KQED Obtains Police Dispatch Recordings from Alex Nieto Shooting


KQED has obtained and released recordings of SFPD dispatch radio activity surrounding the officer-involved shooting of Bernal resident Alex Nieto on March 21:

The radio chatter started about 7:11 p.m. on March 21. Dispatch relays a call to Ingleside Station police, describing a man “in bright red jacket, 6’1, 200 pounds, black pants, has a gun on his hip.”

Police said after the incident that Nieto never had a gun, but that the caller might have mistaken his hip-holstered Taser for a handgun.

About one minute, 15 seconds later, more information comes over the radio.

“He’s got a gun at his hip and is pacing back and forth on the north side of the park near a chain-link fence.”

Another minute passes and a police officer asks for an update on the call about a person with a gun in Bernal Heights.

“He’s eating chips or sunflower seeds,” dispatch responds, apparently relaying information from the person who called police.

At about 7:17 p.m., an officer spots someone:

“Hey there’s a guy in a red shirt way up the hill walking toward you guys.”

Then another officer responds, “I got a guy right here.”

And 25 seconds later, an officer shouts, “Shots fired! Shots fired!” Another two officers also tell dispatch that shots have been fired, and one announces an emergency “code 33.”

More police officers radio that they are responding to an incident that quickly changed from a code 221 (person with gun) to 217 (shooting).

Police closed off the north side of Bernal Heights Park and cleared the way for an ambulance. They also transport two witnesses, one who they refer to as the “original 909″ (code for a citizen requesting interview) to Ingleside Station and begin canvassing the park for other people who may have seen the shooting. Police are repeatedly requested to switch to a different radio channel to discuss the shooting, so this audio may not include all of the chatter about the incident.

Audio files of the scanner activity are available for listening at KQED.

11 thoughts on “KQED Obtains Police Dispatch Recordings from Alex Nieto Shooting

  1. Clarification to what KQED reported: A “909” is a phone call / caller. So the “original 909″ refers to the person who first called 911 in this situation.

    Also, keep in mind that the Broadcastify feed is from a scanner that scans multiple dispatch channels. http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/14404 and according to their page they do not scan all the SFPD frees, just the main dispatch ones. Also, because it is a scanner and there are multiple channels, it can be stuck on one while there is traffic on another, so not all the specific radio traffic will be recorded/webcast. Keep in mind with these recordings, there may be missing radio transmissions. (Also the followup communications after the shooting were likely done on a non-dispatch channel which this scanner feed doesn’t cover).

    Hope this info is useful.

    • Oops. My bad. I always confuse 909 and 901. 901 is a caller/phone call. You often hear then say 901 the 909 (call the person who has some info to give you).

      So please ignore the first sentence above.

    • Very, very helpful to know this, Rusty, and explains why what I heard was choppy and seemingly incomplete – definitely not an accurate snapshot of what occurred on Bernal Hill. Impossible to attempt to conclude anything listening to these feeds. We may never get to hear all of the scan feeds even if some are leaked. Ultimately, that info is for SFPD and the family’s attorneys ears. I must admit that my adrenaline started pumping hearing what little I did hear…

  2. I take it the actual 911 recordings haven’t been released yet? The SFPD has a form for requesting them, for a $35 fee, but I have to assume that news organizations have already requested them, and that I wouldn’t get them any faster by applying now. I’m very curious about what exactly the caller(s) reported, and in what tone.

  3. So sad. This entire tragedy would have been easily avoidable if the police were better trained to understand a situation before they open fire. Poor guy was just on his way to work, and they effectively murdered him. The shooters should be prosecuted.

  4. Herr Doktor – heal thyself!
    You are jumping to an incomplete conclusion based on what you did not see and or experience.
    If and I say “If” he pulled his gun looking laser and did not follow police orders and furthermore light up the responding officers with a red dot laser , well as sad as the outcome is this is a pretty much the expected result. What is “So Sad” as you say is that we are not training our children to respect and obey authority.

    • Well, no. The sad thing is that people are excusing what is clearly an unwarranted shooting of one of our neighbors. It’s pathetic, frankly.

  5. Pingback: Alex Nieto Shooting Investigation Will Be Very Long and Probably Very Unsatisfying | Bernalwood

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