On Friday night, San Francisco police officers shot and killed Alejandro Nieto in an act of blatant, racist murder. Three cops surrounded Nieto in a triangulated formation and riddled him with bullets. They are now trying to excuse the killing saying Nieto had a gun and that he was acting erratically.
None of their lies add up. First of all, acting erratically is not a crime and cannot be the basis for killing someone. Nieto—a City College of San Francisco student and security guard—owned a taser gun as part of his work. The taser gun has a bright yellow stripe down the side specifically to differentiate it from a real gun. The cops were not in any danger, perceived or otherwise.
In fact, they murdered a Latino man for the crime of eating his dinner in a neighborhood that is becoming yet another center of gentrification in a city that is rapidly being reserved for the wealthy.
Bernal Heights, like many neighborhoods in San Francisco, used to be a place where working people could own homes and rent affordably. Now, it—like the Mission today and Noe Valley many years ago—is being converted into a place where wealthier people live in homes that sell for millions or rent for many thousands of dollars a month.
The police in this city are the protectors of the wealthy developers and tech company owners who are driving the rest of us out.
But community members are fighting back. At a public meeting on the murder attended by Chief of Police Greg Suhr, hundreds of people packed the room to denounce the cops and their lies. Suhr tried to portray Alejandro as the aggressor, but the people refused to believe this outrageous mischaracterization of events.
From Mission Local ("Crowd Shouts ‘Liar,’ as Police Explain Nieto Shooting," March 26, 2014):
Others wanted much more than just an investigation. Representatives from activists groups like Our Mission, No Eviction and ANSWER Coalition said there will be a protest and rally Saturday ... Additionally, some speakers said they planned on providing additional comments at the Police Commission meeting Wednesday night at the Tenderloin District office.
“This was murder that just happened,” said Gloria La Riva a representative of the ANSWER Coalition. “We’re tired of it and we’re going to fight back.”
Alejandro Nieto should be alive today. The police officers who killed him must be arrested and tried for murder. The ANSWER Coalition joins with many other community organizations and thousands of individuals in calling for a truly independent investigation into this latest atrocity.
We urge everyone who believes in justice to join the community march on Saturday, March 29, 3pm at the Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St., near 25th St. to say: Justice for Alejandro Nieto! Jail killer cops!
For more information, contact: 415-821-6545 or www.ANSWERsf.org