Alex Nieto Memorial & Altar desecrated ahead of BoS vote on Resolution addressing police brutality

Memorial & Altar on 7th month anniversary versus right before 9th month anniversary

We’ve reported on prior desecrations of the Alex Nieto Memorial & Altar on Bernal Heights Park, the site were Alex was shot at least fifteen times by yet unnamed SFPD officers. We believe this to be the work of one particular person. However, we’ve noticed that past attacks have happened when the shooting of Alex Nieto gains coverage in the press.

This latest attack to the Memorial & Altar came suspiciously on the day that the Board of Supervisor was to vote on a Resolution addressing police brutality, nationally and locally. Prior to the vote, the Police Officer’s Association voiced their strong disapproval and threw its weight around the BoS.

Supporters are raising the question as to whether the person desecrating the Alex Nieto Memorial & Altar Site is associated to the POA, SFPD, or whether he is just a sole racist or moron or otherwise person incapable of respecting an entire community’s desire to hold this space as sacred for Alex Nieto. Anyone know? We’re don’t actually care much about this annoying person, but if anyone does know something about who he is, please let us know.

Elvira and Refugio Nieto immediately began restoring the site by replacing the handmade cross by Refugio.

Supporters will be campaigning for a permanent memorial in the new year. Stay tuned! We’ll need your help!

8th Month Anniversary of Alex's homicide by police

8th Month Anniversary of Alex’s homicide by police

BoS discusses Alex Nieto’s shooting and racial Bias in SF police shootings, Resolution fails after POA throws weight around

2014.12.16 Public Comments Resolution Avalos 4 Cohen BIS

A few weeks back, Supervisor John Avalos introduced a resolution to the effect of reviewing racial profiling and use of force by police. That Resolution was put up for vote yesterday Tuesday December 16th, 2014.

The original draft resolution urged the DOJ to act upon the demands of the Ferguson Action group. This first draft did not mention SFPD, nor the Alex Nieto case, but after consulting with a variety of community members, Supervisor John Avalos introduced an amended Resolution.

The amended Resolution mentioned Alex Nieto’s shooting on March 21st, 2014, as the most recent case of police brutality highlighted by protesters during nine months of peaceful non-violent protests in San Francisco, and also included data showing racial bias in police shootings in San Francisco.

After this amended Resolution was introduced, SFPD and the Police Officer’s Association threw their political weight around to thwart its success. The POA sent a letter of disapproval to John Avalos saying that SFPD was much better behaved than other police forces. (Read the Letter at the bottom of the SF Examiner’s story.)

The POA however failed to address the fact that of those killed by SFPD, since 1985, 71% of those have been people of color, and 41% of those Black, when the Black of population in San Francisco was 6% in 2013. (Source: AntiEviction Mapping Project) In other words, SFPD has a history of disproportionately killing people of color in San Francisco. It is a simple fact. This Resolution was an acknowledgement of the local and national reality.

The POA who claims SFPD is the most racially diverse police force forgot to mention in their letter a recent incident in which SFPD officers “racially profiled, choked and wrongfully arrested [a Black off-duty SFPD officer, Lorenzo Adamson] during a traffic stop by several colleagues who ignored him when he said he was an officer.” Officer Adamson filed a lawsuit against SFPD for racial profiling. (Source: “SF cop sues, claims traffic-stop racial profiling”, SF Gate.) 

The POA also avoided any mention about the recent indictment of two SFPD officers on federal felony corruption charges. (Source: SF Gate) One of those officers —Furminger— was one of the eight police officers who killed Idriss Stelley in 2001 at the Metreon. None of the officers who killed Idriss were ever indicted on criminal charges. Furminger had already killed another person while on duty, before killing Idriss, and continued to have complaints filed after Idriss’ death. (Source: SF Gate.; Account by Poor Magazine of Idriss Stelley’s shooting. )

The POA, and for that matter SFPD, also failed to address the extreme lack of transparency in hiding the names of the officers involved in the shooting of Alex Nieto after nearly 9 months since he was killed. Every name of every officer ever involved in a shooting in San Francisco is public information, except for the names of the officers who shot Alex Nieto. A recent CA Supreme Court decision ruled that releasing the names of officers cannot be denied, unless there is an exceptional reason. The reason publicly given by Chief Suhr for withholding names (and now defended by the City Attorney) is ridiculous and continues to point to a police cover-up. Also, as the case of Furminger shows, community members deserve to know the background histories of these officers working in their midst.

Cohen originally supported the Resolution, but after pressure by the POA and SFPD, she introduced another amendment to strike out any mention of Alex Nieto’s shooting and any statistics revealing racial bias by SFPD in who they shoot:

“Supervisor Malia Cohen, for example, wanted to eliminate any reference of Alex Nieto, a Latino man killed by police officers March 21 when he was shot at least 10 times. An investigation is ongoing and the names of officers involved have yet to be released.”

“We are not Ferguson,” said Supervisor London Breed, who spoke of having a strong relationship with local police officers. “I am not comfortable with a comparison of our local law enforcement to what’s happening in Ferguson.” (Source: SF Examiner)

London Breed also demanded that all data on racial bias in San Francisco officer-involved shootings be removed from the Resolution.

David Campos pointed out that he usually did not support Resolutions without specific legislative proposals, but backed this Resolution, because despite comparatively better behavior by SFPD vis-a-vis other national police departments, it was important to acknowledge that there is a problem in San Francisco and that Alex Nieto’s shooting significantly hurt San Franciscan communities. He mentioned that insistence to strike Alex Nieto’s name from the Resolution also hurt police credibility, giving the impression that they have something to hide. (Hey! We agree.)

While Supervisor David Campos has explicitly withheld judgement on the shooting, he was attacked by the POA almost nine months ago, when he showed support to Alex’s family for their mistreatment by SFPD in the aftermath of the shooting. (Read more about this mistreatment in the bottom section of Alex’s Story.)

