Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Justice for Alejandro Nieto!"

* "Hundreds In SF Protest Murder of Alejandro Nieto on March 29, 2014", by Labor Video Project [link]
* "Protesters March to Remember Alejandro Nieto", 2014-03-30 from "Mission Local" [link]
* "SFPD-enforced gentrification killed Alex Nieto" [link], with PNN TV footage of SFPD public meeting
* "Latino gunned down by police, community outraged", 2014-03-27 by Laura Waxman from "El Tocolote" newspaper [link]
* "SFPD Kill Scholarship Student & Security Guard After ‘Gentrifiers' Get Suspicious", 2014-03-25 by Jason Wallach for the Center of Political Education []:
I am upset this evening because today I learned about Alejandro Nieto, who was killed by a barrage of San Francisco Police Department bullets last Friday evening near the service road leading up Bernal Hill.
I attended the vigil in Alex’s (as he was known to friends) honor that took place at the site where he died, on the service road leading up Bernal Hill. At the vigil, I learned that he was a scholarship student at City College of San Francisco, studying Criminal Justice. He wanted to be a parole officer to help guide young men’s lives into good directions. He was a devout Buddhist who believed in creating the peace in his community that he wanted to see spread across the Earth. He was a loving, caring individual. I found out through a poem that his birthday was March 4th.
I also learned that the SFPD shot him last Friday as he ate a burrito just before heading to work as a security guard. He was wearing his work-authorized tazer on his belt, but the police did not ask him about that. They did not consider the source of racist fear that motivated the (mostly) white dog-walking residents to frantically call police because of Alejandro’s presence. The cruel irony is that his job was to provide a sense of security for patrons at a restaurant/bar — so they could eat in peace. But Ale’s presence — his simple presence IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT HE GREW UP IN — was enough to create a sense of IN-security for his recently arrived neighbors… and that not only could he not eat in peace, but because of it Alejandro is now Resting in Peace.
There is so much work to be done on so many levels to prevent this type of thing from ever happening again. It won’t be changed in a day. But if we show up for Alex in the coming days, maybe we can show that he did not die in vain. (Cuz for right now, it sure feels like his life was senselessly stolen from him.)
There will be a Town Hall meeting about this police murder of one of our community members tomorrow, Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM at Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, 3125 Cesar Chavez. Alejandro’s family and friends are asking for community support and presence at this meeting. Please come if you can.

* "SFPD to answer questions on fatal shooting of Alejandro Nieto", 2014-03-25 by Rebecca Bowe from the "Bay Guardian" newspaper [link]: [begin excerpt] A report in the San Francisco Chronicle suggested that just before the shooting, Nieto was “acting erratically and threatening passersby,” quoting an unnamed witness who said a man had threatened his dog with a “pistol-type stun gun” and yelled profanities. It also referenced a past incident involving Nieto's alleged use of a stun gun.
A person who declined to be named told the Bay Guardian that about half an hour before the shooting occurred, two men who were walking down the pedestrian pathway on the north slope of Bernal Heights Park alerted a jogger that there was a man ahead wearing a gun on his hip. They told the jogger that they had called the police. The jogger, who was about 50 feet from the man and started moving away from him after receiving the warning, was too far away to see whether he had a weapon but noticed that he was “pacing back and forth” and “air boxing.” [end excerpt]

Comments posted 2014-03-28 at []: Yelling profanities and threatening people is not an excuse to kill somebody. Air boxing is not a crime. Threatening animals that are trying to attack you is not a crime. When he pointed the gun at them, how did the cops know it wasn't a toy or something? This is on the police, not Alejandro. Doesn't the department give training on dealing with mentally disturbed individuals? Did anyone besides SFPD witness the killing? Did anyone see Alejandro Nieto point his taser at police? Did anyone hear the police warn him? Was he wearing headphones or earbuds or otherwise handicapped from hearing at the time he was killed?

"Justice for Alex Nieto, March 29, 2014", video produced by Gloria La Riva from the ANSWER Coalition, posted 2014-03-30 by SanFranciscoANSWER [], at []: 28-year-old Alex Nieto was murdered by SF police on March 21, in his neighborhood of Bernal Heights, a victim of racist profiling by SFPD. The massive gentrification in the Mission district and Bernal Heights and all SF has also made targets of longtime Black and Latino residents and all working-class people in San Francisco. A community coalition has formed to demand indictment of SFPD and justice for Alex Nieto.

"Community March: Justice for Alejandro Nieto! Jail killer cops!", call to action from ANSWER Coalition []: March 29, 2014, 2:00 pm, at the Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St. near 25th St. in San Francisco, California. Contact: ANSWER Coalition at [] or [415-821-6545].
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.
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, 3 pm at the Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St., near 25th St. to say: Justice for Alejandro Nieto! Jail killer cops!

According to videos, the crowd is huge at nearly a thousand, but thinned down once people started marching up the hill, might have been hard on Elders and disabled under the rain. According to a participant close to the family of Alex Nieto, "It was a big crowd. We estimated 600. Justice for Alex Nieto! Jail All Killer Cops!"
* Photos by Ki Won Yoon, posted in "Justice 4 Alex Nieto, killed by SFPD on March 21, 2014" []

 Don Refugio Nieto es un hombre valiente e integro

Una Poema para Alejandro Nieto, by JA, 2014:
En el corazón del barrio
La misión en San Francisco, California
Un jóven se come un burrito
Y muere asesinado de 14 balazos
Parece gracioso
Pero no lo es
La policia de San Francisco
Le disparó a Alex Nieto
Catorce disparos
Que muerte tan muerte
Que cobardes, que tristeza
Llenaron de dolor la familia
De un jóven de 28 años
La montaña de Bernal Heights
Fue la tumba de Alex Nieto
Ahora ahí quedan flores y rezos
La voz de la comunidad
Que habla con nuestros hermanos Ohlones
Ellos escuchan
Se levantan, son aguilas y gavilanes
vuelan, danzan, cantan y rezan - se unen a la lucha.
In the heart of San Francisco's
Mission District
A young man eats a burrito
And is shot to death with fourteen bullets
It sounds funny
but it is not
The San Francisco Police Department
Shot Alex Nieto fourteen times
What death more like death
What cowards, what sadness
They filled with sorrow
The family of a 28 year old young man
Bernal Heights is now his tomb
Now there are flowers and prayers
The voice of the community
Speaking with our Ohlone brothers and sisters
They listen, they rise, they are eagles and hawks
They fly, dance, sing and pray - they join the struggle.

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