DAY ONE: “The Trial: Alex Nieto versus the SFPD”

Picture is of Closing Day One Court Room Embrace with the Nietos

Closing COurt Day Embrace day one Trial

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Time to put on our law hats! Daily I will post summaries of the actual action in the court room; here I review the Day One jury selection and opening statements.

DAY ONE: “The Trial: Alex Nieto versus the SFPD”


  • Eight jurors chosen—six are female (5 white) and two males. Age range from approximately 25 to 65 years old. Median age is approximately 40 years old.
  • In order for the Nietos to succeed in their demands, these jurors must unanimously decide that by a preponderance of the evidence the SFPD unreasonably killed Alex Nieto.
  • Before opening statements, City Attorney requested not to have Alex’s deceased body shown to the jury during opening statements. Her request was overruled.



  • Rookie Officer Schiff, who first responded to the scene and was driving, had only been on the force for two months and was still completing his field training. At Alex Nieto, he shot a total of 23 rounds, which means he reloaded his weapon with a new magazine and fully emptied that one.
  • Veteran Sergeant Sawyer, also a first responder and riding with Schiff, was responsible for evaluating and training Schiff. Sawyer fired a total of 20 rounds at Alex Nieto. He also reloaded his weapon with a new magazine.
  • Both Schiff and Sawyer had heard the dispatches about Alex. He was described as a six foot Latino male with a red jacket and a holstered gun. Alex was described as eating from a bag of chips, watching the sunset, and moving around. Obviously, he was not a threat.
  • When Officers Sawyer and Schiff arrived at the scene, even though there were other officers there and they could have joined with them to approach Alex Nieto, they instead decide to bypass all other officers without telling them and use their vehicle to maneuver around the fence and into the park. It seems they were playing the role of cowboy action cops from the movies.
  • At 7:18:39 Sawyer states “We got him.”
  • At 7:18:45 Sawyer states “Shots fired, shots fired.”
  • It seems that this six second span is crucial, as it does not seem logical that all the police claim to have happened could happen in a six second time frame.
  • After Alex is killed, Officer Morse, who arrived after the initial encounter and shot 11 rounds, supposedly kicked the taser out of Alex’s hands, yet there are no pictures at all of Alex with the taser in his hands nor are there any photographs with Alex pointing his hands downhill like the officers claim.
  • SUBJECTIVE POINT OUTSIDE OF THE OPENING STATEMENT: The taser is not turned on; therefore, it is impossible for it to have been fired or for the laser to have emitted a red laser beam. The Chronicle on February 29 claims that the city says “the taser could have gotten turned off when an officer kicked it out of Nieto’s hands.” Note that a safety switch on this taser requires a very specific precise forceful movement from a finger, like a thumb. It would be almost impossible for the taser to have been turned off by a kick. Possible explanation: someone fired the taser and then like a good, trained firearms handler, he turned off the taser after he fired it.
  • Problems and contradictions like this exist throughout the police narrative account.
  • Alex Nieto was beloved, a City College of San Francisco student and security guard. Proof of this was shown in photographs.


  • Alex Nieto was “marching purposefully” towards police officers. My subjective interpretation and questioning: how could he be marching purposefully eating from a bag of chips?
  • Alex Nieto pointed his taser at officers and then maneuvered into a “tactical prone position.” My subjective interpretation and questioning: Alex Nieto was never in the armed forces so has no idea how to enter into a tactical prone position. It is much more likely that Alex Nieto is simply falling to the ground because he is dying.
  • After officers fired, one of them kicked the taser out of Alex Nieto’s hands. My subjective interpretation and questioning: why would any police officer do this when they immediately see that it is a taser and that Alex Nieto is dead?
  • VERY IMPORTANT ADMISSION BY THE CITY ATTORNEY: For some “inexplicable” reason Alex kept pointing the taser. My subjective interpretation and questioning: Yes, it is totally INEXPLICABLE that a person who has no reason to point at officers would point a taser at them AND that someone who has been riddled with bullets throughout his body, INCLUDING HIS HAND AND ELBOW, and has been fatally shot IN HIS HEAD AND CHEST could actually have the strength and ability to continue pointing a taser at officers.

More detailed notes will be provided for day two. Rushing now to the court house.



Pictures of the rally at the “The Trial: Alex Nieto versus the SFPD”

Trial Rally 1.jpg

Trial Rally 2

Trial Rally 3

Trial rally 4

Trial rally 5

Trial rally 6

3 thoughts on “DAY ONE: “The Trial: Alex Nieto versus the SFPD”

  1. Thank you for the update. I watched the videos and pictures. This problem with the police is out of control and everyone from the Board of Supervisors the Police Commission the Chief of police Suhr and the Mayor of SF Ed Lee is responsible. They must be held accountable and the police should not be getting away with these killings. #justice.

  2. Thank you, Benjamin, for this post. It is a miracle any time the SFPD gets hauled into a courtroom since it happens so rarely. We are all so tired of the SFPD’s arrogant belief that they are entitled to end the lives of people they believe DESERVE IT. Like most, I am hoping and praying for justice. I say “most” because there will be those who will want a police victory over any evidence or truth or justice. Look forward to your analyses of this important case.

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