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Home News + Politics Supes approve memorial for Alex Nieto

Supes approve memorial for Alex Nieto

POA position rejected; Bill Ong Hing becomes next Police Commission member

The Police Officers Association lost a significant vote today, further isolating the organization from the mainstream of San Francisco politics.

Despite an effort by Sup. Mark Farrell, the Board of Supes voted 9-1 to create a memorial to Alex Nieto, who was killed by a hail of police bullets on Bernal Hill.

There’s already a memorial on the hill, made by friends of Nieto, but the measure that passed allows the city to take public space and create something permanent.


That sends a powerful message: The city recognizes that, at the very least, something went wrong when Nieto died.

Farrell said that was the wrong message: He argued that the city hasn’t created memorials for police officers who died. But Sup. Malia Cohen noted that this isn’t an either/or situation; the Neito family and community allies came forward and asked for this modest memorial. If the cops wanted the same, they could ask.

Sup. Aaron Peskin argued that the supervisors always attend the funerals of any slain officer, that the city leadership shows tremendous support for officers killed or wounded in the line of duty, and that “these are not mutually exclusive things.”

In the end, the vote was 9-1.


Then came the discussion over a Police Commission member. The danger from the start was Julie Soo, the candidate that the POA would most like to see on the panel. The two other candidates, defense lawyer John Hamasaki and law professor Bill Ong Hing, both had progressive support.

Hamasaki made the most impressive case at the Rules Committee and had a long list of police-accountability advocates endorsing him. But Hing has such a long record of community service that even though he applied late, and admitted he had never been to a San Francisco Police Commission meeting, he got the nod from the committee.

At the full board, Sup. Malia Cohen moved to substitute Hamasaki. Sups. John Avalos, London Breed, and Aaron Peskin agreed.

The difference was mostly one of style: Hamasaki, as befits a defense lawyer, is more aggressive and acts like a fighter; Hing is more soft-spoken and talks of bringing everyone to the table.

In the end, there were seven votes against substituting Hamasaki’s name, and then nine votes for Hing, with only Breed and Cohen in opposition.

We will see how Hing does on a panel that needs consideration and expertise – both of which he clearly has – but also the ability not just to meet with groups like the POA, but to stand up to them and say no.

But in the end, the only candidate who would have moved the commission closer to supporting the mayor and the POA was never a factor.


  1. 48 Hills should be honored that you made your 18,847th comment here. TMZ must be feeling jealous about now. (And the nerve of that Campos, representing ONLY his constituents!)

  2. Will someone please assure me that once the new board is seated, and that dirtbag Compost, who represents ONLY his people, is gone, things will turn around and insanity/absurdity will no longer be the rule, but the very rare exception? San Francisco, one of the most extraordinary, in all aspects, and beautiful cities in the world, has now become the laughing stock of the world. How on earth did we reach this level of insanity and why? I understand that the so-called progressives have been in charge for a very long time, far too long, it appears, but are there no mechanisms in place in civic politics whereby the idea of something as absurd as a memorial for a basic thug might be immediately shot down? Who made the decision to choose the BOS by district election and why do I suspect that Compost and Avalos were behind that? It seems fairly clear that Compost’s focus is NOT the greater good of the entire city of SF, and is entirely focused on the Mission and its people. There is nothing progressive, whatsoever, about any of the current policies seemingly at play in running this once precious gem of a city. The abominations in power have managed to run SF right into the ground. Off with all their ugly heads!!! And the sooner, the better.

  3. It would have been great if a police officer had shouted “Hold your fire…it’s only a taser” in the split seconds after they were painted with a laser targeting device while responding to reports of a man with a gun.

    But you can’t assume perfection. Better to avoid pointing anything that looks like a weapon at police officers, just to be safe.

    Even better…if you are walking through a public park with a taser, how about keeping it out of sight so that no one in the park even knows that you have it.

  4. Everything is upside down in SF for right now. But soon it will be righted, I’m sure of it. The left is getting out of the SFBA entirely. They will have to move out.

  5. Probably shouldn’t have pointed that taser at the officers who were trying to resolve the incident you were involved in.

  6. “then nine votes for Hing, with only Breed and Cohen in opposition.”

    This math doesn’t add up. With Wiener now in the state senate, there are only ten members currently on the BOS. How did Hing get nine votes if two of the ten supervisors were in opposition?

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