March Forth/Fourth! Day Three: “The Trial: Alex Nieto versus the SFPD”
Today Alex Nieto would have been 30 years old. Smiling his Alex smile, he once told me, “Bro, I’m a natural born revolutionary because I was born on March Fourth/Forth.” So I invented a poem that I read to him while he was sitting in the audience. I repost that video of us together at a poetry reading in the San Fran Mission in 2013. Happy 30th Birthday, Alex Nieto!
Please join us in solidarity every day of the trial at the federal court building on 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco.
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Day Three: “The Trial: Alex Nieto versus the SFPD”
EXAMINATION OF OFFICER CHEW:
- Officer Chew claims that the color red has no gang significance to him.
- When Officer Morse and Officer Chew received the call about a man on Bernal Heights, they never discussed any plan regarding a tactical approach. According to police academy training and official police protocol, they were immediately supposed to draft a plan of how they would approach the hill, especially a cover and contact plan.
- When Officer Chew first saw Alex while Officer Chew was at the bottom of the hill and Alex was at the top of the hill, Officer Chew claims that Alex Nieto was standing with his hands at his side and not in a tactical stance as Officer Schiff claims.
- Officer Chew claims that when he drove up the hill, he saw an officer with a rifle running up the hill.
- Officer Chew saw Alex already on the ground. Officer Chew never saw smoke, recoil, or flash come out of the taser, but he claims he did see a red laser light that made him “a little nervous.” He admits he may now be contradicting the deposition testimony now because he now says he was very nervous about the red laser light. He fired five times.
- When he approached Alex after they killed him, Officer Chew noticed that it was a taser but did not see wires ejected.
- After the shooting, he stayed on the scene for approximately five minutes.
- Officer Chew and Morse had never before ridden together prior to the day they killed Alex.
- Officer Chew stated that at the time he received the call that he was attempting to find some kids in the Sunnydale projects so that he could play basketball with them. It seemed that he was actually out of his vehicle and talking with kids, but when questioned about this, he admitted that they were not actually in the specific process of searching for kids to play basketball, but that they were just driving. MY SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE: Officer Chew attempted to make himself look like a super good guy, but he was seen to be manipulative because he was not looking to play basketball with any lower economic class kids.
CITY ATTORNEY BAUMGARTNER WAS SCOLDED BY THE FEDERAL JUDGE:
- The federal judge scolded the city attorney for flailing her arms and having a negative attitude on numerous occasions when the judge made decisions about the case. He told her that this is not a baseball game for her to be flailing her arms and that she should control any negative attitude in the courtroom.
EXAMINATION OF JUSTIN FRITZ, PERSON WHO CALLED THE POLICE ON ALEX NIETO:
- Justin Fritz claims that when he walked by Alex Nieto he did not think that there was anything wrong with Alex. He heard no strangeness from him, no noise.
- It was his partner Isgit who told him that Alex had a gun. Fritz had never seen any gun, but Isgit assured him it was a gun. Isgit told Fritz to call 911, which he did.
- Isgit began telling people to turn around because someone was on the hill with a gun.
- Fritz called and observed Alex. The female emergency dispatcher with AN ENGLISH OR AUSTRALIAN ACCENT asked Fritz to stay on the scene and keep watching Alex.
- Fritz describes that Alex was behaving normally—plenty of people come to eat and wear a red jacket on the hill.
- It was the female emergency dispatcher who asked about Alex’s race. Fritz did not understand the question, SO SHE URGED HIM BY GIVING POSSIBILITIES REGARDING RACE. THE FIRST RACES SHE SUGGESTED WERE HISPANIC AND THEN AFRICAN AMERICAN. MY SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE: Pure racism. The emergency dispatcher, without her even being there, immediately came up with races that she sees in the mainstream media about people involved with guns.
- Alex started walking toward gate.
- Alex was casually walking, no gestures or talking or resting his hand on a gun while walking.
