Alex Nieto Killing Subject of Post-Theater Talk

Brava Theater showing Love Balm for My SpiritChild Saturday the 19th at 8 p.m. Screenshot from Brava Theater.

After staging a play about justice this Saturday, Brava Theater will host a discussion about the fatal shooting of Alejandro Nieto by San Francisco police officers.

On March 21, 28-year-old Alex Nieto was eating outside on Bernal Hill when the police arrived, responding to a call about an armed man pacing near a bench. According to Police Chief Greg Suhr, officers said they told Nieto to show his hands, and when he brandished what they believed to be a firearm, shot him somewhere between 12 and 16 times. Nieto died at the scene. The object he was holding was discovered to be a Taser he carried for his job as a nightclub security guard.

The Nieto incident has prompted angry reactions from residents, who say police used undue force against Nieto. A memorial protest of some 350 people was held in late March, and the family also filed a wrongful death claim in mid-April, seeking further evidence from the police department that they say has been withheld.

The Justice 4 Alex Nieto Committee has coordinated the Nieto talk, which will start after the theater’s 8 p.m. penultimate showing of “Love Balm for My SpiritChild.” The play is described as a testament to “revolutionary motherhood” and a reaction to murdered sons.

Love Balm for My SpiritChild … was specifically inspired by how mothers’ memories have served as a vehicle for justice in the cases of the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide. In the wake of tragic and systemic murders like those of Alan Blueford, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Emmett Till — Love Balm for my SpiritChild witnesses local mothers who have personally experienced similar loss as they mobilize to bring about awareness and justice for their son’s murders.

The play was created by Arielle Julia Brown, a theater artist and arts administrator in Oakland, and will highlight the killings of Kenneth Harding Jr., Oscar Grant III, Kerry Baxter Jr., among others. It has already been shown at a number of theaters, from Atlanta, Georgia to Pomona, California, and testimonies from the play have been performed throughout the Bay Area. Tickets are selling online for $10 – $25.

In the police-involved shooting of Nieto, the Justice 4 Alex Nieto Committee has reported that the family’s wrongful death claim has been denied by the city attorney’s office. The group also reported that the Nieto family had a meeting with the district attorney, who said his investigation will be postponed until he receives a medical examiner’s report detailing the forensic and medical evidence of the case.

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  1. Sam

    No mention of the RO’s against him?

    No mention if his previous incidents of bizarre, threatening behavior?

    No mention of his waving a gun about in a public park that caused the cops to be called in the first place?

    And a half-hearted and belated mention of the weapon that he appear to point at the cops, which is about as good a way of killing yourself as is known to man now that the GG Bridge has a suicide barrier?

    I think “Ariella” (I’ll take a wild and crazy guess that she’s black) needs a higher quality poster child. (And, hint, it ain’t Oscar “12 felony convictions” Grant either).

    Good luck finding a SF jury that thinks this was anything but a sound shoot.

    • huh

      Aww man. I was totally interested in hearing the other side of this complicated story. Mr Nieto is no saint but he didn’t deserve to die. The cops aren’t villians but might have made mistakes.
      Too bad “Sam” that you had to reveal your racism in your post. The truth and understanding that is needed is not served when racists do the talking.

    • alachicana

      Sam – Agree with you on this one. Do not put Nieto in the same category as Emmet Till, who was an innocent victim of racism.

  2. Cliff Rae

    First, let me apologize for Sam (I’ll take a wild and crazy guess that he’s white, and not well educated). Sorry for his ignorance which endangers all of us. Second, yes, the cops are doing exactly as they are trained to do in our emerging police state. Without video of these events, have cops ever been held responsible for the executions they perform? Refuse and resist at every opportunity.

    • Sam

      Cliff, first off, the truth needs no apology.

      Second, you lost most of your audience when you sought to disparage a teller of truth by describing them as “white”. There is no place for racism on ML. (I cited the putative race of Amelia only because she remarkably omitted all instances of black-on-white violence, which occurs at an incredible forty times the rate of white-on-black violence; indicative of racial bias).

      Third, I provided facts. You provided opinions, and prejudiced ones at that.

    • ThatGuy

      You’re as transparent as mud with your MO here.

      Don’t the police records, 911 calls, tweets and officer testimonies give you enough details? Oh right, you want to make this a race issue… PROCEED.

      RIP Mr Nieto. The real tragedy is that your friends, family, and gov’t didn’t recognize you needed help. Its a tragic end.

  3. Mike K

    I can guarantee the ticket price will make sue the agitators don’t come to the play.

  4. ThatGuy

    I hope it started with “How to identify mental health issues”, followed by a “How to help friends and family members with mental health issues”.

