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The System Says: All 59 Police Bullets Were Justified, Every One

4 San Francisco cops cleared in Alex Nieto killing

Four San Francisco police officers will not face charges for shooting and killing Alejandro “Alex” Nieto last year in Bernal Heights Park, because Nieto pointed a Taser shock weapon that the officers reasonably mistook for a pistol, the district attorney’s office said Friday.

The officers fired a total of 59 shots, District Attorney George Gascón said in a letter to Police Chief Greg Suhr. Two later-arriving officers opened fire on Nieto after they heard the popping of their colleagues’ gun blasts and believed Nieto was firing back, the letter said.

But Gascón’s report said all four officers had “continued to believe their lives were in danger … until Mr. Nieto’s head and weapon went down.”

The four — Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew — had responded to witness reports that Nieto, a 28-year-old Mission resident, had a gun and was acting erratically on March 21.


Protesters demanding justice for Alex Nieto march from Bernal Heights Park to the Federal Building in San Francisco, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. The demonstrators are angry that the police shot and killed Nieto, who was holding a taser, in the park early on March 21. San Francisco police released the names of four officers involved in the shooting on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, following a court order. Photo: Paul Chinn / Paul Chinn / The Chronicle / ONLINE_YES

The Broken System: No consequence, no confidence. A response to the non-indictment of Alex Nieto’s killers. 

Alex Nieto banner2

The Nieto Family refused to meet with D.A. Gascón today to receive the disappointing and all predictable news: no charges filed against the killers of Alex Nieto. We stand with the Nieto Family by turning our backs on the criminal justice system too.

A response to the non indictment of the officers who killed Alex Nieto…

It doesn’t work to have the police investigate themselves.

It doesn’t work to have prosecutors, who are colleagues of police, lead investigations into police crimes.

It doesn’t work to have a former Chief of Police act as prosecutor in a police shooting.

It doesn’t work to reward and promote officers who are suspects in an open investigation.

It doesn’t work to have a police union that bullies democratic institutions into publicly protecting a cover-up.

It doesn’t work to have legal standards that always favor police version of events.

It doesn’t work to have a Mayor who has been AWOL in the face of Alex Nieto’s brutal killing by his police force.

It doesn’t work to petition the State for redress when the consequence is always impunity.

Today we abandon any expectation that the officers who killed Alex Nieto will be held personally accountable according to law.

Today we turn our backs on San Francisco’s criminal justice system, because it turned its back on us.

As far as police shootings go, we have no more confidence in the City government.

With the absence of an indictment in the case of Alex Nieto, it is the government institutions themselves that must be put on public trial.

The lack of a criminal indictment does not mean a lack of consequences for the officers who killed Alex Nieto. Today begins the public trial and public shaming of his killers and their accomplices:

Lieutenant Jason Sawyer you are a killer.

Officer Roger Morse you are a killer.

Officer Richard Schiff you are a killer.

Officer Nathan Chew you are a killer.

Chief of Police Greg Suhr you are an accomplice to killers.

District Attorney George Gascón you are an accomplice to killers.

Mayor Ed Lee you are an accomplice to killers.

You are declared guilty by the people, guilty by our community.

We will continue to shine light on this broken system until police officers who kill are made personally accountable by standards satisfactory to the communities in which they kill.

This public trial will not end until the system that doesn’t work is fixed.

No consequence, no confidence.

San Francisco, CA
Friday February 13th, 2014

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