This page will be updated periodically as new information from the cases arises.
Pending We await a response to the City’s Board of Supervisor’s unanimous resolution for the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out an independent investigation into the Alex Nieto case et. al. (See further below.)
Federal Civil Lawsuit
On March 10th concluded the trial for the federal civil action into the killing of Alex Nieto. The federal civil complaint was filed on August 22nd, 2014 by the Nieto Family v City and County of San Francisco for the wrongful death and civil rights violation of Alex Nieto.
In a civil action, the officers involved in the killing of Alex Nieto are treated as employees of the City. Therefore, the complaint is filed against the City and County of San Francisco. In November 2015, the City and County of San Francisco moved to dismiss the case, but the judge denied the motion because the evidence presented by the Nieto Family sufficiently contradicted SFPD’s version of events, so that only a jury could try the facts and determine the outcome.
The public trial ran from March 1-10, 2016. We invited supporters to attend.
A civil case is the only means available to a family victimized in a police killing to carry out an independent investigation. This is particularly true if the District Attorney refuses to press charges and carry out an in-depth criminal investigation, as was the case with D.A. Gascón in San Francisco. Carrying out an independent investigation into the killing of Alex Nieto has proven critical to unearth SFPD’s cover-up. Among other things, the Nieto Family found a neutral eyewitness to the shooting who has given sworn testimony that Alex Nieto never presented a threat to the officers involved.
The most important thing about the trial for the close family and friends of Alex Nieto is to uphold Alex’s good name, and expose the lies told by SFPD to cover up a case of racial profiling that resulted in the unlawful death of Alex Nieto. Win or lose we were always confident that the trial would further expose SFPD’s corruption and racial bias.
We have summarized evidence provided by each party in Alex’s Story. We also provide links to sources, so that you can carry out your own investigation.
Another good way to learn about the evidence in the Federal Civil Case is to watch the film “Lowrider Lawyers: Putting A City On Trial” produced by coalition member Ben Bac Sierra. The film creates a fictional trial using testimony on record from the Federal Civil Lawsuit.
What about a criminal investigation?
There have been other investigations of a criminal and administrative nature from City officials into the shooting and killing of Alex Nieto, which are now closed. However, we are awaiting a response to a request by the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco for an independent federal investigation into the case of Alex Nieto.
Below is a brief summary of these other investigations:
Pending! Independent Federal Criminal Investigation
In January 2016, the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco UNANIMOUSLY approved a resolution requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice carry out an independent investigation into the killings by SFPD officers of Mario Woods, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, and ALEX NIETO.
The Justice and Love Coalition For Alex Nieto demanded an independent federal investigation into the death of Alex Nieto from the get go. Join us in our petition.
Closed! District Attorney criminal investigation
On February 13th, 2015, the District Attorney of San Francisco, George Gascón, announced that he would not pursue a criminal indictment of officers involved in the shooting of Alex Nieto. Consider that D.A. Gascón NEVER interviewed the one known eyewitness whose version of events contradicts SFPD’s narrative of events, and primarily relied on the homicide reports written by SFPD about the event. Consider that Gascón, before becoming the D.A. was the Chief of Police of San Francisco with a thirty year career as a police officer. More information about his decision to not press charges here:
Closed! No Administrative Consequences for Officers say SFPD and OCC
SFPD carried an investigation into the actions of its own officers and found that the officers who killed Alex Nieto had acted within SFPD policies. This has always been the case in a shooting by SFPD officers. In turn the Office of Citizens Complaints and the Police Commission, which job is to recommend and impose severe administrative sanctions, determined that SFPD officers acted within policy. Their decision was based on San Francisco police reports about the incident (without any independent investigation).
We find the Police Commission and OCC to be useless beyond a reasonable doubt. Read more here: “SFPD decision reopens wounds for Nieto family and community”, August 27th, 2015, El Tecolote newspaper
The legal journey is arduous and complex, so we’ve created a timeline with milestones of the legal process to inform supporters and allow you to accompany us 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 news about our petition to get a criminal indictment (CRIMINAL.) We are also tracking any new information on EVIDENCE revealed.
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 delayed and denied.
|3/21/2014||Alex Nieto killed
|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 –
|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 –
|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 –
|Reminder: Sat. June 21st, Burritos on Bernal! Summer Solstice is Alex’s 3rd Month Anniversary: Poets, Music & Artists welcome!|
|7/21/2014||4th month –
|Reminder: Burritos on Bernal, Mon. July 21, 2014 (5pm meet @ Precita Park, 6pm walk up Bernal Hill)|
|8/21/2014||5th month –
Alex Nieto Rises! Sunset Aug. 21 to Sunrise Vigils. 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 –
|6th Month Anniversary: Educators and Community for Alex Nieto! Sunday, Sept. 21st, 5p.m.|
|10/21/2014||7th month –
|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: Case management conference: setting pre-trial dates and deadlines||Justice4AlexNieto: A timeline of the legal process… First court date, Wed. 11/19/2014|
|11/19/2014||EVIDENCE: City Attorney requests protective order on names of officers (4 shooters, 8-10 other officers at shooting, 20 officers secure homicide scene.) Magistrate Cousins grants 14 days to hear sides.||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|
|11/21/2014||8th month –
|8th Month Anniversary: Burritos on Bernal with thanksgivings and birthday cake! Bernal Hill, 6-7pm.|
|12/3/2014||EVIDENCE: Magistrate Cousins rules in favor of Nietos. City Attorney proceeds to fight judge’s decision delaying entire discovery process.||Update: Judge denies the City’s request! City must release names of officers!|
|12/21/2014||9th month –
|9th Month Anniversary: The Longest Night of the Year, Winter Solstice Posada, 24th/Mission to Bernal 4-7:30pm.|
|1/2/2015||EVIDENCE: SFPD releases names of Alex’s killers||Who killed Alex Nieto?|
|1/21/2015||10th month –
|2/21/2015||11th month –
|2/13/2015||CRIMINAL: DA Gascón decides not to indict Alex’s killers||The Broken System: No consequence, no confidence. A response to the non-indictment of Alex Nieto’s killers.|
|3/21/2015||ONE YEAR –
|Words from Refugio and Elvira Nieto on the One Year Community Commemoration of Alex Nieto (English/Español)|
|8/6/2015||ADMINISTRATIVE: SFPD closes homicide investigation of own officers; declares them to have acted within policy||SFPD decision reopens wounds for Nieto family and community, Tecolote article|
|8/7/2015||ADMINISTRATIVE: Office of Citizen Complaints closes its investigation based on police reports. Declares officers to have acted within policy.||We create our own justice! A response to SFPD.|
|9/23/2015||CIVIL: Parents provide depositions to City Attorney||Call for Community Amor! Parent depositions today.|