In an Oct. 3 letter written to Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced her findings that “the evidence does not justify criminal charges against Oakland Police Officer Masso.” Masso is the Oakland Police Department officer who killed 18-year-old Alan Blueford, an African American, on May 6, just before he was scheduled to graduate from Skyline High School.
The shoddy DA report, published online at tinyurl.com/cvb7j23, fails to question many disturbing aspects of the case, including why Alan and his friends were stopped in the first place. The police report was finally released to the Blueford family at the Oakland City Council meeting on Oct. 2, after months of demands for its release. In it, the excuse for stopping the youths comes down to loose baggy pants and one of the young men reaching to his hip “as if to check for a weapon” — or could it have been to pull up his pants, as Alan’s mother, Jeralynn Blueford, said her son frequently did.
In the DA report, Officer Masso’s statement that he fired at Alan while Alan was standing is taken for fact, but according to the Oakland Police report, 11 out of 12 witnesses said that Officer Masso first fired at Alan when he was lying on the ground. This important discrepancy isn’t even mentioned in the DA’s report.
As a matter of fact, the angle of bullets, as reported in the coroner’s report, also only released after months of demands, has strong indications that Alan was already lying on the ground when he was shot. The claim, which the DA supports, that Masso was in fear for his or others’ lives is not substantiated by the facts. The DA’s report also makes no attempt to rationalize the scatter of shell casings and the report that a gun was found 20 feet from his body.
There are clearly enough unanswered questions to demonstrate that the DA had no intent to conduct a fair and impartial investigation. The Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition will be holding a press conference this week. J4AB is considering the possibility of asking for investigations by the California Attorney General, the United States Attorney and the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
In addition, as a community response to the widespread practice of racial profiling, which targeted Alan Blueford and his friends in the first place, J4AB is organizing a Bay Area Families March Against Racial Profiling on Saturday, Nov. 10, beginning at noon at 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland to bring together families of victims of police brutality and murder as a call to end the racial profiling which criminalizes Black and Brown men.