Supporters also believe that the D.A. Gascón has failed to declare whether he will indict officers-involved, because he is working in a concerted manner with SFPD, and cannot declare himself until SFPD reveals the names of the officers. We continue to demand a federal criminal investigation into the death of Alex Nieto. We do not believe the former Chief of Police, Gascón, can secure an unbiased investigation.

Despite the failure of the Resolution, we want to commend the Board of Supervisors for holding an important conversation about police brutality, racial profiling by police, the Ferguson Action demands, the right to protest, the role of police in community, and the case of Alex Nieto and other cases like O’Shaine Evans’ shooting. We believe that the San Francisco BoS has the potential to issue legislation that could model effective ways to curb racial profiling by police departments, demilitarize police departments, demand transparency, decrease use of force, and end impunity in cases of police brutality. We expect more and better from you in the future!

Supporters of Justice & Love for Alex Nieto came out in strong numbers to express their support for the Resolution during public comments. After 9 months of hiding basic facts, his shooting has become emblematic of a police cover-up. You can help uncover the truth! Please learn the facts and tell Alex’s Story to a friend.

2014.12.16 Public Comments Resolution Avalos 2014.12.16 Public Comments Resolution Avalos 3 2014.12.16 Public Comments Resolution Avalos 2

News! Supervisor Avalos introduces resolution to review racial profiling and use of force by SFPD, upholds right to nonviolent protest, Alex Nieto case cited

Photo credit: Ramin Rahimian for The Wall Street Journal 8.12.2010

Update: Please voice your support for the Resolution in Public Comments, BoS Meeting next Tuesday 12/16!

Please come show your support for the approval of this Resolution by the Board of Supervisors, this upcoming Tuesday December 16th, 2014, 2pm, Chambers. We need you to speak up during public comments and let the Board of Supervisors know that you approve of this Resolution!

Item 52, reference number 141234

Link to Resolution on BoS website.

Resolution affirming the San Francisco Board of Supervisors commitment to equal justice under the law and the First Amendment right to protest, recognizing the United States’ broken and racially biased police and justice systems, and urging the Department of Justice, Congress, and President Obama to review national policing and judicial practices to truly bring equal justice under the law. (The “Resolution”)

Please click here for a PDF copy of the Resolution.

Yesterday evening Supervisor John Avalos introduced a Resolution to the Board of Supervisors to address racial profiling and use of force by police officers, nationally and locally, as well as to uphold the right to nonviolent protest.

Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Malia Cohen, and Eric Mar signed as cosponsors. The Resolution will be put up for vote next Tuesday December 16th, 2014.

The Resolution acknowledges:

  • A history of demonstrable racial bias regarding who is killed by police, both at a national and local level in San Francisco.
  • Recent national and local protests regarding the lack of indictments in the shootings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner.
  • The right to “nonviolent peaceful protest, free from excessive use of force and intimidation through military tactics and equipment.”
  • Lost public trust in SFPD for the killing of Alex Nieto, including for the lack of transparency exhibited by SFPD after his shooting. (We’ve long said this looks like a very serious cover-up):

“…WHEREAS, Alex Nieto was killed by SFPD officers on March 21, 2014 when he was shot at least ten times, and nearly nine months after the shooting, none of the names of the officers involved in his killing have been released, seriously undermining trust between some members of the community and police, and leading to nearly nine months of peaceful protests about racial profiling, the police’s use of force, lack of transparency and accountability in police investigations, and demands for justice; …”

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If approved, the Board of Supervisors pledge:

“to review local ordinances, officer training, and policies to address racial profiling and the use of excessive force and to ensure transparency and accountability within public safety departments.”

The Resolution also endorses the national demands of the Ferguson Action coalition, which among other things, urges the Department of Justice:

“…to conduct a comprehensive review of local policing practices to develop standards for community involvement and oversight strategies, use of force standards, and standards for independent investigatory/disciplinary mechanisms”

Join public comments next Tuesday

We invite supporters to join the public comment section on Tuesday December 16th at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Also, please join us for Alex’s 9th month anniversary 12/21

You are invited to Alex’s NINTH month anniversary, on Sunday December 21st, 2014. We will carry out a sidewalk procession from 24th Street and Mission to the Bernal Heights. More details here…

 

The Longest Night of the Year: A Winter Solstice Posada for Alex’s 9th month anniversary of killing by yet unnamed SFPD officers (12/21, 4-7pm)

Alex home for Christmas.

Winter Solstice is the 9th Month Anniversary of Alex’s homicide by SFPD

CHECK BACK FOR FINAL DETAILS PLEASE

Update: Bring flashlights. It’ll be dark by the time we walk back down the hill.

4pm @ 24th Street and Mission Street (BART Plaza on Northeast corner):

Opening ceremony & words by families who have lost loved ones in 2014 to police brutality.

Confirmed visiting families:
Family of Yanira Serrano Garcia (killed in Half Moon Bay).
Family of Antonio Lopez (killed in San José)
Family of Errol Chang (killed in Daly City)

Sidewalk procession to Bernal Hill.

@ Bernal Heights Park, Alex Nieto Memorial Site, northside slope: Words by family and supporters of Alex Nieto.

Closing ceremony.

Walk to site of Mexican Posada, to be announced on hill.

RSVP on our Facebook event page.

9 MONTHS AND STILL IN THE DARK

8th month anniversary gathering, still no answers...

8th month anniversary gathering, still no answers…

Alex’s ninth month anniversary of homicide by SFPD is on Winter Solstice, Dec. 21st. This will indeed be the longest and darkest night of the year: Alex won’t be home for the holidays, while SFPD & the City continue their cover-up campaign of his killing. Read more here…

The holidays are a tough time for families who have lost children to violence. Join us for a special Mexican Posada in memory of Alex and in solidarity with the Nieto family and our visitors to the Mission District & Bernal Heights, who have also lost loved ones to police brutality this year!

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

WHAT’S A MEXICAN POSADA?

