Alan Blueford supporters shut down Oakland City Council

Family members demand justice before City Council, Sept. 18.
Photo: Gino Pepi, Oscar Grant Committee

Oakland, Calif. — The Justice for Alan Blueford (J4AB) campaign, angry and over a hundred strong, led by Alan’s family, forced the Oakland City Council to cancel their meeting Sept. 18. They had gone to the City Council, which hadn’t met since mid-July, to demand the police report on Alan Blueford’s killing, and that murder charges be brought against Officer Miguel Masso. The Council had previously promised to assist the family in getting to the truth about their 18-year-old son’s May 6 killing by the Oakland Police Department.

It had taken over two months to get the coroner’s report, which was finally released after the J4AB campaign held a press conference and rally in front of the coroner’s office. The report showed that there was no gunpowder on Alan’s hands and no drugs or alcohol in his blood. Now, after more than four months, the family was insisting that they would not leave the Council without the police report. Jeralynn Blueford, Alan’s mother, pleaded to the Council: “We came here in May asking for help … and this officer is at home on our tax dollars. We still don’t have a police report. The [police] story has changed so many times.”

Adam Blueford, Alan’s father, pointed out that the coroner, per the report, had moved Alan’s body at 1:25 a.m., only an hour after he was fatally shot. This indicated that they were more worried about quickly removing Alan’s body than conducting a proper investigation. Jenny, Alan’s sister, told the Council: “Look at my parents’ faces and see if they need more time for the police report. We don’t need money. … You have the power to demand the answers.”

After the family and supporters took over the meeting for an hour, the Council president, Larry Reid, declared a 10-minute recess, supposedly to wait for the appearance of Police Chief Howard Jordan and the police report.

The 10 minutes turned into 45, after which the Council tried to reconvene and move on to the next agenda item, without the promised appearance of Jordan or the report. Ironically, the first item was a declaration of an “international day of peace”!

The crowd roared, chanting “No justice! No Peace!” The J4AB supporters were determined not to allow the Council to conduct business as usual. Reid hastily adjourned the meeting, declaring the next meeting to be in two weeks!

Blueford supporters respond to OPD article

On Sept. 22, an article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, in an attempt to slander Alan Blueford. The OPD and the Council had received significant negative press after the Sept. 18 Council meeting. They used Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, Chronicle columnists often used for this type of political volleying, to present a “leaked” story from the OPD, that they supposedly now had Alan’s fingerprints on a gun, claimed to have been found 20 feet from his body.

A Sept. 23 press release issued by the J4AB campaign reads in part: “Suddenly this allegation is released, with no way of substantiating it, seemingly as revenge against the Blueford’s for demanding justice for their son. If this evidence were so clearly damning, they likely would have released it months earlier.

“‘First we want to know if it’s actually true,’ said Dan Siegel, former legal advisor to Mayor Jean Quan. The police have already lied to the press, claiming that Alan shot at Masso, which we now know is not true. Now they leak this item to the press because they think it will help their case, but we still can’t see the police report.

“This latest action by the Oakland Police Department is yet another maneuver to avoid any accountability for the actions of Officer Miguel Masso, who should have never been hired in the first place. Masso faced brutality allegations during his previous tenure at the New York Police Department, a fact which did not stop OPD from hiring him.

“It has never been explained why Masso shot himself in the foot with his own weapon, whether this was an accident that caused Masso to think he was shot or done on purpose to cover up the shooting. Additionally, Masso had absolutely no reason to stop Alan the night of May 6 in the first place.

“OPD Chief Howard Jordan claimed that Masso thought Blueford and his friends had a concealed weapon or drugs, an incredible claim as these two items look nothing alike. More likely, Masso saw a group of young African-American men on the streets of Oakland late at night and assumed they were criminals and treated them as such.

“The allegation that Alan’s fingerprints were on the gun says nothing about the events leading up to his murder. Whether he pointed the gun at Masso, or Masso even saw him holding it at all, will remain unverified until all the evidence in the case is released — something OPD has steadfastly refused to do.

“‘We still want the police report. We still want Masso fired. We still want an end to stop-and-frisk practices in Oakland,’ said Adam Blueford, Alan’s father. ‘This doesn’t change anything for us. This is just another broken promise from the police that they need to be held accountable for.’

“The Bluefords and their supporters will be attending the October 2 meeting of the Oakland City Council to once again demand justice for their son. For more info:”

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