Oakland, Calif. — Workers World interviewed Jeralynn Blueford, mother of Alan Blueford, on Dec. 13, a year and a half after young Alan was killed by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso. Now Blueford and her spouse Adam are coping with the approach of Alan’s birthday and another holiday season without him.
Jeralynn Blueford: Coming up on the holidays, and Alan’s birthday is five days before Christmas, it’s double the pain. A year and a half later, it doesn’t get any easier. But with that being said, the fight continues.
Workers World: What are you focused on now?
JB: We’re working on the campaign to get [California State Attorney General] Kamala Harris to recognize the importance of reopening this case. Since Alan’s death, there are still police shootings. Police brutality is continuing to go on, especially if they turn a blind eye and don’t investigate officer-involved shootings.
WW: Didn’t Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley do an investigation?
JB: If you want to call it that; it’s not like they investigate. They just sign off, even when there’s solid evidence that shows unjustified shooting. When you have over 2,000 signatures of people who live in the community who agree that the case should be reopened, it shows that the community is not so happy with O’Malley’s investigation. [The district attorney’s office] should be concerned as to why people are being shot. Yes, this is why we’re taking it to Kamala Harris.
WW: Are other families also making demands on Harris to investigate? The Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition (justice4alanblueford.org) wrote a letter to Harris, asking that she investigate the killing of Alan Blueford by Officer Masso. It was presented to her office during the statewide demonstration against police killings in Sacramento on Oct. 22. All the families dropped roses for their loved ones into a coffin in front of Harris’ office, which was a stop on the march route.
JB: I would imagine that other families will join the demand that Kamala Harris investigate the unjust shootings. [The cops] should be tried and convicted all the same. AG Kamala Harris has since refused to reopen the investigation.
It’s really difficult as a family, and I imagine for the other families, during this time of year, [especially] with Alan’s birthday being Dec. 20. … He was a person whose job was to serve, working in the cafeteria, serving food; he had a giving heart.
One of the tools we’re using during this holiday season is to help heal the community. One of the things we’re doing is a toy drive and canned food drive, with all the proceeds to be donated to the Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation. They’re going to be giving away bags of food and toys for the holidays to families in need. [Mother Wright] did a lot of work in the Oakland community, and it’s a way to honor her years of service, as well as Alan.
We’re getting a very good response. A lot of people are touched by Alan’s story and his untimely death and his work at his former school. A lot of people stop by the Alan Blueford Center for Justice on 1st Fridays [a monthly street fair on Telegraph Avenue where ABC4J is located] and tell stories of having worked with him. [His] story has touched a lot of peoples’ lives, so people are giving. A lot of people are supporting us because they want us and the community to heal. That’s why it’s really important. If you want to make a donation, drop it off at 2434 Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94601 between the hours of 12 noon and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, go to facebook.com/ABC4JUSTICE.
For new evidence that wasn’t considered in the original district attorney investigation, see the article “New revelations challenge non-prosecution of cop who killed Alan Blueford” at workers.org.