For those unfamiliar with a Mexican Posada, it is the traditional Mexican form of celebrating the holidays prior to Christmas. Posada means “inn or hostel” and references the Biblical moment when Mary (pregnant with child) and Joseph are running around Bethlehem trying to find a place to stay. The entire town is booked because of the yearly census, and they are repeatedly turned away, and even treated as suspicious characters. Finally, an innkeeper recognizes them as holy and opens his humble stable for them, which is why Christ was born in a manger.

In the Mexican Posada tradition, the guests sing a traditional song to the host requesting entrance. Entrance is denied twice, until a nice host let’s us in. Then we break a piñata and eat tamales, drink hot choco, etc.

For those belonging to different spiritual practices or atheist for that matter, Christmas like many other traditions during this time of the year are also about the Winter Solstice, about the rebirth of the Sun after the longest night of the year. We all hope for a lighter year!

Sunrise over the Bay from Bernal Hill

Sunrise over the Bay from Bernal Hill

Update: Judge denies the City’s request! City must release names of officers!

June Jordan students in solidarity with Justice & Love for Alex Nieto! 12.3.2014

Breaking! Magistrate Judge Cousins sides with Nieto Family, City Must Give Names!

we want names_001 (2)We have received news from the Nieto family lawyer that Magistrate Judge Cousins sided with the Nieto Family and denied the City the unusually restrictive protective order they sought! This news came right after protesters ended today’s morning action “Who Killed Alex? We Want Names!” at the Federal Courthouse.

The City must now give the names of all officers involved in the shooting of Alex Nieto, including the four officers who shot him, those other officers present during the shooting (8 to 10) and officers who secured the crime scene after the shooting (aprox. 20).

The City will likely try to fight this decision, so we need to keep demanding transparency, starting with the NAMES OF THE OFFICERS WHO KILLED ALEX NIETO and all other officers involved during the shooting and post-shooting of Alex Nieto. Listen to Chief Suhr explain the “threat” that for now nearly nine months has impeded the release of the officer’s names.

Update: As predicted, the City Attorney is fighting Magistrate Cousins decision in favor of the Nietos and against a highly restrictive protective order on the names of the officers.

Mayor Ed Lee, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and Chief Greg Suhr: We demand transparency and accountability in the shooting of Alex Nieto, starting with the names of the officer involved! WE WANT NAMES!
"We Want Names!" Protesters in front of the Federal Courthouse, 12.3.2014

“We Want Names!” Protesters in front of the Federal Courthouse, 12.3.2014

TODAY’S COMMUNITY ACTION: WE WANT NAMES!

Today members of the Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Coalition, PICO California’s Live Free campaign, PICO National Network, Coffee Not Cops, a project of Station 40! and youth in a walk-out from June Jordan High school gathered in front of the Federal Courthouse (450 Golden Gate) to demand the names of the officers who killed Alex Nieto.

2014.12.3 Alex Nieto Rally We Want Names June Jordan

June Jordan students in solidarity with Justice & Love for Alex Nieto! 12.3.2014

The rain broke during those two hours allowing protesters to comfortably hold banners, hand out flyers, get to know each other better, and chant rally cries. Coffee Not Cops offered sweet Mexican bread from La Reyna and free coffee in coffee cups bearing messages about the rally: Wake Up… To Police Brutality!Who Killed Alex Nieto? We Want Names!Does It Really Take a Riot? We Want Names!, and more!

2014.12.3 Alex Nieto Rally We Want Names Coffee Cups

Elvira and Refugio Nieto, parents of Alex Nieto, were solidly present throughout holding a Justice For Alex Nieto banner. Also in admirable attendance were Tony Serrano Garcia (brother of Yanira Serrano-Garcia (18yrs), killed 6/3/2014 by San Mateo Sheriff Deputy), who drove up from Half Moon Bay on his sister’s month anniversary of killing to be present. Angela Naggie and Cadine Williams (mother and sister to O’Shaine Evans (26yrs), killed 10/7/2014 by SFPD Officer Goff) also arrived from Oakland. O’Shaine’s second month anniversary of killing is coming up this Sunday! The presence of Tony, Angela, and Cadine was a wonderful testimony to the growing movement of solidarity among families and supporters victims of police brutality in the Bay Area! (Al Osorio from the Kenneth Harding Jr Foundation also sent his love.) We all know each other, and you can bet you’ll be hearing from all of us together!

Cadine Williams, Angela Naggie, Refugio Nieto, Elvira Nieto, and Tony Serrano Garcia, in solidarity with each other!

Cadine Williams, Angela Naggie, Refugio Nieto, Elvira Nieto, and Tony Serrano Garcia, in solidarity with each other!

2014 November Review: Art, Actions & Articles honoring Alex Nieto!

Ely Raka, Refugio Nieto, Elvira Nieto, Ben Bac Sierra, Marcos, Adriana at start of the procession

11.2.2014 Day of the Dead altars and actions for Alex Nieto

The Twilight of Alex Nieto, Day of the Dead Altar @ SOMARTS (Oct. 10- Nov. 8) (Artists: Elvira Nieto, Adriana Camarena, Paz de la Calzada, Ivonne Iriondo, Refugio Nieto, María Villalta)

“…Our altar references the Nieto Family living room. […] In this room, Alex also slept and dressed, because the living room was also his bedroom. For our altar, Elvira brought items of Alex’s clothing. She arranged his multicolored baseball caps —all proudly bearing the classic Giants SF lettering—on the same vertical rack that used to hang on his bedroom side of the room. [..] This altar is about Alex’s legacy as a community organizer and an intellectual and artistic spirit, and about his family and affected communities as underdogs fighting for a righteous cause.” Description from #October Together, More than just baseball by Adriana Camarena

Nov. 2nd. Alex Nieto family and supporters join procession with Dia De Los Muertos March to BUILD Affordable housing NO More Condos or Market Rate Units

Supporters of justice for Alex Nieto walked at the front of the procession organized by groups protecting affordable housing in the Mission, because we believe we are part of a broader coalition against injustices in the neighborhood, such as befell Alex Nieto.

