Supervisors to vote on Alex Nieto memorial

A proposal to install a memorial at the site of a controversial police shooting in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights Park is set to go before the Board of Supervisors for a vote later this month.

A resolution by Supervisor John Avalos calling for a memorial to mark the death of Alexander “Alex” Nieto was unanimously approved today by the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services committee and will go before the full board on Dec. 13.

Nieto, 28, who was carrying a Taser stun gun in preparation for his job as a security guard at a nightclub, was shot and killed by police on the evening of March 21, 2014 after officers responded to a report of a man with a gun in the park.

The shooting spurred anger in the community and was the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force that went to trial earlier this year.

In that trial, an eight-member jury exonerated police after officers testified that Nieto had pointed the stun gun directly at them. The officers said that they thought it was a real gun and that their lives were in danger.

“For many people in the community there was no sense of justice from that court ruling,” Avalos observed today.

Supervisor David Campos, whose district includes Bernal Heights, said the memorial would not bring Nieto back but was the least the city could do to help his family and the community recover from his death.

“It’s an opportunity to begin the process of healing. It’s really that simple and that important and fundamental,” Campos said.

The resolution does not specify what form the memorial will take but calls for the Recreation and Parks department to install it along a paved path after a community consultation process.