Alum Alex Welsh's Photojournalism Work Plays Role in Police Officer's Hearing

August 5, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER -- Alex Welsh, a San Francisco State University photojournalism student at the time and a good friend of victim Norris Bennett, had been taking photos for a documentary of life in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood when he witnessed Bennett's death and took photos of the scene. Bennett was gunned down by gang members while playing dice with friends near the Oakdale housing projects. As lead investigator in the case, Lee thought the best way to deal with Welsh, a primary witness, was to convince him to hand over evidence and make a statement instead of using more forceful approaches. Lee felt that would turn the witness against police while his approach would induce Welsh to cooperate. His superiors thought differently. They wanted him to use the search warrant that had been granted and force the recalcitrant Welsh, who had left the city in fear after the shooting, to hand over evidence in a murder case.