a medical marijuana card.

Summary Autopsy Report Med Ex_001 REDA press conference will be held Friday September 12, 2014, 2p.m. at the Alex Nieto Memorial Site on Bernal Hill, northside slope.

Learn more about Alex’s Story!

PDF: Medical Examiner’s Summary Autopsy Report

Campaign: Permanent memorial bench for Alex Nieto on Bernal Heights!

Alex Nieto Memorial vandalized again Aug. 31st, 2014.

Yesterday, August 31st, 2014, the Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill was vandalized *again* in the morning. We collected the items scattered down the side of the hill. One picture frame was broken, and we had to remove it. The recovered items are shown below and have been set up again.

Altar items recovered; one picture frame broken.

Altar items recovered; one picture frame broken.

We’re pretty sure the vandal is just one messed up person. (The same man seen tossing the pebbles down the same side of the hill, who is either a racist or a moron or a combination of both, and not worth worrying about.) In fact, we stopped posting about every vandalism, because on and off it has continued to happen again.


Vandal M.O.: He takes items from the altar, across the fire road, and throws them down the hill.

Vandalism and Recovery Aug. 31st. 2'14

Refugio Nieto looking for items tossed down hill.


By now, we’re actually oddly grateful to the Vandal, because his negative actions have each time multiplied into outpourings of positive support and interest for Alex Nieto and his cause for justice. (Karma, or as Ben Bac Sierra likes to shout out “Amor por Alex, Amooooor for Alex!“) We hope you’ll join us in this effort for a permanent memorial to remember Alex and the injustice done to him on his native hill.

At this point, the Nieto Family needs support in moving forward with getting a permanent bench at the site where Alex was killed, ideally with a native plant garden surrounding the bench. In our experience, everyone walking by is extremely sympathetic to the Nietos and also for a standing memorial.

Our understanding is that the applications for benches at the park open in October again. The cost for a bench is prohibitive without additional fundraising support or a waiver by Parks/Recs or a donation by the City (which given the current lawsuits seems unlikely).

We’ll update this page with a proper campaign announcement, as we figure out all details. To that end, if you have specific know-how on getting a memorial bench, please write to us: info@justice4alexnieto.org

As always, thank you for your support!

The Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Committee

Memorial site recovered, again, Aug. 31st, 2014

Memorial site recovered, again, Aug. 31st, 2014

Vandalized again on August 31st, 2014

Vandalized again on August 31st, 2014

Federal Civil Lawsuit: REFUGIO NIETO and ELVIRA NIETO (Plaintiffs) vs. CITY AND COUNTY OF SF, Police Chief GREG SUHR & Police Officers DOES 1-50 (Defendants)

Selfie by Alex with parents Refugio & Elvira


NIETO COMPLAINT Offices John Burris_001

CLICK LINK FOR PDF FILE: NIETO REFUGIO NIETO and ELVIRA NIETO (Plaintiffs) vs. CITY AND COUNTY OF SF, Police Chief GREG SUHR & Police Officers DOES 1-50 (Defendants) (Filed by Law Offices of John Burris)

(Please find below an excerpt of the basis for the complaint, emphasis is our own.)

Case3:14-cv-03823 Filed 08/22/14

REFUGIO NIETO and ELVIRA NIETO, individually and as the Co-Successors in Interest to ALEJANDRO NIETO; Plaintiffs,


CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Police Chief GREG SUHR in his individual capacity & DOES 1-50, individually and in their official capacities as a Police Officer for the City and County of San Francisco, inclusive. Defendants.


1. This claim arises out of an incident that took place on Friday, March 21, 2014 at approximately 7:00 p.m. at Bernal Heights Park in the City of San Francisco, California wherein Decedent, Alejandro “Alex” Nieto was unlawfully shot and killed by several yet to be identified San Francisco Police Officers.

2. In the aftermath of the incident, the City and County of San Francisco (“CCSF”) and the involved Officers claimed Alex defied Officers’ orders and pointed a taser at them. The Officers claimed they mistook the taser for a handgun, causing them to fear for their lives and as a result shot and killed him. After an independent investigation led by the community and the Law Offices of John L. Burris, witnesses along with physical evidence was uncovered which contradicts CCSF’s version of the events.

3. To date, CCSF has refused to release the involved Officers’ names. Instead, CCSF has engaged in a media campaign to besmirch Alex’s reputation as a well known San Francisco resident who never sustained a single arrest, was an active community organizer, college student, and local law enforcement volunteer.



 11. On Friday, March 21, 2014, Mr. Alejandro Nieto began his evening at the home he shared with his mother, father and younger brother. He left the family home intent on getting some food before he went to work as a security guard at a nearby restaurant. To that end, Mr. Nieto bought a burrito and went to Bernal Heights Park to enjoy his meal and the view of the City and neighborhood he loved. Once he arrived at the Park he found a bench and began eating his dinner.

