On Thursday, May 16th, the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition held a press conference on Oakland’s City Hall steps, demanding accountability from OPD and the firing of Miguel Masso, the officer who shot and killed Alan Blueford.
In the previous two weeks, Oakland’s police department has been shaken up (not just stirred). Reports scathingly critical of OPD’s management were released by Thomas Frazier, newly appointed Federal Compliance Director of the Oakland Police, and Wasserman Consulting, hired by the city to suggest improvements in OPD’s methodologies. The Police Chief, Howard Jordan, resigned (went on ‘medical leave’) immediately. His deputy, Anthony Toribio, elevated to Chief, stepped down two days later, replaced by Sean Whent. Additional major changes in OPD’s top command structure were announced at the same time.
In light of this renewed spotlight on OPD’s practices, Adam and Jeralyn Blueford, parents of Alan, came to City Hall and spoke out forcefully Thursday afternoon, demanding justice for their son, an end to the coverup and the lies that composed the so-called “investigation” into Alan’s death, and demanded new investigations leading to the firing and prosecution of Masso.
Jeralyn Blueford speaks of justice, beginning at 00:05 in this video clip from the press conference
I want justice for my baby, Alan Duane Blueford. I don’t have no peace. Where’s there no justice, there’s no peace. Don’t think you have any peace. City officials, do the right thing, fire Miguel Masso. Do not let this poison continue to spew throughout this community… We stand, we fight, and we will get justice. Justice for Ramarley Graham, Justice for Alan Blueford. Justice for all the families that have experienced this… justice for all.
At 02:01, emcee and J4AB Coalition member Mollie Costello tells it like it is in Oakland:
“The primary problem with OPD was lack of proper management and… accountability.” This is from the Federal Compliance Director. “We need more accountability. We have a lack of proper management.” And a secondary problem, the total lack of officers calling out misconduct on the part of their colleagues.
I can’t tell you how many people tell me “But all cops aren’t bad. They have a hard job to do. They’re out there, they have dangers… I wouldn’t want to be a police officer out there in Oakland.”
Well, you know what, when there are people like Miguel Masso out there murdering young men like Alan Blueford for no other reason than the color of his skin… when people like Miguel Masso feel privileged to do that and nobody around him were going to stand up, none of his officers are going to stand up and say what’s up, then there is a problem with the whole department.
That’s right. The whole damned system is guilty.
After the press conference the Bluefords and J4AB Coalition members went inside City Hall and up to the Mayor’s office on the 3rd floor to present a petition with over 1800 signatures – along with resolutions from four labor unions and two Labor Union Councils, Alameda and San Francisco. These all together represent over 100,000 workers, and each resolution demands the firing and prosecution of Miguel Masso and the elimination of racist Oakland police practices such as ‘Stop & Frisk.’
The Mayor, of course “was not in her office.” Her Communications Director took the packet – petitions, resolutions, and analysis of the District Attorney’s whitewash investigation into Alan’s murder. Below, we see him speaking with Adam and Jeralyn Blueford.
Jean Quan is incapable of getting a pothole fixed, let alone bringing justice to the City of Oakland. Nonetheless it is good to remind the politicos now and again that the people they fail to serve aren’t going away.
Alan Blueford didn’t have to die!
Videos by Ingrid.
Photos by Alyssa.