The cover story of today’s San Francisco Examiner reveals new information about the circumstances surrounding the SFPD officer-involved shooting of Bernal neighbor Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill in March 2014.
Supporters say Nieto was defenseless and never attempted to grab, or point at police, the stun gun holstered at his side. They also believe Nieto was brought to the ground by gunfire, and then shot until dead.
But previously unreported details included in a letter sent from the District Attorney’s Office to Chief Greg Suhr in February, when the DA decided not to press criminal charges against the four officers involved, contradict those claims. The case has since been referred to the FBI.
The San Francisco Police Department echoed the DA’s decision last week when it closed its investigation into Nieto’s death, determining that officers acted within department policy when they fatally shot him on March 21, 2014.
Nieto pulled the trigger on his stun gun three times within moments of police shooting at him, according to the DA.
Each trigger squeeze was recorded by the Taser’s memory. An analyst with Taser International reviewed the weapon’s clock and determined the trigger was first pulled at 7:18:45 p.m., again seven seconds later and then at 7:19:01 p.m., according to the DA.
“These times coincide with time the officers discharged their weapons, which can be heard on the audio recording of the 911 call beginning at 7:18:40 p.m.,” the letter read.
The article also reveals that Neighbor Alex had several disturbing mental-health incidents in the weeks preceding his death on Bernal Hill.
IMAGE: Alex Nieto photo illustration by Telstar Logistics