12. Witnesses recount seeing Mr. Nieto at the park peacefully sitting alone on the bench enjoying his burrito. A yet to be identified person called 911 and erroneously reported Mr. Nieto as having a black gun on his hip. The caller mistook the black and yellow taser Mr. Nieto lawfully carried for use on his security job for a gun. However, the caller did not claim Mr. Nieto was bothering anyone or making any type of threatening gestures with the reported “gun.

13. Several SFPD Officers converged on the park determined to investigate the call and confront the reported “gunman.” An SFPD Patrol car entered the park and drove up a fire trail before stopping approximately 75 to 100 feet away from Mr. Nieto who at that time was casually walking down the jogging trail to the Park’s entrance. Two Officers emerged from the patrol car and immediately took cover using their car for protection. Several other Officers had also gathered on the jogging path, appeared to be carrying rifle-type guns and were positioned behind Mr. Nieto. One of the Officers behind the patrol car called out and ordered Mr. Nieto to “stop.”

14. Within seconds a quick volley of bullets were fired at Mr. Nieto. No additional orders or any other verbal communication was heard between the first Officer yelling “stop” and the initial volley of gunfire that rang out. Mr. Nieto fell to the ground. After a brief pause of just a second or two, a second barrage of shots were fired. The Officers’ bullets struck Mr. Nieto in his forehead and at least nine other places leaving his body grossly disfigured and mortally wounded.

15. In the aftermath of the incident, SFPD claims Mr. Nieto refused to comply with Officers’ requests for him to show them his hands and instead pointed the taser at them, challenged their authority forcing the Officers to shoot him. However, the ear and eye witness’ revelations undermine SFPD’s claims. Based upon the witnesses’ accounts there, in fact, was no justification for this unwarranted use of deadly force as contrary to the Defendants’ claims, they did not hear Mr. Nieto threaten anyone or see him attempt to grab or point any object at the Officers prior to being shot.

16. The above-described intentional and/or negligent conduct by defendants was a factual and proximate cause of Decedent’s death and Plaintiff’s damages.

17. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that CCSF, Chief Suhr and DOES 26-49, inclusive, breached their duty of care to the public in that they have failed to discipline defendant John Doe SFPD Officers 1-25 inclusive, for their respective misconduct and involvement in the incident described herein. Their failure to discipline defendant John Doe SFPD Officers 1-25 inclusive, demonstrates the existence of an entrenched culture, policy or practice of promoting, tolerating and/or ratifying with deliberate indifference, the use of excessive and/or deadly force and the fabrication of official reports to cover up defendant John Doe SFPD Officers 1-25’s inclusive, misconduct.

18. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that members of the San Francisco Police Department, including, but not limited to DOES 1 -25 and/or each of them, have individually and/or while acting in concert with one another used excessive, arbitrary and/or unreasonable force against decedent, ALEJANDRO NIETO.

19. Plaintiffs’ are further informed, believe and therein allege that as a matter of official policy — rooted in an entrenched posture of deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of persons who live, work or visit the City of San Francisco, SFPD has allowed persons to be abuse by its Police Officers including defendant DOES 1-25 and/or each of them, individually and/or while acting in concert with one another.

20. Plaintiffs’ are informed, believe and therein allege that SFPD Police Officers exhibit a pattern and practice of using excessive and/or deadly force against citizens, as evidenced by the 97 SFPD Officer involved shootings that have occurred since 2000. Of those 97 shootings, 33 people have died and 35 people have been injured. In each and every one of the shooting cases wherein a person died as a result of the Officers’ use of deadly force, SFPD has found the Officer used deadly force within policy even under the most questionable of circumstances. SFPD’s failure to discipline or retrain any of the involved Officers is evidence of an official policy, entrenched culture and posture of deliberate indifference toward protecting citizen’s rights and the resulting deaths and injuries is a proximate result of SFPD’s failure to properly supervise its Police Officers and ratify their unconstitutional conduct.

21. Plaintiffs are informed, believe and therein allege that CCSF knew, had reason to know by way of actual or constructive notice of the aforementioned policy, culture, pattern and/or practice and the complained of conduct and resultant injuries/violations.

22. Plaintiffs are ignorant of the true names and capacities of Defendants DOES 1 through 25, inclusive, and therefore sue these defendants by such fictitious names. Plaintiffs are informed, believe, and thereon allege that each defendant so named is responsible in some manner for the injuries and damages sustained by plaintiffs as set forth herein. Plaintiffs will amend their complaint to state the names and capacities of DOES 1-50, inclusive, when they have been ascertained.

