Community shuts down Mission Station, puts police on trial on anniversary of Alex Nieto’s SFPD murder

As Black-Brown solidarity grows in the Bay Area, the focus March 22-23 was on the first anniversary of the San Francisco police murder of Alex Nieto, marked with a cultural commemoration Sunday, followed by an early Monday morning shutdown of the street outside the Mission Police Station for a people’s trial of the four officers who killed Alex. – Photo: Freddie, Twitter
As Black-Brown solidarity grows in the Bay Area, the focus March 22-23 was on the first anniversary of the San Francisco police murder of Alex Nieto, marked with a cultural commemoration Sunday, followed by an early Monday morning shutdown of the street outside the Mission Police Station for a people’s trial of the four officers who killed Alex. – Photo: Freddie, Twitter

San Francisco – Over 200 people gathered in the early morning hours today and shut down Valencia Street in front of the San Francisco Police Department’s Mission District station. Sixteen activists locked themselves down for four hours and 15 minutes, blocking the gate to the parking lot and chaining themselves to large-scale art work in front of the station.

There, they held a people’s trial of the four officers who shot and killed Alex Nieto a year ago on Bernal Hill. “We are seeking our own justice through a people’s public trial and putting the four police officers on trial in the streets,” said Adriana Camarena, a supporter for justice for Alex Nieto. Family members of people killed by police testified about the unjust, unresolved murders of their children.

Most of the complex panoply on the street in front of the Mission Police Station is shown here, with the mock trial of the four officers involved in Alex’s murder – Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew – after DA Gascón exonerated them, having initially promised their parents he would help. – Photo: Adriana Camarena
Most of the complex panoply on the street in front of the Mission Police Station is shown here, with the mock trial of the four officers involved in Alex’s murder – Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew – after DA Gascón exonerated them, having initially promised their parents he would help. – Photo: Adriana Camarena

Protestors also blocked a tech bus carrying eBay workers to highlight the connection between the violence of gentrification and the violence of police. Protesters assert that the targeting and racial profiling of poor people of color is directly linked to the forced displacement of residents in San Francisco.

Nancy Hernandez, a Bernal Heights resident, said, “Gentrification has worsened police harassment of the working class community of color in San Francisco.” Protesters demand more resources be directed to families in need rather than increase the SFPD budget.

Who says protesters can’t have fun. Black-Brown unity is on display as Black protesters drum while carrying “wanted” banners strapped to their backs. – Photo: Adriana Camarena
Who says protesters can’t have fun. Black-Brown unity is on display as Black protesters drum while carrying “wanted” banners strapped to their backs. – Photo: Adriana Camarena

The action took place in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the killing of Alex Nieto by the SFPD. The demonstration was organized to protest the lack of a criminal indictment of the SFPD officers involved in the shooting and also highlighted the ongoing killings of people of color by police in communities across the nation.

Last month Nieto’s family had to relive the pain of his unjust death when District Attorney George Gascón cleared the four officers involved in the shooting of Nieto – Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew.

In the last year since Nieto’s death, four more people have been killed by SFPD: Amilcar Pérez-López, O’Shaine Evans, Matthew Hoffman and Alice Brown.

While some protesters locked themselves down to structures they’d built and placed in the street, others blocked the driveway to the Mission Police Station parking lot. During the four-and-a-quarter-hour protest, police could not drive in and out, but they could enter and exit the station on foot because, unlike a similar police station shutdown in Oakland recently, the protesters did not lock down the station entrances. – Photo: Jesús Barraza
While some protesters locked themselves down to structures they’d built and placed in the street, others blocked the driveway to the Mission Police Station parking lot. During the four-and-a-quarter-hour protest, police could not drive in and out, but they could enter and exit the station on foot because, unlike a similar police station shutdown in Oakland recently, the protesters did not lock down the station entrances. – Photo: Jesús Barraza

Since 2000, 97 shootings involving SFPD officers have resulted in 33 deaths. SFPD has found all those killings to be within policy, according to SFPD’s Internal Affairs Department. To our knowledge, none of these officers have been prosecuted by the district attorney.

Today’s efforts were also part of the national Black Lives Matter movement and the public outcry against the killing of unarmed Black men by police. According to a report released last year by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a Black person is killed every 28 hours by a police officer, security guard or self-appointed vigilante. “We are here to put local faces to a national crisis,” said Juana Tello, a San Francisco native resident.

Serving as a means of blocking off the street in front of the Mission Police Station, an eBay bus had been stopped by the protesters near the beginning of the 7 a.m. protest and was held there for over four hours. The Mission is in mourning and enraged about the murder of Alex Nieto a year ago and the murder of Amilcar Pérez-López just a month ago, on Feb. 26, 2015. – Photo: Stop Police Impunity
Serving as a means of blocking off the street in front of the Mission Police Station, an eBay bus had been stopped by the protesters near the beginning of the 7 a.m. protest and was held there for over four hours. The Mission is in mourning and enraged about the murder of Alex Nieto a year ago and the murder of Amilcar Pérez-López just a month ago, on Feb. 26, 2015. – Photo: Stop Police Impunity

“We are here to give notice to the SFPD and other police departments across the country that our communities will not sit passively while we are targeted,” said Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter from the Idriss Stelley Foundation. “We deserve to live with dignity and we deserve justice and to tell the City that with no consequences, we have no confidence.”

“Before Alex died we trusted in the police and the City government,” Nieto’s father, Refugio Nieto, wrote in a statement for the anniversary of his son’s death, read by Adriana Camarena during the anniversary commemoration Sunday. “But after Alex’s death and seeing the lies they told of him, we lost all trust.”

A new chant, “No Consequence, No Confidence,” describes community rejection of the exoneration, over and over again, of law enforcement officers who face no consequences for murder.

Another community member at the Sunday commemoration recounted his experience with police.  “I’ve had cops draw guns on me three times,” said Khafre Jay, the executive director of Hip Hop for Change. Jay, who’s from Hunters Point, said he was once slammed on the hood of a police car because an officer said he looked “like a gang member.”

“I’m not sure we’ll get justice in a tangible sense, but people coming together like this is the most important thing,” said Jay. “I wish I didn’t have to have my heart beat when I see a police officer. I wish I didn’t have to put my hands up when they pull me over, so they don’t shoot me.”

Learn more via http://justice4alexnieto.org/alex-story/front-page/,  www.stoptheimpunity.org, #Justice4AlexNieto and Justice 4 Alex Nieto on Facebook. 

Several films about Alex were shown Sunday at the Mission Cultural Center – one, “Amor for Alex,” premiered, a re-enactment of his murder. The crowd gathered on the sidewalk with the Center at their backs and a low rider at the curb. Alex worked for five years to restore a 20-year-old Impala, completed last year just in time for the police to rip it apart after they killed him.
Several films about Alex were shown Sunday at the Mission Cultural Center – one, “Amor for Alex,” premiered, a re-enactment of his murder. The crowd gathered on the sidewalk with the Center at their backs and a low rider at the curb. Alex worked for five years to restore a 20-year-old Impala, completed last year just in time for the police to rip it apart after they killed him.

Post by AJ+.