Ely Raka, Refugio Nieto, Elvira Nieto, Ben Bac Sierra, Marcos, Adriana at start of the procession

Ely Raka, Refugio Nieto, Elvira Nieto, Ben Bac Sierra, Marcos, Adriana at start of the procession

Our Mission No Eviction, photo by Erick Arguello

Our Mission No Eviction, photo by Erick Arguello

Unaccountable Murders: Counting and Recounting Homicides by SFPD officers, Day of the Dead altar at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Artists: Ivonne Iriondo, Erin McElroy, Adriana Camarena (Opening night Nov. 2nd, Closes Nov. 22nd)

“…after Alex Nieto was killed March 21, 2014, the AEMP felt compelled to map out known fatal officer-involved shootings since 1985 in San Francisco. Visitors can navigate the map as part of the altar installation and click on individually marked shootings to learn more about the victim. The map can also be viewed here. […]The altar at MCCLA asks the public to express thoughts or comments, and provides two probing questions: “What or who do police protect?” and “How do we end police impunity?” […] The altar walls shift with the days as public comments are aggregated. […] Our MCCLA altar “Unaccountable Murders” also includes a video interview of Mesha Monge-Irizarry, contributed by Ivonne Iriondo. Mesha is the mother of Idriss Stelley, a 23-year-old young man who was killed by nine SFPD officers, when they shot him 48 times at the Metreon in 2001….” Description from #October Together, More than just baseball by Adriana Camarena

Refugio and Elvira with Mesha (mother of Idriss Stelley, killed by SFPD 2001) and companions Remigio and doggie King Bizcocho at MCCLA, Nov. 2nd Day of Dead opening

Refugio and Elvira with Mesha (mother of Idriss Stelley, killed by SFPD 2001) and companions Remigio and doggie King Bizcocho at MCCLA, Nov. 2nd Day of Dead opening night

Mural Art in the Mission by Oree Originiol

For Day of the Dead, Nov. 2nd, a mural appeared on La Galeria de la Raza billboard (northwest corner of Bryant and 24th Street) that memorializes victims of police brutality in the Bay Area and beyond.

2014.11.2 OreeOriginiolphotoJean Melesaine

Art by Oree Originiol, Photo by Jean Melesaine

Day of the Dead altar by Denhi Donis

Denhi is a flower vendor on Cortland Street and friend of Alex Nieto. For Day of the Dead, she made a window altar for Alex at the MCCLA.

Refugio and Elvira Nieto take in Denhi's altar to their son.

Refugio and Elvira Nieto take in Denhi’s altar to their son.

11.14.2014 Oscar Salinas speaks @ USF student police forum issues

Oscar Salinas, a member of the Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Coalition, represents for #justice4alexnieto at the USF student forum on police issues. The event closed with a candlelight vigil for victims of police brutality.

USF student forum on police issues, 11.14.2014

USF student forum on police issues, 11.14.2014

11.14.2014 USF student event Oscar Salinas

11.15.2014 Justice4AlexNieto @ Issues Fair, Keith Haring Party “What’s your issue?”, de Young Museum

Adriana, Ben & Nina take issue with police brutality at the Issues Fair at the de Young.

Adriana, Ben & Nina take issue with police brutality at the Issues Fair at the de Young.

In collaboration with Taking A Stand (Nina Parks), Ben Bac Sierra and Adriana Camarena, members of the Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Coalition participated in the Issues Fair which was part of the Keith Haring Party “What’s your issue?” at the de Young Museum. The Taking A Stand/ Justice4AlexNieto table made it known to visitors that we seriously take issue with police brutality. This was a good opportunity to engage with lovers of art & activism and share Alex’s Story as well as some of the writing that Ben and Adriana have done in the past months regarding Alex’s case. For example, Ben distributed copies of several of his writings for this blog, such as Con Safos: On the recent vandalism to the Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill, and Día de los Muertos, while Adriana distributed a copy of her essay #October Together, more than just baseball. Meanwhile, Taking A Stand SF distributed a variety of zines from Learn Your Rights to poster art by Oree Originiol.

11.19.2014 New website page “Legal Status”

The first court day in the federal civil case filed by the Nieto Family was on November 19th, 2014. We created a Legal Status page to keep track of both the civil and criminal cases as they advance, and also of bits of evidence about what happened the day Alex was killed as those bits and pieces come to light. The lack of transparency from the City is one of the worst aspects of the post-shooting of Alex Nieto.

11.21.2014 8th Month Anniversary of Alex Nieto’s killing

8th Month Anniversary of Alex's homicide by police

8th Month Anniversary of Alex’s homicide by police

Alex’s 8th month anniversary was celebrated in the late twilight on Bernal Heights. We took a moment to welcome new friends from the Church of Sojourners and old friends alike. Together we shared ideas about actions and activities that different supporters would like to see happen. We also had a birthday cake for Ben Bac Sierra, Alex’s close friend. Undoubtedly, every 21st is filled with a lot of love for Alex and his supporters.

8th Month Anniversary of Alex's homicide by police

8th Month Anniversary of Alex’s homicide by police

11.24 to 11.30.2014 Frisco to Ferguson, Justice for Alex Nieto & Mike Brown – Bay Area Solidarity Protests

On the evening of Monday November 24th, 2014, the decision not to indict Officer Wilson for the homicide of Mike Brown was released in a live press conference through a variety of media outlets. Protesters had been on stand-by in days prior preparing for the predictable response from the local D.A. In solidarity, there were mass protests in Oakland that blocked the entrance to the highways. The memory of Alex Nieto was brought to the march!

Oakland Protest of Grand Jury decision, Nov. 25, 2014, Photo: Paolo Freire

Oakland Protest of Grand Jury decision, Nov. 25, 2014, Photo: Paolo Freire

Next day in the Mission District, the Answer Coalition organized a protest march from 24th to 16th and over to the police station. Before we got going, Alex Nieto coalition members —María Villalta and Adriana Camarena— handed out flyers and informed about the recent developments in the case of Alex Nieto. Protesters were invited to the upcoming action on Dec. 3rd (8-10am) called “We Want Names!” demanding transparency in the case of Alex Nieto by asking Judge Cousins to deny the protective order sought by the City that would impede the community to know who killed Alex Nieto. Affected communities deserve to know the names of the police officers who shot him to death.

