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

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.


Drawing and Analysis of the Autopsy Report

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 w Title_001

We 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)