Hard Knock Radio 04-07-14: Today we sat down with local activist and Professor Ben Bac Sierra, who was best friends to Alex Nieto. Alex was the honor student and security guard at El Toro Nightclub was slain by SFPD as he sat eating in a park in neighborhood in Bernal Heights..
According to police, they were responding to reports of a man acting ‘erratically’ carrying a gun. Alex was in the park walking back and forth, praying out while carrying his job issued taser which strapped to his side. Police showed up, stood 75 feet away and shot Alex after he pointed the taser at him.. That’s according to their reports. That account has been widely disputed.
Ben gives us a blow-by-blow account of the incident following the timeline put out police. He also explains that the caller stayed on the phone with police dispatchers as they approached Alex and noted that he was sitting on a bench eating when police approached him..
He also talks about how the SFPD visited Alex’s parents hours after he was killed and attempted to get information about his mental well-being in the past. The parents were unaware their son had been killed. They were under the impression Alex was in some sort of trouble with the law which in itself was shocking because he had whistle clean record. They cooperated with police as best they could. His parents do not speak English. The police demanded to search the house, Alex’s father refused. It was after the police questioned the parents that officers informed them they had shot and killed Alex…
Ben also relayed how SFPD Chief Greg Suhr publicly promised to pay for Alex’s funeral during the widely watched police town hall. After the cameras were gone Suhr called up the family the next day and reneged on his promise. The family had to hold a fundraiser to get money for Alex’s funeral.
Ben concluded our interview by noting the support they have been receiving by hundreds of residents all over Bernal Heights and the Mission as well as by local supervisors David Campos and John Avala.
In recent days SFPD have announced they are on high tactical alert because they had received an anonymous death threat. Local organizers feel this is the police’s way of demonizing Alex’s friends and family who have been peaceful in all demonstrations and outings.
Later in the show we talk with longtime activist and Malcolm X Grassroots leader Kali Akuno about the special election in Jackson, Mississippi for Mayor that’s scheduled for Tuesday April 8th. He talks to us about the political landscape in the wake of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s death. His son Antar is running and trying to succeed his father and continue implementing the Jackson Rising people’s plan…
Kali noted that many of the candidates initially had pledged loyalty to the late Mayor’s historic Jackson Rising plan. Its enormously popular among Jackson residents. Once Antar entered the race, those same candidates have been working overtime to dis it.
In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court ruling where campaign contribution limits have been lifted, millions of dollars from outside the city and state have poured into the election making it the most expensive in Jackson’s history. The bulk of the money has been coming in from developers and republicans in the overwhelming Democratic City. Kali noted that there is a strong push to gentrify Jackson.