News coverage (8/22/2014): Alex Rises! Civil Federal Lawsuit Filed & March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings!

News coverage for August 22nd, 2014 related to the Nieto Family filing a civil rights federal lawsuit and Alex Rises! March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings.

KRON 4 VIDEO: Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Today in Fatal Shooting of Alex Nieto by Police

Lawyer John Burris talks to media and states that the police version in which Alex raises his taser is a cover up story and they will bring forth witnesses to contest that story.

SFBG: Federal complaint filed over death of Alex Nieto as supporters vow to keep fighting

Shortly before Nieto was killed on March 21, a person had dialed 911 to report seeing a man in Bernal Heights Park with a gun. In reality Nieto, who worked part-time as a security guard, had a Taser in his holster, not a firearm. But the call sent police vehicles racing into the park in pursuit of a gunman.

What transpired next is in dispute: Police say Nieto pointed his Taser at officers, causing them to mistake it for a firearm and discharge their weapons. Yet Burris offered a very different account in the federal complaint, based on the account of an eyewitness, audio recordings, and other information gathered independently by attorneys and community supporters.

“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,” the compaint charges.

Courthouse news service: 100 Protest Police Killing, in San Francisco

When police arrived, Nieto was walking down a jogging trail near the park’s entrance. Several officers were there, one of whom, from behind a patrol car, ordered Nieto to stop.
“Within seconds a quick volley of bullets were fired at Nieto,” the lawsuit states. “No additional orders or any other verbal communication was heard between the first officer yelling ‘stop’ and the initial volley of gunfire.”
Afterward, police said Nieto did not follow orders to show his hands, but pointed his Taser as the officers. But an independent investigation led by Burris and community members found witnesses who contradict the authorities’ story, according to the lawsuit.
At the rally, Burris called the police narrative “flat-out wrong.”
“Lies!” yelled someone from the crowd.
The lawsuit claims that the SFPD has a pattern of using excessive force against citizens. Since 2000 there have been 97 officer-involved shootings, in which 33 people have died.
“There was no basis to shoot him, and they essentially shot him to pieces, I’m sorry to say,” Burris said.

SFGate: Lawsuit slams S.F. police shooting of man with taser

The suit, which alleges excessive force and seeks unspecified damages, disputes the San Francisco police account that 28-year-old Alex Nieto pointed the Taser he carried for his job as a security guard at officers on March 21, prompting the shooting.

“He was a law-abiding person, and he would not foolishly point a Taser at officers who had guns on him,” said attorney John Burris, who is representing Nieto’s family. “We believe that did not happen, and we believe that it did not happen the way the officers claimed it did.”

Altnet: San Francisco Police stonewalling months after officer shot and killed their son park

There is a grim parallelism to many of the recent officer-involved deaths across the country, including the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York City, and Alex Nieto here in Bernal Heights.

But there are also important differences. In Ferguson and New York, medical examiners’ reports have been completed and released, and the identity of the officers involved in the incidents has been made public. But that hasn’t happened in San Francisco.

Against that backdrop, last Friday’s memorial for Bernal resident Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill was noteworthy not just because it was entirely peaceful, tightly focused, and well-organized, but also because it underscored the fact that, even after five months, Alex Nieto’s family still seeks the kind of basic information about their son’s death that has already been made public in high-profie cases elsewhere.

SF Appeal: Family of Alex Nieto Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Following March and Rally Against Police Brutality

… A sunrise ceremony also took place at 5 a.m. this morning at that same spot in memory of Nieto’s life, according to the website

Protesters then traveled through the Mission District holding signs and banners. One banner read “End Racist Police Brutality” and another read “Stolen Lives, Killed by Law Enforcement,” and was adorned with photos of people shot by police, including Alex Nieto, Andy Lopez and Michael Brown. …

KTVU 2 VIDEO: Family, friends outraged over shooting of security guard

Police say Nieto was shot after the security guard aimed his Taser gun’s red laser sight at officers responding to 911 calls about a man with a gun. Nieto’s family and friends call it a case of police brutality.  “We know the truth. Alejandro Nieto never pointed any Taser,” said Nieto’s friend Benjamin Bac Sierra. “That is a flat out lie. There is an epidemic of police killings happening throughout the United States of America, from Ferguson to New York to Salinas, California to Santa Rosa.” […]

The protesters marched five miles from Bernal Hill to the Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue for the filing of a federal civil suit against the Police Department and city.

Nieto family attorney John Burris calls the police case a cover-up and said new evidence- and new witnesses- will show the security guard knew better than to challenge armed officers.

