Category Archives: article

‘Justice 4 Alan Blueford’ campaign gears up

Originally posted at Workers.org

by Terriy Kay

Oakland, Calif. – The “Justice 4 Alan Blueford” campaign went into high gear during mid-July, culminating in the family receiving the coroner’s report, after two months of stalling, and the filing of a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit. The campaign also held a large coalition meeting, broadening the support base.

Blueford was just 18 years old when he was killed by Officer Miguel Masso of the Oakland Police Department on May 6. A Black youth, Blueford was a month away from graduating from Oakland’s Skyline High School when he became the victim of a random OPD stop and frisk, and was detained without cause with two of his friends. The OPD has changed its stories several times about why they stopped the three Black youths, how Masso was shot (Masso later admitted shooting himself), how Blueford was shot, and any medical care Blueford did or didn’t receive.

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Alan Blueford Would Have Graduated High School in June

 

By Dady Chery
Haiti Chery

Alan_BluefordEighteen-year old high-school senior and Oakland resident Alan Blueford was shot to death by police on May 6 under curious circumstances. The policeman who killed Blueford was also shot, but the origin of this officer’s wounds, his type of injury, and even his name were initially shielded by the California Police Officers’ Bill of Rights as numerous versions of the incident were disseminated from the police to the press.

According to Alan’s father Adam Blueford:

“When they told me my son had exchanged gunfire, I knew it wasn’t Alan they were talking about…. I’ve heard so many stories since then that I couldn’t believe and now I want the truth.”

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“I Am The Mother of Murder Victim Alan Blueford.”

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.

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Justice For Alan Blueford: The Ongoing Struggle Against Police Violence in Oakland

by Mike King

Originally posted at CounterPunch.org

The killing of unarmed high school Senior Alan Blueford on May 6th by Oakland Police officer Miguel Masso is both unthinkable and commonplace.  When the unthinkable becomes commonplace, any decent society, any society trying to imagine or portray itself as a democracy, is forced to ask some hard questions – some questions that necessitate interrogating the nature of modern policing in American cities.

Just after midnight on that Saturday night, Alan and two of his friends were waiting for some girls to pick them up on 90th Ave., in East Oakland, after the Floyd Mayweather fight.  Not long after he had phoned his parents to check-in with them, a car slowly pulled up to them with its lights off.  Alan ran.  One officer gave chase.  A few blocks later Alan was shot by officer Masso.  Masso also shot himself in the foot.  Over a dozen witnesses all said that Alan had no weapon and posed no threat to the officer.

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The police won’t tell us the truth

Originally posted at SocialistWorker.org

Jeralynn and Adam Blueford (at left and right) onstage at a Bay Area meeting against police violence (WeAreMany.org)In the weeks since Alan Blueford was gunned down by Oakland police at around midnight on May 6, a movement has been building to win justice for him and his family. Despite the silence of City Hall, the media’s character assassination of Alan and the police department’s constantly changing narrative of what happened and its unwillingness to disclose information about the officer who pulled the trigger, Alan’s parents, Jeralynn and Adam Blueford, and other relatives have bravely stepped forward to speak out.

In the week following his death, Alan’s family held a vigil to bring attention to the killing. The next day, they led a 100-strong march to a police sub-station close to the crime scene. On May 15, the Blueford family confronted the Oakland City Council during its public meeting–supporters flooded the council chambers and others filled the rotunda.

When it was announced that Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan would come to Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ, the Blueford family’s place of worship, to address the community’s concerns about the case, a contingent of the family’s supporters organized to confront Jordan. At the family’s urging, the group planned a silent action, in which some 50 demonstrators, along with church members, turned their backs on Jordan when he spoke and raised their fists when he told lies to the audience. When protesters and congregants began chanting, Jordan left, and the demonstrators followed him out for a spirited rally aimed at shaming the departing police chief.

Since these actions, Alan’s family and their supporters have continued building awareness. On Saturday, June 9, an audience of almost 100 people heard members of the Blueford family speak at a panel event titled “From Police Brutality to Hate Crimes: How Can We Win Justice?”Also speaking was Talishia Massey, the sister of Brandi Martell, a transgender woman of color murdered in front of her friends in Oakland. Other families of victims of police brutality and hate crimes were present to show their support, including relatives of Kenneth Harding Jr. and Oscar Grant III.

On June 15, Alan’s parents were invited to attend the graduation ceremony of Skyline High School, where Alan was to receive his diploma. Jeralynn and Adam received an honorary diploma for Alan’s accomplishments–and a standing ovation from students, parents, teachers, staff and administrators. A few weeks later, the two were featured speakers at a panel discussion on police violence at Socialism 2012 in Chicago.

Here, Jeralynn and Adam Blueford speak to Adam Balogh and Francois Hughes about the loss of their son, their efforts to get answers from police and city officials, and the struggle they and other families face to win justice.

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