    Anything else is rubbish.

  5. AC

    First a comment for Mission Local: Please consider editing your article to state that only in police version of events does Alex Nieto draw a taser, and that that version of events is the subject of investigations. Technically, the police officers involved are suspects in a homicide investigation.

    Second, some facts:
    – Alex Nieto is only ever described by eye witnesses -including the 911 caller- as having a holstered weapon and simply eating. He is never described as threatening. Never is he described as threatening. (Except of course by the police, because they can only justify the shooting by saying they felt threatened.)
    – Alex Nieto was a full time scholarship student at CCSF, and had just concluded his Administration in Justice Degree. He was fully knowledgeable in police protocols. His family and friends find police version of events impossible to believe. He was an intern at the probation department.
    – Alex worked by night so he could study by day. Hence, he worked as a night shift security guard at El Toro. Everyone who knew him there describes him as calm and kind with a great sense of humor. The day SFPD killed him, he was wearing his licensed holstered TASER, as part of his work uniform.
    – Alex was raised on Bernal Heights. His home is a few blocks away from a path to the hill. He routinely walked, exercised, walked his dog, and ate a meal on the hill. He regularly ate dinner watching the sunset before going to his shift.
    – Alex was an upstanding citizen, participating since a teenager as a volunteer in electoral campaigns, including Bill Clinton’s, Amiano’s, and others.
    – Alex was a practicing Buddhist, who held life as a central value. By all accounts of people who knew him, he was a peaceful and law abiding person.
    – The supposed R.O. was never granted. Alejandro did have an R.O. on the man who claimed to have filed one…
    – SFPD released the identity and their story to the press before notifying the family. When they went to the family home (18 hours later) they first harassed the family with questions to draw a negative profile of Alex and only on demand of the parents did they reveal that SFPD had killed Alex. They attempted to search Alex’s room without a warrant AND they STOLE Alex’s car without a warrant. Only through various inquiries did the family find that the police had taken and stripped the car with the keys from Alex’s body.
    – On June 2, the City formally denied any responsibility.
    – The D.A. has promised to expedite the release of the Medical Examiner’s report which is stalling all investigations into the case (including the D.A.’s and internal SFPD homicide investigation.) However, there is serious concern that D.A. Gascon will not follow through on a criminal indictment considering he is the former Chief of Police of SF and a career police officer. Hence supporters are asking for a federal investigation into the death of Alex Nieto.

    TOMORROW JULY 21st is ALEX NIETO’S 4th month anniversary. The Family still has no answers from authorities, and SFPD continues to withhold even the original 911 call.

    Thank you for your consideration, and remember that in this case, there is no evidence supporting SFPD’s version of events. Read more here…

    • Cliff Rae

      Thank you very much for this thoughtful and truthful account, and for posting it. Obvious from some postings here that we have not only the police to fear, but those who blindly support them as well.

      • Sam

        Except of course that AC lied. He says there is “no evidence” supporting the SFPD version but the truth is that there is no evidence that refutes the SFPD version.

        Every single witness to the shooting asserts that Nieto pulled and pointed his weapon. There is no credible witness who claims to see anything different.

        SFPD don’t have to prove this was a good kill. Troublemakers like AC have to prove it wasn’t. You cannot mount a criminal conviction against anyone, including SFPD, without solid evidence.

        And there is no such evidence otherwise you can be sure that biased folks like AC would be all over it like a rancid rash.

        Nieto was a violent nut job who got himself killed. Move on.

        • ACamarena

          No, Sam. Absolutely no witness saw Alex with a drawn taser. He is always described as having holstered taser, even by the 911 caller.

          • Sam

            Wrong, every police officer present saw the drawn and pointed weapon. It’s in the police reports.

            Nieto may have had his weapon holstered when the police were first called, which is what I think you are claiming, but he drew and raised his weapon when the police arrived.

            I am not aware of anyone who claims that Nieto did not draw and point his weapon at police, and the police would have had no reason to shoot him if he had calmly co-operated.

            So every witness to the actual shooting is telling the same account of what happened. You may not believe the police but you have no evidence or witnesses to the contrary.

            The evidence we have all says that you are wrong.

          • Son of

            There are no witnesses to the shooting other than the police officers who did the shooting.


          • Sam

            Exactly, “Son Of”, there ARE witnesses who say Nieto pulled his weapon but there are NO witnesses that say he did not.

            So there is no evidence r witnesses supporting AC’s claim. It’s a wild speculation based only on conjecture.

    • ThatGuy

      Imagine putting all of this effort into helping people with mental health problems.

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