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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.

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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. 

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