Tuesday, March 01, 2016

A police killing goes to court ...

The trial of the wrongful death and civil rights violation civil suit brought by Alex Nieto's parents, Refugio and Elvira Nieto v. SFPD and the City and County of San Francisco, began today at the old San Francisco federal building. Alex Nieto was shot on Bernal Hill by police officers on March 21, 2014. The cops say Nieto threatened them with a taser he carried legally for his job as a security guard. An eyewitness says the young man was ambling along with his hands in his pockets looking like who he was: a working-class Latino from the neighborhood. Everyone agrees he sat eating a burrito on the hill before he was cut down by 48 shots.

Friends and supporters rallied outside the courthouse. It was a classic old Mission (before the current moneyed invasion) event: Native American dance and invocation ...

... a gay neighborhood priest, Fr. Richard Smith from St. John the Evangelist, offering blessing ...

... a spirited rendition of "Amor for Alex" to the tune of the United Farmworker anthem De Colores ...

... and later several hundred young people -- Black, Brown, Asian and whatever -- marched in from City College. After all, they too know they are under the gun.

As Tim Redmond wrote at 48 Hills, it's hard to fathom how this ugly tale could be going to court.

The last thing the city typically wants is to see the whole disaster played out again in public, with the policies, procedures, and actions of the Police Department examined in the harsh light of open court.

Usually cities settle; the unwavering determination of Alex Nieto's parents to see truth told before a court means this time the SFPD will not be able to hide some officers' disregard for some human lives. Alex's friends will be posting updates at this trial page and at Justice4Alex.

3 comments:

Michael Strickland said...

Do you know what floor and what courtroom it is at Golden Gate? I think I might want to amble over there and document how it's going.

janinsanfran said...

Mike: They are saying 9:00 a.m. at the 15th floor of the Burton Federal Building.

Michael Strickland said...

Thank you.

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