On November 28th, protesters organized a Black Friday protest in San Francisco that walked from Embarcadero to the Mission District, heavily patrolled by riot cops. The heavy police response escalated into physical confrontations with protesters. At the start of the peaceful march, protesters were heard chanting: “Alex Nieto, Mike Brown, Shut The Whole System Down!”

Call to March: Michael Brown & Alex Nieto, Black Friday 5pm @Embarcadero

Call to March: Michael Brown & Alex Nieto, Black Friday 5pm @Embarcadero

Black Friday Protests in SF by Tom Goulding.

On November 30th, 2014, families and supporters of families of victims of police brutality were invited to an event in Oakland called “Ferguson Response: Vigil for Fallen Angels.” The event was organized by Anti-Police Terrorism Project, a project of Onyx Organizing Committee in coalition with CRT, Healthy Hoodz, Young Oakland, Workers World, The Alan Blueford Center For Justice, and POOR Magazine/ Prensa Pobre. The vigil was well attended and in the good company of family and friends of Idriss Stelley, Kenneth Harding Jr., Mario Romero, Alan Blueford, Derek, James Rivera, Yanira Serrano Garcia, Andy Lopez, O’Shsine Evans, and Alex Nieto, and on and on and on… RIP. Adriana Camarena spoke as a supporter of the Justice for Alex Nieto cause. She is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Adriane Camarena spoke of Nieto, a Bernal Heights native who was on lunch break from his security job last spring when someone reported him to the police because he had a Taser gun, which was part of his security guard uniform.

“He was a security guard. Alex was a young man, was a community organizer, who campaigned in elections, who worked with youth, who had finished his degree at City College in criminal justice,” Camarena said. “Eight months later, we still don’t have the names of the officers who shot him. We don’t have the names of the officers who were present during the shooting. We don’t have police reports. We don’t have witness statements. We don’t have the original 911 transcripts. None of this information has been provided.”” (Source: After days of heated Ferguson protests, a somber vigil in Oakland, SF Chronicle, Dec. 1)

Ferguson Response: Vigil For Fallen Angels, Oakland, 2014.11.30

Ferguson Response: Vigil For Fallen Angels, Oakland, 2014.11.30

 

Call to Community Action: WE WANT NAMES! Wed. 12/3/2014, Federal Courthouse, 8-10am

We Want Names! Fdrl Courthouse Building, Dec. 3rd, 2014, 8-10am

See our update on the Court’s decision to side with the Family…

What about Justice 4 Alex Nieto?

8 MONTHS LATER AND STILL…

  • NO NAMES OF OFFICERS INVOLVED

4 shooters;
8-10 other officers present during shooting; and
20 officers who secured the homicide scene of Alex Nieto

The City Attorney continues to shield ALL officers’ identities

WHY MEET AT THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE? On the first court date of the federal civil case filed by the Nietos, the City Attorney requested Mag. Judge Cousins seal the names of the officers under an unusual “protective order.” More info here…

Wed. Dec. 3rd is the deadline for the City Attorney to provide arguments and evidence for why Mag. Judge Cousins should keep the names of the 34 officers out of the public eye. The reason supplied by Chief Greg Suhr is that a person in another country made a threat on the internet more than eight months ago now. (Yeah, we know, that’s ridiculous, but if there is no community pressure, the judge could easily grant this and make the entire investigation —both civil and criminal— incredibly difficult and even more obscure.)

Mag. Judge Cousins needs to DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • Break the police code of silence.
  • End the City’s policy of obscurity regarding the killing of Alex Nieto.
  • Stop attempts to blindsight our communities.

8 MONTHS LATER AND STILL…

  • NO ORIGINAL 911 CALL recording, not even a transcript
  • NO POLICE REPORTS
  • NO WITNESS STATEMENTS
  • NO PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ED LEE. The Mayor is ultimately responsible for SFPD and the City Attorney.
  • NO NEWS ON A CRIMINAL INDICTMENT BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GASCÓN

Consider that we petitioned D.A. Gascón for a criminal indictment, and later the Attorney General & FBI for an independent federal investigation. No response. Check the timeline of legal status here…

8 months later and public barely aware of autopsy results…

Here is a summary of Alex Nieto’s autopsy report:

  • 14 to 15 individual bullet wounds (one entry wound is for two bullets)
  • 4 bullet wounds are in an upward direction to his right leg and arms and hands (indicating he was taken down by officers facing uphill.)

The upward direction of the shots indicate Alex was likely raising his hands in surrender or protection.

Alex was shot to the ground and he was alive on the ground with over 10 officers present.

Audio recording shows a 6-7 second pause between initial shots and the shots that killed him. Find the audio recording here…

  • Of 15 bullet wounds, 11 are in a downward trajectory, because Alex was already on the ground when he was actually killed.

1 downward trajectory wound is straight back into the right side of his mouth

3 downward trajectory wounds into the sides of his chest (1 right side, 2 left side)

7 of the 11 downward trajectory wounds are in a direct head to toe downward direction to the temple, chest, lumbar, and shoulders, implying he was shot from the back when lying down or shot straight on as he fell forward, completely defenseless.

2014.10.facing skeletons flattened

The reason you may not have heard of these results is because the autopsy report was released on 9/11 to the media (not the Family, nor supporters) and the media AGAIN repeated and amplified the “police version of events” scripted into the autopsy report by the Medical Examiner Amy Hart, instead of focusing on the implications of an unjustified killing by police officers. More info on the autopsy report here…

Alex Nieto Autopsy Front Back_001

WE WANT NAMES! WE WANT NAMES!

The City Government has moved to legally protect 34 or more officers who are shooters or witnesses to the killing of Alex Nieto, or who are responsible for or witnesses to the handling of the homicide scene was handled. We’ve long argued that this a cover-up of the unlawful killing of Alex Nieto.

