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.
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!