Selfie by Alex with parents Refugio & Elvira

Selfie by Alex with parents Refugio & Elvira

Refugio & Elvira work tirelessly to maintain a memorial to their son at the site of his killing.

Refugio & Elvira work tirelessly to maintain a memorial to their son at the site of his killing.

Elvira & Refugio Nieto lead the Alex Rises! march down from Bernal Hill. (Aug. 22, 2014) Photo: Chris Carlsson

Elvira & Refugio Nieto lead the Alex Rises! march down from Bernal Hill. (Aug. 22, 2014) Photo: Chris Carlsson

Elvira & Refugio Nieto march for their son. (Aug. 22, 2014)

Elvira & Refugio Nieto march for their son. (Aug. 22, 2014)

Alex Rises! Thank you & Rally Speeches at Federal Courthouse (Aug. 22, 2014)

Rallier arrives to federal building holding banner with Refugio Nieto (Aug. 22, 2014) Photo: Ray Ysaguirre

THANK YOU! Making history…

Thank you from the Nieto Family and the Justice & Love Committee for Alex Nieto. Once again gracias to everyone who volunteered work and accompanied the Nieto Family on a long, memorable, effective walk from the spot where Alex Nieto was shot dead by SFPD on March 21st, 2014 to the Federal Courthouse Building at 450 Golden Gate, on August 22, 2014, where the family lawyers filed a lawsuit that day. (READ ACTUAL COMPLAINT FILED HERE.)

Rallier arrives to federal building holding banner with Refugio Nieto (Aug. 22, 2014) Photo: Ray Ysaguirre

Rallier arrives to federal building holding banner with Refugio Nieto (Aug. 22, 2014) Photo: Ray Ysaguirre

Click for video of Protesters arriving to rally at Federal Building by Isabel Gutierrez.

I know many more of you were also with us in spirit! We got tons of media coverage of the manifest concern of San Franciscans for what’s starting to look like a serious cover-up by the City and County of San Francisco and SFPD in the unlawful killing of Alex Nieto.

We also thank you for holding space for all the other victims of police brutality (local, state, and national) by calling out their names alongside with Alex Nieto’s. There is an unforgivable pattern of impunity of police violence in San Francisco and around the country. (HOW DO YOU SPELL MURDER? SFPD!)

Together we will continue striving for a historic resolution to the federal CIVIL lawsuit filed by the Nieto Family, but also strive for a historic independent federal CRIMINAL investigation into SFPD’s murder of Alex Nieto, any subsequent cover-up, and SFPD’s historic pattern of impunity surrounding excessive use of force. Right on! You matter. All lives matter. Lives of youth of color matter. Alex Nieto’s life matters!

Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Committee STOKED by your solidarity and interest in justice for Alex and his Family.

Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Committee STOKED by your courage and solidarity to get justice for Alex and his Family.

RALLY SPEECHES by Ben Bac Sierra and Adriana Camarena (members of the Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Committee)

with VIDEO links of Closing Words by Mission community organizer Roberto Hernandez, and Family Attorneys John Burris and Adante Pointer

Below please find the rally speeches delivered at the 3pm Rally at Federal Courthouse Building (450 Golden Gate) on August 22nd, 2014.

#HandsUpDontShoot Ben Bac Sierra surrenders to the Alex Rises! March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings (Aug. 22 2014) Photo: Jason Wyman

#HandsUpDontShoot Ben Bac Sierra surrenders to the Alex Rises! March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings (Aug. 22 2014) Photo: Jason Wyman

Alex Rises! by Ben Bac Sierra


Today Alex Nieto Rises! Alex Nieto Rises! But five months ago on Friday, March 21st flexing an aggressive military mentality, the San Francisco Police Department gunned down Alex Nieto, our beloved brother, a college graduate, a loving son, and positive community activist. They thought that once they fired over 14 bullets into his innocent body that he would be silenced off the face of this Earth. Friends, family, Freedom Fighters, they did not kill Alex Nieto.

Look around you; right now, look into your neighbor’s eyes and be filled with strength, with righteousness, with miracles—for you see that Alex Nieto is here within you, amongst you. Alex Nieto is not silent. Alex Nieto speaks.


Do you hear?

Our breath is his voice. Our voice is his voice. Let’s sing together:


That is Alex Nieto’s song. And with that music, using the power of the United States Constitution, we confront you San Francisco! Look in your heart. See who we are. We are Alex Nieto, and we will not be killed! Recognize our living humanity.

San Francisco Police Officers, be noble. Do not support a corrupt code of silence. You vowed to protect and to serve us. Hold honor. Confession is liberation for a brave soul.

