October 16, 2012
For Immediate Release
Blueford Coalition Condemns DA Report: Biased, Deficient
The Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition strongly condemns the report issued last week by District Attorney Nancy O’Malley clearing Officer Miguel Masso of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of Alan Blueford last May. The report reveals a high level of bias and a shamefully inadequate demonstration of investigative methodology. The District Attorney’s failure to carefully review and challenge statements contained in the report of the Oakland Police Department go against the community’s need for answers in this tragic officer-involved shooting. The delinquencies of the DA report are major and clearly demonstrate DA O’Malley’s unwillingness to carry out the sworn duties of her office.
The bias of the DA report is evident in its reliance solely upon witness and other statements supporting the notion that Officer Masso was justified in killing Alan Blueford. One example of this bias is Officer Masso’s statement that he fired at Alan while Alan was standing, which is stated as fact in the DA’s report, yet 11 out of 12 witnesses who comment on where Alan was when Officer Masso took the first shot say that Officer Masso first fired when Alan was lying on the ground. This important discrepancy is not mentioned in the DA’s report. Based on the numerous instances of such unbalanced review of the facts, one must conclude that the DA’s report is highly prejudicial.
District Attorney O’Malley’s failure to insist upon an analysis of the evidence leaves many important questions unanswered, including: Did the DA determine Masso’s account of his and Alan’s movements before Alan was shot to be logistically possible? Why are the gun shell casings so dispersed, given Masso’s account of the shooting? How could the gun, which Officer Masso claimed was in Alan’s hand when he shot Alan, be found 20 feet away from Alan, behind his body and up an inclined driveway? Were there scratch or skid marks on this gun, which had allegedly been in Alan’s hand, congruent with the direction in which the gun would have to have traveled to reach its destination? (No witness reports a gun moving from Alan’s hand to 20 feet away, up the driveway.) Perhaps most disturbing is the DA’s failure to investigate why Alan’s last words (as reported by several witnesses) were, “I didn’t do anything,” words which clearly indicate that Alan never presented an imminent threat to Officer Masso.
District Attorney O’Malley’s report on the shooting death of Alan Blueford is a travesty of justice. For the record, the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition will present District Attorney O’Malley with a more formalized and detailed exposé of the problems contained in her report at our 4:30 PM press conference today at the DA’s office. We reiterate our demands that Officer Masso be fired and prosecuted for the murder of Alan Blueford, and that the Oakland Police Department cease its de facto practices of racial profiling and stop & frisk. As a community response to the widespread and intolerable practice of racial profiling which targeted Alan Blueford and his friends, the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition is organizing a Bay Area Families March Against Racial Profiling on Saturday, November 10th, beginning at noon at 14th & Broadway in downtown Oakland. We’re bringing together families of victims of police intimidation, brutality and murder to call for an end to racial profiling and the consequent criminalization of black and brown men.