- IMPORTANT: THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HAS NOW REPORTED THAT FRITZ CLAIMS THAT ALEX NIETO WAS PRACTICING DRAWING HIS TASER. THAT IS COMPLETELY INCORRECT. WHAT FRITZ STATED WAS THAT WHEN HIS PARTNER ISGIT HAD TOLD HIM THAT ALEX HAD BEEN TOUCHING HIS GUN (TASER), FRITZ HAD IMAGINED THAT ISGIT MEANT THAT HE HAD BEEN PRACTING DRAWING IT. FRITZ NEVER SAW ALEX DRAW HIS TASER.
- Fritz was paying close attention to everything that was happening because the emergency dispatcher was telling him to observe. FRITZ IS A VERY VALUABLE WITNESS BECAUSE HE WAS COMPLETELY IN TUNE WITH THE MOMENTS.
- Fritz heard two separate volleys of gunshots.
- There was one volley of 8 or 9 gunshots, then there was a ten second pause. Then there was a second volley of gunshots. MY SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE: THIS PROVES THAT ALEX NIETO COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A SUSTAINED CONTINOUS THREAT TO OFFICERS IF THEY STOPPED FIRING FOR TEN FULL SECONDS. THE AUDIO RECORDING ALSO CORROBORATES THIS.
- Fritz did not think that it was the officers shooting because he didn’t think officers would be so reckless in a public place where people come all the time.
- Fritz never heard officers yell at all. They never yelled stop, show me your hands, or drop it. FRITZ WOULD HAVE HEARD THIS AND WAS PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING. FRITZ HAS NO REASON TO LIE.
- When the city attorney examined Fritz, she attempted to paint Alex in a negative light. She asked whether he thought Alex was strange for sometimes not sitting on the bench! She also asked whether he thought Alex was “loitering.” Fritz stated no. He had never even had eye contact with Alex. She then asked if Alex appeared nervous, and he told her that if it were not for Isgit claiming that Alex had a gun, Alex would have appeared totally normal.
- JUSTIN FRITZ APPROACHED THE NIETOS AND APOLOGIZED. REFUGIO NIETO, ALEX’S FATHER, EMBRACED JUSTIN FRITZ.
EXAMINATION OF INVESTIGATION OFFICERS:
- No officer claimed to have ever touched the taser.
- Investigation officers never saw a red laser light coming from taser.
- The original time stamps on the taser stated 7:14 when the taser was activated. Gunshots were actually fired at 7:18. The times did not match up.
- It seems that the district attorney asked for the time stamps to be changed/recalculated.
- THE INVESTIGATORS AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY WERE WORKING COLLABORATIVELY FOR THE TIME STAMPS. MY SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE: How and why are the investigators and district attorney working together when they should be separate?
EXAMINATION OF ANTONIO THEODORE, WITNESS TO KILLING OF ALEX NIETO BY SFPD:
- Theodore walks and jogs on Bernal Hill twice a day with his dog. This is a regular routine and many people and friends know he does this.
- He was running along the trails above the paved road when he saw Alex in a red jacket casually walking down the hill.
- When Theodore runs further, he sights police cars and makes eye contact with a police officer.
- Many officers come.
- He looked up the hill and saw a police car drive up the hill and Alex walking down the hill with his hands in his pockets. The officers came out of their car with their weapons drawn. The driver police officer, who we now know was Officer Schiff, yelled STOP and then immediately began firing at Alex until Alex fell to the ground face first. The other police officers arrived and they then all began firing at Alex while he lay on the ground with his hands in his pockets.
- Alex Nieto never pointed a taser or punched out his arms in a violent manner.
- Police officers did not yell any commands except for the original STOP.
- After the first part of the shooting, there was a pause and then more shots followed.
- Theodore was anxious and angry about the shooting and told someone on the hill about what he had just witnessed. He then went home and also told friends about what he saw. He went back to the hill later that night and saw all the police activity. He did not tell police because he was afraid and did not trust them since they had just killed someone so unlawfully.
- Only a few months after the killing, by August 2014, he is contacted by DAVID JENSEN (district attorney ?), and he is interviewed. Theodore actually invites him into his house and is totally forthright with him. MY SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE: THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY KNEW ABOUT THIS WITNESS YET STILL CHOSE NOT TO FILE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST THE POLICE WHO KILLED ALEX NIETO.
- Theodore was able to clearly see everything that happened on the hill.