Standing here today, we are the truth. Today, the machinery of justice has begun its cycle. Now we demand the police reports, the police officers’ names, the coroner’s report, the witness statements, the total truth. Through us, Alex Nieto, Michael Brown, Andy Lopez, and Eric Garner have risen and they shout:



Ben introduces co-committee member Adriana Camarena; Elvira & Refugio Nieto look on. (Aug. 22, 2014)

Ben introduces co-committee member Adriana Camarena; Elvira & Refugio Nieto look on. (Aug. 22, 2014, Rally at Federal Courthouse) (Photo: Ray Ysaguirre)

Alex Nieto: A Man Betrayed by Decades of Impunity. Speech by Adriana Camarena


Alex Nieto –a young Latino working class man- strove to make change within the justice system, by studying administration of justice, interning at the probation department, and volunteering at countless electoral campaigns and youth organizations. Who he was did not matter, because the system of law enforcement could only imagine him as an outlaw, whose life did not matter. Police killed him without reasonable justification. Alex Nieto is a man betrayed.

Five months ago, Alex Nieto was killed on Bernal Hill and for five months, City officials have kept sealed all records that could explain what happened on March 21st, 2014. For five months, SFPD, the Police Commission, the District Attorney’s office, the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Mayor have maintained in secrecy the names of the four officers who killed Alejandro Nieto, the original 911 call or calls, eye witness reports, the number of bullets fired, and the autopsy report. For five months, the Nieto Family has been kept in the dark around facts that could ease some of their trauma of what happened the day the police killed their son. For five months, the various communities of San Francisco affected by this act of police violence have likewise been kept ignorant.

Instead of the facts, the public has received a curated police version of events. We are here because we do not believe the police version of events narrated to us by Chief Greg Suhr at the Town Hall meeting after Alex’s death. You do not need to have known Alex Nieto to know that police version of events do not add up. A clear message has been sent: In San Francisco, protecting political careers is more important than accountability and transparency by the City government over its killing of one of its citizens.

Since 1990, 376 San Francisco police officers have fired their weapons. 45 of those officers have done so on repeated occasions, and in that period, 61 people have been shot dead. None of these killings have resulted in an indictment of a San Francisco Police Department officer. In fact, I cannot find a historic instance in which an SFPD officer has faced criminal charges for an unjustified killing. The lack of criminal charges does not mean that SFPD officers are infallible. It reveals a criminal system rigged to deny justice in any instance of an unwarranted police shooting.

In addition, in our City, D.A. Gascón is a career police officer and former Chief of Police of San Francisco. The D.A. denies having a conflict of interest in investigating this case, but we are left without hope that Alex Nieto’s case will receive an unbiased investigation at a local level. We look around the Bay Area and already see the writing on the wall: On July 7th, the Sonoma County D.A. announced that no charges would be filed against the officer who shot 13 year old Andy Lopez. On Tuesday of this week, the Santa Rosa D.A. announced that no charges would be filed against the officer who shot 18 year old Yanira Serrano. Of the 15 most recent cases of police shootings in Northern California, 9 out of 15 of those killed were Latinos. I’ve also heard say that the Oscar Grant case is the only police shooting in to have resulted in the conviction of an officer 90 years in Northern California.

As the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri show, the police at a local, city, state, and national level are facing a crisis of legitimacy. Police killings are an epidemic in Northern California: Oscar Grant, Kenneth Harding Jr., Alan Blueford, Andy Lopez, Yanira Serrano-Garcia, Errol Chang, the four recent killings of Latino men in Salinas, and now the latest killing of Jacorey Calhoun in Oakland. If the police can kill with impunity, decade after decade, then they are not a force accountable to law, but simply a force of oppression in low income communities.

Yesterday, we delivered (at this very building) a stack of signed petitions collected through the last five months in which San Franciscans ask the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out a federal investigation into the shooting of Alex Nieto. Today, the Nieto Family will file a civil federal lawsuit. Today, we peacefully marched for Civil Rights Against Police Killings in solidarity with thousands of families across the country. People of all races and ethnicities have joined in action to protect their most basic civil and human right: Life—and specifically, the lives of youth of color. 

Alex was a man betrayed. Fight for him!

Closing Words: Mission community organizer Roberto Hernandez: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF CLOSING WORDS BY ROBERTO HERNANDEZ by Ray Ysaguirre.

Closing Words: Family Attorneys John Burris and Adante Pointer address the crowd
(Apologies in advance for echo on mic, skip to minute 2:30 to avoid feedback on mic)

Thanks for checking-in and now please enjoy a musical mix by Pedro Reyes of Setting the Standard with audio from “Alex Rises! March for Civil Rights Against Police Violence.”