Protesters demand videotapes of police killing

oakland2_0423A large crowd gathered in Oakland, Calif., on April 12 at the site where ­Yuvette Henderson was killed. They were called here by Henderson’s family and the Anti Police-­Terror Project.

Henderson was shot on Feb. 3 by Emeryville police, who fired military AR-15s and other weapons at her as she tried to run from a Home Depot store in Emeryville where a security guard had accused her of shoplifting. Family and supporters held a vigil in front of the Extra Space Storage ­facility in Oakland where she died.

Henderson’s brother and sister both spoke at the vigil, as well as Dionne Smith, mother of 16-year-old James Rivera Jr., who was killed by police in Stockton, Calif., in 2010. A letter demanding the release of the videotapes of Henderson’s killing was left at the storage building’s door, as the facility had locked up in ­anticipation of the vigil.

Protesters in cars and on bikes then caravanned to the Home Depot, a few blocks away, to demand the release of videotapes there. When the caravan of about 30 cars and as many bikes pulled up in front of the store, the manager locked down the entrances with steel doors, keeping both customers and employees inside.

Protesters rallied there for a short time, pushing the letter with their demands through a space in the door. They posted a blown-up version of the letter on a Home Depot sign outside the entrance.

The caravan then headed to the Oakland Police Department headquarters. The OPD is responsible for investigating the shooting. The activists had another letter for the OPD, demanding that the tapes be released and the police report. When the caravan was one block from the headquarters, a line of police blocked Broadway. Demonstrators got out of their cars and off their bikes and rallied in front of the police line. The demand letter was handed to one of the commanding officers.

Jeralynn Blueford, mother of 18-year-old Alan Blueford who was killed by Oakland police in 2012, addressed the crowd. Cat Brooks and Mollie Costello also spoke from the Anti Police-Terror Project.

The APTP is planning a campaign against the use of military weapons by local police departments, starting with the Emeryville police.