A federal trial in the civil rights lawsuit against the City of San Francisco regarding the March 2014 shooting death of 28-year-old Alejandro Nieto is set to begin today, as the Examiner reports, at the Phillip Burton Federal Building, and protesters are set to rally there as Nieto's family seeks some long-awaited justice.

As KRON 4 reports:

After having two claims dismissed in pretrial proceedings, the lawsuit now contains three claims: use of excessive force and denial of the parents’ right to a familial relationship in violation of the U.S. Constitution, and wrongful death under California law.

Attorneys for the family will argue that Officers Jason Sawyer, Roger Morse, Richard Schiff, and Nathan Chew caused the wrongful death of the unarmed Nieto on Bernal Hill when they open fired on him, though the SFPD has long contended that Nieto pulled out a Taser gun that appeared to be a real weapon.

In January, though, we learned that the family has a witness from the scene who claims that Nieto's hands never left his jacket pockets, and he was shot four times and fell to the ground before he even had time to pull his hands out.

The circumstances of the confrontation remain strange, but what we understand is that a passerby in the dog park that evening decided that Nieto seemed suspicious and appeared armed, and called the cops. Nieto, who carried a stun gun because he was on his way to work as a bouncer at a Mission club and liked to come to the park to his eat his dinner before hand, was then confused by the confrontation with police a few minutes later. At least one other witness has said that Nieto appeared non-threatening.

The official account from police, however, claimed that Nieto was acting erratically and seemed perhaps mentally ill at the time. They also say he refused multiple requests to show his hands. A Medical Examiner's report said Nieto had a history of both aggressive behavior and auditory hallucinations, and was noncompliant in taking his anti-psychotic medications, which were not found in his system in an autopsy. Trace cannabinoids were, however, but those can remain in the body long after smoking marijuana.

Following the deaths of Mario Woods and Amilcar Perez Lopez at the hands of SF police, the Nieto case is sure to draw even more attention now.

All previous coverage of Alex Nieto's shooting on SFist.