According to an eight person federal jury who deliberated for roughly a day following eight days of testimony, four San Francisco police officers did not use excessive force when they killed Alex Nieto, the Examiner and others in the courtroom have word.
On March 21st, Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff, and Nathan Chew shot the 28-year-old City College student who carried with him a Taser for his job as a security guard, a weapon which they say they mistook for a gun. Closing arguments in the wrongful death case were made yesterday.
As the Chronicle notes, Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins instructed the jury to decide whether it was “more probably true than not true,” that the plaintiffs' claims of acting rationally and not with an excess of force were accurate rather than determining the claims to be accurate "beyond a reasonable doubt." That's because the proceedings represented a constitutional rights case rather than a criminal trial. A prior investigation by the District Attorney's office absolved the officers of criminal wrongdoing.