We members of the communities affected by the killing of Alex Nieto demand complete transparency. We want names, and we want utter transparency in the facts withheld by SFPD and the City Attorney (aka The Mayor.) This has got to end…!

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE BLDG (450 Golden Gate)
WED. DEC. 3rd, 2014
8-10AM

Bring posters, signs and your demands. We want names!

#Justice4AlexNieto #WeWantNames

We stand in solidarity with Ferguson & Ayotzinapa, and all the other Bay Area families and other victims of police brutality.

Court Update (Wed. 11/19/2014): City refuses to name 4 shooters, 8-10 officers present at shooting, and 20 officers responding to homicide scene

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As we previously informed, today was the first court date in the federal civil trial initiated on August 22nd, 2014 by Refugio & Elvira Nieto v City and County of San Francisco. Magistrate Judge Nathaniel M. Cousins presided the case management conference. The objective of this first case management conference is to establish deadlines for discovery and next court date, among other pretrial matters. Adante Pointer represented the Nieto Family, while Deputy Chief Attorney Margaret W. Baumgartner represented the defendants (the SFPD officers involved in the wrongful death and civil rights violations of Alex Nieto.)

CITY REFUSES TO NAME OFFICERS, REQUESTS PROTECTIVE ORDER

Deputy Chief Attorney Baumgartner argued that there was a threat made that impedes the City from revealing the names of the officers involved. Magistrate Judge Cousins required her to reveal how many names were involved. Deputy Chief Attorney Baumgartner responded that there were 4 shooters, approximately 8-10 other officers present at the shooting, and approximately 20 officers who showed up afterwards to the homicide scene. (She said she had not counted them exactly.)

0325-gregsuhrChief Greg Suhr made publicly known (Nov. 12th) that the “threat” consisted in comments made a near 8 months ago on social media by a person known to police and who they know lives outside the USA. This in our opinion does not count at all as a credible threat.

Deputy Chief Attorney boosted her argument by saying that another threat was “phoned-in” recently that cleared the station. (What station? When? Anybody hear about such a thing? Dare we guess, a phone call from outside the US? ) If this did happen, we request such actions not be made regarding the shooting of Alex Nieto. These “threats” are hurting the Nieto Family and Alex’s community by giving excuses to the City to be opaque.

Despite Adante Pointer pointing out that the Family and public had a right to this information and withholding the names of the officers was exceptional in cases of police shootings (even the Oscar Grant case), Magistrate Judge Cousins is allowing the Deputy City Attorney to present information about “the threat” in 14 days in order to decide on a protective order.

We are incredibly disappointed that Magistrate Judge Cousins is allowing the City to continue its campaign of obscurity to ward off public dissent. We are quite frankly tired of the bullshit tossed at the Nieto Family and affected communities.

4 SHOOTERS, 8-10 OTHER OFFICERS, AND 20 OFFICERS RESPONDING POST SHOOTING STILL TO BE NAMED

The number of shooting, witnessing and responding police officers bears repeating because it is new news to us. Besides the FOUR shooters who Chief Greg Suhr described at the Town Hall Meeting on March 26th, there were actually EIGHT to TEN OTHER OFFICERS WHO WITNESSED part or all of the shooting, because they were there during the shooting, plus about TWENTY OTHER OFFICERS who responded post-shooting to the homicide scene, and who themselves are active participants and witnesses to how the homicide scene was handled.

JUSTICE SYSTEM SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE: APPARENTLY ONLY RIOTS BRING TRANSPARENCY

We begin the federal civil trial with obscurity and delay, because discovery of facts can’t even begin if the family’s lawyer can’t know the names of the Defendants. He can’t even depose  officers or even read police reports if he is not allowed to know the names! This continued lack of transparency and accountability is an insult not only to the Nieto Family, but community members affected by Alex Nieto’s death, who have repeatedly and peacefully demanded the most basic facts of Alex’s shooting for nearly eight months.

This Friday November 21st, 2014 is Alex Nieto’s 8th month anniversary of homicide by police. That same day the Grand Jury in Ferguson will likely reach a conclusion and make public whether there will be an indictment of Officer Darren Wilson for the homicide of Mike Brown, killed August 9th, 2014. Keep in mind that Mike Brown was killed only three months ago.

The killing of Mike Brown was met with community mobilization, resulting in mass civil disobedience, riots even, over days and days, and because there was mass public disturbance the City of Ferguson revealed the name of Officer Wilson within a week, and the Medical Examiner delivered Brown’s autopsy report within two weeks. Ferguson community members continued to pour out into the street instigating the intervention of the US Attorney General and the FBI in a federal investigation. Now three months after Mike Brown was killed, protesters are organizing for an outpouring of people in the streets, because news of a criminal indictment is forthcoming. Weapons sales have skyrocketed in Ferguson in preparation!

Meanwhile, over here in San Francisco, nearly eight months later, the City is still withholding the names of the officers involved because someone on the internet made a threat…. ON THE INTERNET!

Meanwhile, over here in San Francisco, cricket sounds are still coming out of the Office of the District Attorney, who will likely disrespectfully blindside us with a disappointing announcement any day now… Any day now we are also still waiting for the FBI or the US Attorney General to respond to our petition for a federal investigation into the death of Alex Nieto. Nearly eight months have passed since Alex was killed and we have received minimal responses. The only explanation is that we are not taken seriously, because we did not riot…

Like in Ferguson, Justice for Alex Nieto supporters engaged in mass civic protests from the very beginning, but without a single case of violence or even an arrest, not even a freakin’ broken window at a march. Admittedly, Cortland Street residents got a little disgruntled when a sidewalk stencil appeared on the street. Besides that, each protest march and public event has been peaceful, law abiding, squeaky clean when permits were required, and marches accompanied by community security volunteers who helped moderate any conflict along the way.

Each month on Bernal Hill, neighbors, artists, educators, youth, seniors, dogs, friends, and family show up to peacefully remember Alex and stand for justice in his name. Every month on Bernal Hill we go to say that Alex Nieto has not been forgotten.