Mission Local: Five Months After Nieto Killing, New Witnesses

Today, Nieto’s family and friends will march from the place on Bernal Hill where he died to the San Francisco Federal Building to file a federal civil suit to elevate his case, if not into the national conversation, to a higher court. The suit’s filing comes a day after the family delivered a 1,000-signature petition calling Attorney General Eric Holder, among others, to launch a federal investigation into the shooting.

[…] Up until now, the police account has been the only version available detailing what exactly happened that day.

However, this week the lawyers of the Nieto family announced they have new testimony from eyewitnesses who saw the events leading up to the shooting. Nieto, the new witnesses have told his family, never pointed his Taser at the officers.

“This is an opportunity for the family to have a day in court and have some answers” said John Burris, the attorney whose firm is taking on Nieto’s case. “What the police claimed happened was so incongruent with who Alex was. Alex was not someone who would point a Taser at armed officers…We have people who will say that this wouldn’t happen the way police describe.”

Community VIDEO by Uncle Ray Balberan (click links below)

Justice y Amor for Alex Nieto Committee and The Bad Apples 2014
[Alex Rises March is kicked off with speeches by AJ from Coleman Advocates (talks about Alex as a youth advocate and organizer, and cops as bad apples); Jonathan Melrod with the Andy Lopez Coalition for Justice; Ben Bac Sierra]

Ben Bac Sierra Interview standing with Justice & Love for Alex Committee #1

Ben Bac Sierra Interview #2

Ben Bac Sierra Interview #3

Adriana Camarena Interview #4

Ben Bac Sierra Interview (SPANISH) #5

Adriana Camarena Interview #6

Alex Aug. 22 14. March to Fed Building

Community VIDEO by BlackHorseMedia: Justice For Alex Nieto! ¡Justicia Para Alex Nieto!

Edited video of “Alex Rises! March” from Bernal Hill to end of rally at Federal Courthouse Building at 450 Golden Gate.

SFBG: Eyewitness claims victim of officer-involved shooting did not brandish Taser

A person claiming to be an eyewitness to the fatal shooting of Alejandro Nieto has come forward to say he did not see Nieto point a Taser at police officers before they opened fire, according to attorney Adante Pointer, who is representing Nieto’s family.

The eyewitness, whose identity Pointer would not disclose, told the attorney that he “did not see Alex point a Taser at anybody” and “did not see or hear any back-and-forth exchange that police said took place,” Pointer said in a phone interview with the Bay Guardian.

At a March 26 town hall meeting convened shortly after the officer-involved shooting, which occurred on March 21 in Bernal Heights Park, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told attendees that Nieto, a 28-year-old City College student, had “tracked” officers with his Taser in the moments before police discharged their weapons. […]

SFExaminer: Peaceful march through SF draws attention to police shooting of Alejandro Nieto

Clouds of incense encircled feathered dancers who led more than 100 people down Bernal Heights Park through the Mission district this afternoon as part of a march calling into question the events that lead to the shooting death of Alejandro Nieto, a 28-year-old San Francisco man killed by police in March.

Related photo gallery.

NBC BayArea News VIDEO and Story: Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Shooting of Alex Nieto in San Francisco

Protesters then traveled through the Mission District holding signs and banners. One banner read “End Racist Police Brutality” and another read “Stolen Lives, Killed by Law Enforcement,” and was adorned with photos of people shot by police, including Alex Nieto, Andy Lopez and Michael Brown.

Protesters chanted into megaphones throughout the march, saying, “We want justice for brother Alex, Fire Racist Cops, We want justice for brother Michael, Fire Racist Cops.”

Another popular chant at Friday’s protest was “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” which has been heard at recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officers on Aug. 9.

CBSLocal: Lawsuit Filed As Community Rallies For Man Shot Dead By San Francisco Police In March

Friends and family of Alejandro Nieto, who was shot and killed by San Francisco police in March, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city on Friday.

The Nieto family’s lawyer, civil rights attorney John Burris, said Friday the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Nieto family against the city for violation of Nieto’s civil rights on the grounds that police officers allegedly used excessive force against him.

Burris said Friday that he believes police shot Nieto as many as 10 times. […]

SFIST: S.F. Protestors Rally For Ferguson, March For Alex Nieto Planned Today

[…] As you can see in the below tweets from the march, Alejandro Nieto was remembered alongside Brown. A 28-year-old City College student, Nieto was shot and killed by San Francisco police in Bernal Heights Park on March 21.

KTVU 2 VIDEO: Family of Alex Nieto holds rally

Reporting on Sunrise Ceremony and rally.

