New Details Emerge About Circumstances Surrounding 2014 Alex Nieto Shooting


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.

The Examiner reports:

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

33 thoughts on “New Details Emerge About Circumstances Surrounding 2014 Alex Nieto Shooting

  1. Wha’st the new info, the fact that he fired the taser three times as he was being shot, or that “Neighbor Alex had several disturbing mental-health incidents in the weeks preceding his death on Bernal Hill?”

  2. Just before the incident on the hill, Alex walked up our street and urinated on my neighbors’ garage door. Full daylight, with her & others watching. She spoke to him and he responded in a way that made her think he was mentally disturbed and she elected to leave him be. In no way do I condone what happened to Alex. But I do think he was acting strangely and possibly in a hostile state of mind/behavior that day.

  3. So police start shooting at him and 5 secs later he has his taser and pulled the trigger…………

    Count to 5 in your head. That’s a long pause

      • b –

        That’s like saying to cut a piece of wood, you need a piece of wood. Or like saying to write with a pen, you need to hold it. What a waste of a sentence to write what you wrote.

        See if you can pull your phone out of your pocket in under 5 secs and hit the power button. Then let me know OK?

      • @Danny, First off, my phone takes like 10 minutes to restart so that’s not an accurate test.

        That said, my point is that is seems very unlikely that after being shot, probably being knocked down to the ground which happens when you’re hit with a fast flying object, having time and sense to unsnap your holster, pull out your taser, raise it and pull the trigger multiple times seems unlikely if not impossible. This leads us to believe that he was more than likely hold the taser when he was shot. Occam’s Razor

      • b – no one every said he wasn’t holding the taser. obviously he was holding the taser (which has a yellow tip mind you, unlike a gun) at some point since he fired it – the dumb “point” you made earlier – but that doesn’t mean he needed to be shot.

        if you were facing a hail of bullets and all you had is a taser, you might pull the trigger a few times knowing you were about to die, hoping it could do something, even though you knew it was probably fruitless. or perhaps it was just a physical reaction – word on the street is that when bullets are flying past you your body tenses up. people do a lot of desperate things to try to save their own life.

      • b – and there’s nothing that said the first bullet hit him. Do you know something that the rest of us don’t? If that’s the case, we should talk about why 58 shots were fired subsequently after the first shot hit him….

        Assuming you were just making that up, which seems likely, I’ll say this:
        We don’t know what happened in those 5 secs between when the first shot was fired and when his taser was fired…. Hence all the comments to the end of “what’s the point of this ‘new evidence'” ?

      • Danny B’s Advice for everyone…”if you were facing a hail of bullets and all you had is a taser, you might pull the trigger a few times knowing you were about to die, hoping it could do something”

        Yeah, it would do something alright. It would result in you getting shot. Let me guess, you’re a 15 year old boy who spends his days playing video games. Guess what, the real world isn’t a video game. Getting shot & killed in permanent. Note to everyone, never take any advice from Danny B

      • Actually I’m a Bernal homeowner in my 30s…. but guessing seems to be your first instinct. And I’ve never been a huge fan of video games and I work 9-5. So keep guessing….

        Did you really just say that getting shot at will result in you getting shot? It’s like your last statement where you said to fire a gun you need to pull the trigger. Guess what b? To pet a cat you need to put your hand on a cat and move it around.

        Since you wanted to guess my age, I’m going to guess you’re 3 years old, since you write sentences that resemble the thoughts of a 3 year old playing around with “logic” for the first time.

        Anyway, to get back to your agenda: are you really saying that Nieto’s “decision” (if we can call it that) to pull the trigger of his taser after the first volley of bullets is the reason he was ultimately shot and killed? Do you not see how completely absurd that is?

        Police weren’t just shooting at his body to get his attention….

      • Once police start shooting at you, it’s over. His “decision” (again, if we can call it that) to pull the trigger on his taser 5 secs after the shooting started is irrelevant to the outcome.

        b – What are you missing here?

      • Hey Danny, I try and keep my statements simple since it seems like even the most basic comment confuses you.

        Frankly there’s no point continuing any conversation with you because you’re stuck in this loop of “5-seconds takes FOREVER.” Anyway, you enjoy your Groundhog Day experience and congrats on being a Bernal homeowner…as if that has anything to do with anything. Don’t you feel fancy

      • b – you told everyone who I was, so I corrected you.

        Speaking of correcting you, thanks for proving my point that you have no decent way of backing up your illogical statements trying to shift the causation for Alex’s death to something he did after police started shooting at him.

    • Nice. Let’s bring in a little more race and hate into the debate! Does this help the dialogue and the larger issue at hand? No.
      And how can you even assume the comments are from white people.
      Stop being a hater and a troll.

      Rather, let’s promote greater training on how to recognize and deal with mental health issues, which many law enforcement are taking, people with mental issues will not be killed or injured.

      • Because in your universe his race somehow wasn’t the key element in the split second decision to shoot him numerous times? Honestly, you can stay in your fairyland if you like, but out here in the real world, his race is the thing that matters. Not to pick on you in particular, but really enough with the eye rolling when people bring up race in these unnecessary police homicides.

  4. Let’s show some support for our police officers. Those of you who speak against them should walk in their shoes for just one day — then comment. I for one think it’s becoming a thankless job; one that you’re not certain you’ll come home from alive at the end of the day.

    • Pretty sure signing up to be a cop has always come with the understanding that you might not be alive at the end of the day. I welcome any & all questioning of police shootings. It’s important that we (the people) make sure that those we charge with protecting & serving the people do so responsibly & ethically. That said, not all police shootings are unwarranted and not all people who get shot by police are innocent, unarmed victims.

    • I believe that most police officers take their job because they genuinely perceive what they are doing as helping the communities that they serve. With that said, the idea that their jobs are so dangerous is quite overinflated. They don’t even come close to breaking the top 10 most dangerous jobs. Do you say a prayer for a fisherman every time you eat salmon? Their jobs result in death at over 9x the rate of police officers.

      • What’s your point? There are more dangerous jobs, so the risk they take doesn’t count?? That makes no sense.

    • It’s not really a very dangerous job, statistically speaking. It’s a crappy job, given that 2/3s of the people you deal with are low lives. But on the other hand numerous members of the public will kiss your butt and defend you in public no matter what you do, so that helps. 😉

  5. Can we finally, finally stop politicizing the issue and using it as a chance to grandstand about race?

    Can we finally treat it as what it was: a heartbreaking tragedy whose real cause was untreated mental illness?

  6. Look, I know racism and brutality by the police are a serious concern right now, and I don’t want to diminish that. But it looks like there was at least some reason to believe Nieto was a threat, in this case.

    If I were to see anything come of this particular incident, I’d hope it would be a discussion of (1) the failings of public mental health treatment, and (2) a discussion of how officers might better resolve ambiguous situations like this with less lethal weapons, e.g. plastic bullets.

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