Nevertheless, the City is arguing that a threat made by someone who does not even live in this country is reason enough to withhold the most basic facts:

  • Who shot Alex Nieto?
  • Who witnessed his shooting?
  • Who witnessed how the crime scene was handled?
  • How do police explain the shooting?
  • What was the content of the actual 911 call?

The experience in Ferguson is teaching that a  community’s regard for law in the face of egregious injustice is absolutely meaningless when the injustice is committed by officers of the law.

To Magistrate Judge Cousins: We are counting on you to do the right thing and respond with a policy of transparency to the largest peaceful urban mobilization ever seen in San Francisco for the killing of a city native, Alex Nieto. Put an end to the City’s policy of bullshitting communities harmed by Alex’s homicide by SFPD officers, and set a precedent that prizes peaceful civic dissent to a police shooting with utmost transparency of facts and process.

2014.8.22 March

Justice4AlexNieto: A timeline of the legal process… First court date, Wed. 11/19/2014

Alex Nieto Justice Process Timeline with milestones(1)_001

So it begins… The first court date.

This Wednesday November 19th, 2014 is the first court date for the federal civil case initiated by the Nieto Family. (Location: Federal Courthouse – 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco.) The federal civil complaint for Alex Nieto’s wrongful death and violation of civil rights was filed August 22nd, 2014, one day after Alex’s 5th month anniversary of being unjustifiably killed by SFPD on Bernal Hill.

This Wednesday’s court date will address procedural matters, such as setting dates for trial and deadlines for attorneys in preparation for the trial date. However, the court will also address initial disclosures that the parties must make regarding documents or persons that they will bring forth at trial. This means that the Nieto’s attorney Adante Pointer will now be able to request that the City deliver basic information; same information over which Alex’s supporters have been clamoring for transparency since his death in March. For example:

  • names of officers involved in the shooting (and the aftermath of the shooting)
  • the original 911 call
  • police reports
  • witness statements, and
  • any other critical piece of evidence

Justice 4 Alex Nieto: Timeline of the Legal Processes…

The legal journey is arduous and complex, so we’ve created a timeline with milestones of the legal process to inform supporters about stages in the legal process through the days, months, and years to come. On the timeline, you will find milestones in the civil case initiated by the Nieto Family (CIVIL), but also our direct petitions to get a criminal indictment (CRIMINAL.) In any case, if the law gives you headaches, just follow the trail of little monthly red boxes that mark each month anniversary of justice denied.

Click here for pdf version of image (Alex Nieto Justice Process Timeline with milestones)

LEGAL MILESTONE
DATE MILESTONE USEFUL LINKS
3/21/2014 Alex Nieto killed
by SFPD
Request for Support: Alex Nieto, Killed by SFPD, True News!
3/26/2014 EVIDENCE: At Town Hall Meeting, Chief Greg Suhr narrates police version of facts. Community demands (a) names of officers involved, (b) original 911 call, (c ) witness statements, (d) police reports and (e ) autopsy report. SFPD refuses to provide. SFBG: Police provide explanation of Bernal Heights Park shooting at emotional town hall meeting
4/14/2014 CIVIL: Wrongful death claim filed with City [R. & E. Nieto v City & County of SF] News: Media coverage of yesterday’s filing of the claim against SF
4/21/2014 1st month -
no justice
Reminder: Burritos on Bernal (5pm meet @ Precita Park, 6pm walk up Bernal Hill)
5/5/2014 CRIMINAL: Nietos & supporters petition D.A. George Gascon Video: Nieto Family Petitions D.A. on 5 de mayo
5/16/2014 CRIMINAL: Nietos meet with D.A. George Gascon Update: Takeaways from Meeting with D.A. (Friday May 16th, 2014)
5/21/2014 2nd month -
no justice
Reminder: Burritos on Bernal, Wed. May 21, 2014 (5pm meet @ Precita Park, 6pm walk up Bernal Hill)
5/16/2014 CIVIL: City & County of SF denies Claim NEWS: City Denies Wrongful Death of Alex Nieto!
6/21/2014 3rd month -
no justice
Reminder: Sat. June 21st, Burritos on Bernal! Summer Solstice is Alex’s 3rd Month Anniversary: Poets, Music & Artists welcome!
7/21/2014 4th month -
no justice
Reminder: Burritos on Bernal, Mon. July 21, 2014 (5pm meet @ Precita Park, 6pm walk up Bernal Hill)
8/21/2014 5th month -
no justice
Alex Nieto Rises! Aug. 22, 2014 – Noon – March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings!
8/21/2014 CRIMINAL: Nietos & supporters petition FBI/AG for federal investigation Update! Parents and supporters of Alex Nieto deliver petitions for a federal investigation into his shooting!
8/22/2014 CIVIL: Wrongful death & violation civil rights complaint filed in Federal Court [R. & E. Nieto v City & County of SF] 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)
9/11/2014 EVIDENCE: Medical Examiner’s Office releases autopsy report Drawing and Analysis of the Autopsy Report
9/21/2014 6th month -
no justice
6th Month Anniversary: Educators and Community for Alex Nieto! Sunday, Sept. 21st, 5p.m.
10/21/2014 7th month -
no justice
10/21 Alex’s 7th Month Anniversary, 10/22 Police Commission Meeting
12/11/2014 EVIDENCE: Chief Suhr says names of officers withheld due to threat to police made on facebook by person in another country News: Chief Suhr reveals why he can’t reveal officer names (1010AM Hecho en California)
11/19/2014 CIVIL: 1st court date, setting dates and deadlines for trial dates  
11/21/2014 8th month -
and still no justice?
JOIN US for Burritos on Bernal this FRIDAY NOV. 19th at Alex Nieto’s memorial site on Bernal Hill, 6-7pm.