ABC 7 VIDEO: Lawsuit filed for man killed by police at SF’s Bernal Heights Park

The march to the Phillip Burton Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue started just before 1 p.m. Escorted by police, about a 100 people walked from Bernal Heights Park through the Mission District. It took nearly three hours to reach the federal building from Bernal Heights Park. The march was noisy but peaceful.

The family’s attorney John Burris had filed the lawsuit earlier in the day. “This was a person who was not armed and we don’t believe that the narrative of him pointing a Taser at the police officers at the time was true,” Burris said.

The day started with a small sunrise gathering at the site in Bernal Heights Park, where Nieto was shot and killed.

Dancers marked the 5-month anniversary with an Aztec ceremony offering prayers and calling Nieto’s spirit from the other world.

ABC 7 VIDEO: Attorney to file federal civil suit against SF police for fatally shooting man

The family of 28-year-old Alejandro “Alex” Nieto, who was fatally shot by police officers at San Francisco’s Bernal Heights Park in March, filed a civil rights lawsuit Friday afternoon against the city following a march and rally against police brutality.

The Nieto family’s lawyer, civil rights attorney John Burris, said Friday the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Nieto family against the city for violation of Nieto’s civil rights on the grounds that police officers allegedly used excessive force against him.

KRON 4 VIDEO: Alex Nieto’s Family to Sue SFPD Over Fatal Shooting

A lawyer for the family of Alex Nieto will file a federal civil rights lawsuit Friday afternoon against the San Francisco Police department for March’s officer-involved shooting of the 28-year old man.

Family members and supporters gathered Friday morning near the scene of the shooting in Bernal Heights Park for a sunrise service in Nieto’s honor. […]

(ESPAÑOL) UNIVISION VIDEO: Familia demandará a la ciudad de San Francisco por “uso excesivo de la fuerza”

La familia entablará la demanda porque consideran que los agentes del orden utilizaron “fuerza excesiva” en el encuentro en el que murió Alejandro Nieto. [Images from Sunset Vigil Aug. 21st]

(ESPAÑOL) TELEMUNDO VIDEO: Vigilia por joven baleado por la policía

Familiares de Alejandro Nieto presentarán una demanda civil contra la ciudad de San Francisco por la muerte de un hombre a manos de la policía en Bernal Heights.

Mission Local: Alex Nieto March – Why People Joined It

[…] Some 200 supporters of Alex Nieto, a 28-year-old Bernal man who police shot to death on March 21, gathered today on Bernal Hill to march downtown where the family will file papers asking for a civil lawsuit. After a preliminary investigation, police said that Nieto aimed a taser at officers who confused it for a gun. Nieto’s lawyer said he has uncovered new witnesses who contradict that version.

SF Chronicle VIDEO: Aztec Sunrise Ceremony for Alex Nieto

Family and friends of Alex Nieto, a 28-year-old who was killed after being shot 14 times by SF police officers in March in Bernal Hill Park, gather for an Aztec sunrise ceremony.

(Aug. 21st, day before) SF Examiner: Vigil stirs angst as Nieto family prepares lawsuit

In San Francisco, activists and lawyers are pointing to the shooting death of Alejandro Nieto by police earlier this year as one more example of law enforcement’s overuse of lethal force.

Thursday marked the five-month anniversary of Nieto’s death atop Bernal Heights Park.

That anniversary was marked with a sunset vigil, where a crowd of roughly 30 people stood Thursday around an altar on the spot where the 28-year-old San Francisco resident was killed March 21. The Nieto family lawyer is expected to file a civil-rights lawsuit today against the Police Department in relation to the officer-involved fatal shooting.

Nieto’s death at the hands of police, vigil attendee Oscar Salinas said, is just another example of the conflicts between black or brown people and police.

(Aug. 21st, day before) San Francisco Appeal: Ferguson, Alex Nieto Protests Block Streets in Mission District

[…] Protestors have marched from the Civic Center to the Mission District in San Francisco this evening, blocking streets as they move through the city.

The group of perhaps 100 people, which is accompanied by a police escort, is carrying signs referencing the shooting of Alex Nieto by San Francisco police in Bernal Heights on March 21 and other police shootings.

LATINBAYAAREA.COM: Alex Nieto Rises! March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings!

Posted Sunset Vigil & Sunrise Ceremony, as well as Alex Rises! March details…

One thought on “News coverage (8/22/2014): Alex Rises! Civil Federal Lawsuit Filed & March for Civil Rights Against Police Killings!

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