by J.P. Massar
Originally posted at Daily Kos
Yesterday morning, July 19th, 2012, Alan Blueford’s mother, father and niece, and their attorneys Dan Siegal and Walter Riley, spoke at a press conference held on the steps of the Alameda County Coroner’s office. They decried the murder of 18 year-old Alan Blueford by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso on May 6th, 2012. In support at the press conference were friends of the family, numerous Occupy Oaklanders and other activists who seek Justice 4 Alan Blueford.
The family had been stonewalled about the entire case by the City Administration after testifying at a City Council meeting several weeks ago, despite pledges of support by at least one City Council member. The issue at hand was the refusal by the Coroner’s office to release the autopsy report on Blueford’s death, which the Coroner reported had had a “hold” placed on it at the request of the Oakland Police Department. Only after intense pressure over the course of the last month culminating in this press conference was the family able to obtain a copy of the report — after being forced to pay $326 in “fees”. The report was finally issued in the afternoon after the press conference had ended.
… the family couldn’t get the report until it paid a total of $326 in fees, an amount he said is the standard cost for autopsy fees. ((Sheriff’s spokesman)) Kelly said the coroner’s bureau sometimes waives the fees for families of homicide victims but Blueford isn’t considered to be a homicide victim because Oakland police believe that shooting him was a justifiable use of deadly force.
The following is the only information that I am aware of that is public from that report at this time (Dan Siegal is a well know civil rights attorney, along with having been Mayor Jean Quan’s advisor until he resigned over the tear-gassing of Occupy Oakland on October 25th).
A note from Dan Siegel on the coroner’s report: no drugs/alcohol were in Alan Blueford’s system and no gunshot residue was on his hands.
An Alameda County coroner’s report obtained by ABC7 News confirms an Oakland teenager killed by police in May never shot at officers. 18-year-old Alan Blueford was shot three times by police during a pursuit, apparently for pointing a gun at officers.KGO-TV, San Franciso
Below is video of the press conference, a transcription of Alan’s mother’s statement, and more thoughts on this tragedy.
Press Conference, Part I.
Alan’s mother begins speaking at 1:00.
I am the mother of murder victim Alan Blueford. 18 years old. On May 6th, 2012. I cannot begin to tell you what this has done to my life, to my family. My life has been shattered, and I am not trying to put together the pieces of my life, after the loss of my baby son. Alan was a good boy. We were very close. ??? our joy and our closeness. This was the time of year of celebration in Alan’s life when he was graduating Skyline High School. Alan didn’t make it to graduation day, but his father and I were there to see his diploma, because of the senseless murder that took place on May 6th.I am asking today for the police report, for the coroner’s report. I don’t want another mother, another family member, sister, brother, niece, nephew, cousin, grandmother, to feel the pain that we have felt to this senseless tragedy. I’m asking today because I, as his mother, his parents deserve to know what happen to our baby. We’ve been asking for over two months, and all that we’ve gotten is mistreatment. We’ve been told different stories. They’ve done everything against us and not nothing to support us.
The police department is here to protect and serve. I have not got any service. Today we ask for information so that we may have a chance to come to grips with this and have the opportunity to place the scattered pieces of our life back together. I cannot bring Alan back. He is gone on to rest in Jesus. But I do deserve as his mother to know what has happened to my child. Reports are all that we have, and we would like answers.
The Blueford’s are concerned not only about what happened to their son. They have be able to see beyond a family tragedy to recognize the systemic injustice of a system that treats being a young black male standing on a street corner with friends as probable cause. In that light the Blueford family and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition are demanding not only that the officer involved be fired and charged with murder, but also
— That OPD Chief Howard Jordan be held accountable for lying to the Blueford family.
— An end to stop-and-frisk and other police practices of racial profiling.
— The repeal of the California Police Officers’ Bill of Rights, that shields violent cops from prosecution and keeps them on the street.
Press Conference, Part II
Anyone who has read my numerous diaries on the subject should understand that the Oakland Police are a bunch of thugs, run by a bunch of thugs and overseen by a bunch of cowards; they cannot be trusted to report the truth about anything.
As Dan Siegal and Walter Riley go on to document later in the press conference
The family has gotten nothing but lies, distortions and stalling from the OPD.
The police reported that Alan had shot Officer Masso. They lied. The police reported that Alan had been taken to Highland Hospital after he was shot. They lied. The police who approached Blueford and his friends claim that they had seen Alan with either a concealed weapon or drugs — from inside a police car from a distance in the middle of the night! It seems likely to me that they lied about what they saw but the code of silence amongst police will insure that we will never know the truth.The police claim a weapon was found near Alan’s body, that Alan had pointed it at Masso and that is why the officer shot him. But in light of OPD’s record for planting evidence there is more than enough reason to suspect that this gun — of which no information other than it’s existence has been released — is a product of Masso’s comrades quick thinking rather than being in Alan’s possession before Masso gave chase.
Tanesha Blye, Blueford’s cousin, said, “Our position is that he didn’t have a gun and there’s no evidence we’ve seen to support that allegation.” — KTVU
As Dan Siegal notes, the Oakland Police, the Oakland City Council, and the Alameda County District Attorney are hoping that with enough delays subterfuge, and smears the Blueford family will give up their quest for justice. They hope that years down the road the Bluefords will agree to quietly settle a lawsuit regarding the wrongful death of a son the world has forgotten.And, let’s face it, history has so far judged these powers-that-be correct. The rage that in the past has accompanied the gunning down of the most recent victim by OPD has always dissipated. Like Gary King, Derrick Jones and multiple others before him, Alan Blueford may fade, overtaken by the next unjust killing in a cycle that leaves those in Oakland who care impotent, frozen by coverups and long-delayed reports that inevitably, ultimately, exonerate those police involved.
The Blueford family has vowed not to let this happen.
“They’re obviously playing a game here. They want this issue to go away. They figure by delaying the reports that we will then lose interest and go onto something else. That’s not going to happen,” Siegal said. — CBS San Francisco
They cannot fight City Hall, the police and the District Attorney alone, but with a determined team of lawyers, friends, people who understand that nothing will change unless action is taken, and organized Occupiers standing with them, they may just stand a chance of making a difference.
Parent Adam Blueford, Attorney Walter Riley, and niece Tanesha Blye, at the press conference.
If you are local, and would like to support this effort, come to the Justice 4 Alan Blueford BBQ and Speakout tomorrow (Saturday) beginning at 1:00 PM in Arroyo Park in East Oakland (77th & Krause). Or plan to attend the rally on Tuesday, July 31st at 5:00 PM in Oscar Grant Park.
Photo and video credits: Kossack Allie123 took the picture and filmed the videos.