Dead silence from the D.A.’s office on a criminal indictment…

The Nieto Family is pursuing a federal civil lawsuit as the only legal means available to them to gain a semblance of justice for the homicide of their son and brother. By no other means will they be able to daylight the truth and expose the lies that SFPD has been carrying about Alex since March 21st, 2014. In the best of results, a civil lawsuit will result in compensation for damages caused. This means that the while the City must justifiably make amends to the Nieto Family, the officers involved will not be made personally accountable. At best, these officers will meet with administrative admonitions from the Police Commission.

The District Attorney George Gascón, or for that matter, the U.S. Attorney General could decide to criminally indict the officers involved to make them personally accountable for Alex’s homicide. That is, the D.A. could decide based on the evidence at hand to charge them with committing a crime, when they unlawfully killed Alex Nieto. However, criminal investigations are abnormally biased to support police version of events, because (a) police produce the police reports about the homicide, (b) police take witness statements, (c) police control the crime scene, (d) police and district attorneys have a collaborative relationship, (e) the police officers’ association has political leverage against the City, and perhaps most daunting of all (f) police who commit homicide while on duty are judged by different standards than us mortal beings.

In this regard and because we are all waiting to hear from the Grand Jury in Ferguson, consider the legal explanation as to why police are specially protected from criminal prosecution from an article titled “History Says Ferguson Police Officer Likely Won’t Be Charged For Shooting“:

… The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Graham v. Connor in 1989 that actions by law enforcement must be judged by a standard known as “objective reasonableness.”

Per Justia, that means their actions “must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation.”

The net effect is that there is a higher threshold for prosecuting police officers for actions committed in the line of duty compared to your run-of-the-mill homicide. …

After that steeplechase of obstacles, also consider that the bias in favor of police is compounded in San Francisoc by D.A. Gascón’s history as the former Chief of Police of San Francisco and a career police officer.

All eyes are on Ferguson today, because abuse of power goes hand in hand with lack of transparency and accountability. The only hope for a criminal indictment in the case of Alex Nieto is that D.A. Gascón wants to make himself credible or that the U.S. Attorney General will intervene in a federal investigation much as has happened in Ferguson.

#Ferguson #Justice4AlexNieto #Ayotzinapa

8th month anniversary: Burritos on Bernal with thanksgivings & Birthday Cake!

This first court date also arrives just before Alex’s 8th month anniversary of homicide. We invite you to join us this Friday November 21st, 2014 to commemorate Alex’s life and celebrate a milestone towards justice. We want to give everyone a pat on the back. It’s nearly Thanksgiving after all…! (It’s also Ben Bac Sierra’s birthday and there will be cake! But shshshsh… Don’t tell him, it’s a surprise.) Milestones for everyone!

Here is our FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE for Nov. 21st.

News: Chief Suhr declares why he can’t reveal officer names (1010AM Hecho en California)

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THIS POST WAS UPDATED Dec. 4, 2014

to include audio of Chief Greg Suhr on 1010AM Hecho en California (bilingual radio show) on November 12, 2014. After the Court denied the City’s request for an unusual protective order on the names of the officers, the City proceeded to fight this decision by insisting that the threat is “credible.” You be the judge…


Link: https://m.soundcloud.com/justice4alexnieto/chief-greg-suhr-11122014-on-1010am-hecho-en-california

Minute 15:26 Suhr begins to address Alex Nieto case
Minute 16:08 Greg Suhr gives reason why he can’t reveal names of officers who killed Alex Nieto
Minute 16:36 Greg Suhr says last they know person who made threat is out of country
Minute 17:23 Greg Surh again explains threat that is reason why he can’t reveal names
Minute 17:56 Greg Suhr says that threat was made on social media
Minute 18:12 Greg Suhr that they have “the threat” and that is why they know who made threat
Minute 18:46 Greg Suhr repeats that the information they have is that person is out of country. Host Marcos Gutierrez questions whether that means threat is removed. Greg Suhr answers “except for how long it would take to fly back into country which is a matter of hours.” (which makes us think SFPD knows exactly where he is…)
Minute 20:30 Host Marcos Gutierrez asks when names will be revealed
Minute 20:42 Greg Suhr says he would like to make names public sooner rather than later
Minute 21:42 Greg Suhr says that asking about the status of the threat is the first question he asks every Monday morning and every Friday before he leaves
Minute 21:59 Host Marcos Gutierrez asks again whether “the decision” to reveal names is exclusively up to Chief Suhr, and Suhr answers yes
Minute 22:59 Greg Suhr says he hopes to make the names public in aprox 30 days, hoping threat is resolved by then

ORIGINAL POST BELOW

Today Chief Greg Suhr was a guest on the bilingual Spanish-English radio show 1010AM Hecho En California hosted by Marcos Gutierrez with Isabel Gutierrez. Marcos Gutierrez asked Chief Greg Suhr why he has not revealed the names of the officers involved in Alex Nieto’s shooting, and Chief Suhr responded that soon after Alex was killed a credible threat by a “violent person” was made on “social media” to kill the officers involved upon knowing their names.

This is not a credible threat. Does Chief Suhr think we’re idiots? This threat is not credible considering that the “threat” was made:

1. Nearly 8 months ago (just after Alex was killed.)

2. On “social media” (eg. facebook or twitter) where meaningless blather and attention-seeking is a daily thing.

3. By a person who Chief Suhr describes as living outside of the USA, and

(a) who could not exact a threat without making an effort to travel back in country,

(b) who police are keeping tabs on in case he should come in country, and

(c) who most likely was talking out of his butt when he made this “social media” threat.

This meaningless and difficult to carry out “threat” is the reason why Chief Suhr denies responding to nearly eight months of public and peaceful demands for basic facts, such as names of officers involved, original 911 call, police reports, and witness statements.

So, what part of this social media threat is credible?

None of it. Once again, police version of events are impossible to believe and SFPD’s lack of transparency and accountability is not only shocking, but an insult to public intelligence and community demands.

We’ll just laugh and cry over this one together.

The interview with Chief Greg Suhr for Nov. 12, 2014 can be found on http://www.hechoencalifornia1010.com/