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Police kill another Black youth

Published May 19, 2012 10:26 AM

Protesters rally outside Oakland police station.
WW photo: Terri Kay

Alan Blueford, an 18-year-old Black youth, was shot and killed by the Oakland Police Department in East Oakland on May 6. He and two friends were waiting for some young women on a corner at 90th and Birch. OPD cops approached them with guns drawn for no justifiable reason. Their apparent “crime” was being Black young men on a corner.

Blueford ran for two blocks, after which he was shot three times by one of the cops. The cop originally claimed Blueford had shot him in the stomach, but the latest OPD report said that the cop actually shot himself in the foot. In other words, all shots fired were from the officer’s own gun. The shooting officer has yet to be identified.

Blueford, who was preparing to graduate from Skyline High School, was left lying in the street for more than four hours. The injured cop, on the other hand, was rushed to the hospital for his self-inflicted wound. The other two Black youth were held for questioning for six hours and then released.

It wasn’t until Blueford’s friends were released and able to call that Blue­ford’s parents learned their son had been killed. Blueford’s father, Adam ­Blueford, had been on the phone with him shortly before the incident. The family rushed to the police station only to have to wait another two hours before their son’s identity and status were confirmed.

The media are trying to blame the victim after the fact, simply because he was on juvenile felony probation. The cops had actually been called to respond to another incident, but stopped to hassle the three young Black men instead.

Community rallies against OPD

Blueford’s family and friends organized a vigil for the slain youth on May 11 in front of the OPD headquarters in downtown Oakland. More than 100 people gathered to show their sympathy for the family and their anger at yet another outrageous murder by the OPD.

Both of his parents, his cousin and other friends spoke in Blueford’s memory and talked about their determination to get justice for their loved one. Other speakers included Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant’s “Uncle Bobby,” and M.C. Hammer, a close friend of the Bluefords. Diop Olugbala, from the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement, also spoke. The day before Blueford’s killing, that group had held a march and trial for Black justice and reparations in the East Oakland neighborhood where Blueford was killed.

The vigil was followed by a march and rally on May 12, starting at the street corner where Blueford was killed and ending with a rally at the Eastmont Mall Police substation. Several hundred people from the Black community, Occupy Oakland and other activists marched and rallied in protest, demanding justice for Blueford. Chants included, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” “OPD you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” and “Jail the killer cops now!”

The family is planning to confront the Oakland City Council at its next meeting on May 15 at Oakland City Hall. They will demand a full report be released, including the name of the cop who killed Alan Blue­ford; they also plan to demand a full investigation into the killing. They are calling on the community to be there in support and to occupy the City Council.