Friday, April 18, 2013
CONTACT: (805) 238-4763
HISTORIC STATEWIDE CIVIL RIGHTS CONFERENCE TO TAKE PLACE IN OXNARD, CALIFORNIA APRIL 27, 2013
Justice for Our Communities! Families Organizing to Resist Police Brutality and Abuse
Dozens of community organizations and several families that have lost their loved ones to extra-judicial killings by police are set to meet at “Justice for Our Communities! Families Organizing to Resist Police Brutality and Abuse”, a statewide conference that will be held Saturday April 27, 2013 at Oxnard Community College, 4000 South Rose Avenue, from 9am – 5pm. This groundbreaking civil rights conference will consist of several keynote addresses, workshops, and educational/legal panel discussions, as well as a discussion and special session for police brutality victims and their families.
Speakers will include the survivors and relatives of deceased victims of extra-judicial killings such as Robert Ramirez (Oxnard), Oscar Grant (Oakland), Kelly Thomas (Fullerton), Manuel Diaz (Anaheim), Michael Nida (Downey), Jose de la Trinidad (Inglewood), Ernest Dueñez (Manteca), and Andy Avila (Pomona), among many others.
This conference is a component in the ongoing grassroots community resistance that has been spurred on across the state in response to a soaring rise in police militarization, brutality, and officer-committed abuse in working class neighborhoods and communities of color. This conference will create an opportunity for the planning, coordination, and organization of statewide events and actions to address and bring an end to these injustices.
The Honorable Cruz Reynoso, the first Chicano Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and professor emeritus of law at UC Davis, will deliver a keynote address on the civil responsibilities and rights which citizens and residents enjoy in our state and country, civic engagement to better our communities, and his ongoing involvement in fighting for justice for victims of police violence in the Yolo County/Sacramento area.
Click here to read a letter from the Hon. Cruz Reynoso accepting the invitation to Justice for Our Communities! Families Organizing to Resist Police Brutality and Abuse: http://tinyurl.com/ReynosoOxCityConf
Other keynote speakers include former LAPD Ramparts Division officer Alex M. Salazar, who will address the increase in police killings, the impacts of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst officers, and the racism engrained in the culture of police agencies. Los Angeles-based independent journalist and author Thandisizwe Chimurenga will also speak about the permanent bias in media outlets in their coverage of extra-judicial killings, and the role independent community journalism can play in reshaping the narrative and allowing the pleas of victims’ families to be heard. Minister Keith Mohammad of the Nation of Islam, a key leader in the fight for justice by the family of Oscar Grant (killed in 2009 by BART police in Oakland), will also be speaking at the conference.
The conference is being hosted by Oxnard College MEChA. It is being organized by the Oxnard-based Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective (www.todopoderalpueblo.org) in alliance with sponsoring and endorsing organizations including Chicanos Unidos, Decolonize Oakland, the KEYS Youth Leadership Academy, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement AFL-CIO (Sacramento), LULAC Downtown Oxnard Council 3128, National Brown Berets, Nida’s Ridaz, Occupy the Hood (Los Angeles), the Oscar Grant Foundation, People’s Community Medics, Stop LAPD Spying, Unión del Barrio, and many more.
Conference attendees are encouraged to pre-register at: tinyurl.com/oxcityconf
PARTICIPATING AND ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS:
30+300 (Santa Barbara)
50/50 Crew (San Jose)
Chicano Mexicano Prison Project
Chicanos Unidos (Anaheim/Orange County)
Colectivo Todo Poder al Pueblo (Oxnard)
CopWatch (Santa Ana, San Fernando Valley)
Fresno Autonomous Brown Berets
Kelly’s Army (Fullerton)
KEYS Youth Leadership (Oxnard)
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement AFL-CIO Sacramento
National Brown Berets Santa Paula
Nida’s Ridaz (Downey/LA)
Occupy the Hood Los Angeles
Oscar Grant Committee (Oakland)
The Oscar Grant Foundation
Oxnard College Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA)
Peoples Community Medics (Oakland)
P.O.D.E.R. (People Organizing for the Defense and Equal Rights ) Santa Barbara County
Grief takes many forms. When young Alan Blueford was murdered by Miguel Masso in May 2012, his family, stunned by their loss, tried valiantly to follow protocol, politely asking for answers from what they would learn the hard way is one of, if not the most corrupt and violent police organizations in the country. Initial rallies, marches, and protests in reaction to this killing were tamed by pleas from the family to respect the prescribed process. Unfortunately the family learned the hard way, but in record time, about the corruption at city hall and especially within the Oakland Police organization. By now their grief is manifest in fury, and they have joined the ranks of many who have known for decades that we are governed by a process which, by definition, allows for and even actively supports the dissemination of lies and misinformation to protect police from being held accountable for their actions. While we struggle for justice, push and yell for answers, Miguel Masso is on paid vacation for having murdered Alan Blueford. They’re calling it ‘medical leave,’ as he shot himself in the foot during the shooting of young Alan.
Blueford family members are suspicious that Officer Masso shot Alan in anger over having accidentally shot himself. Others are suspicious that Masso, in fact, shot himself after shooting Alan Blueford, in order to create a scenario that would excuse the murder he had just committed.
Last night at city hall, the house was packed with people come together once again to demand the truth, and demand the city hold OPD responsible for not only the heinous crime of murder, but the additional infuriating crime of lying to the public, and lying directly to Alan’s family. In the first hours after young Alan, a high school student about to graduate, was shot by Masso, the machine went into overdrive, directly informing the corporate press that Alan had shot Masso. They also claimed Alan Blueford had been brought to Highland Hospital for treatment of gunshot injuries. Never since that terrible day has the city made a public apology for having lied about that and all other details of this shooting. Evidence shows that Alan never fired a shot. Witnesses also claim he never was in possession of a weapon. The autopsy revealed that Alan Blueford had to have been lying on the ground when he was shot by Masso.
During heartfelt pleas with city officials, Jeralynn Blueford called out the city and OPD for reporting the lie that Alan had been brought to Highland Hospital for treatment immediately after the shooting. He had, they said, never been brought to Highland at all. Records at Highland Hospital show that Alan was never brought there.
At some point in the proceedings, council president and all around arrogant tool Larry Reid stood up out of his chair, walked two seats over, and began engaging in conversation with the reviled city administrator Deanna Santana WHILE A MEMBER OF ALAN’S FAMILY WAS SPEAKING. When an attendee at the meeting called both of them out on this unbelievably disrespectful and inappropriate behavior, Reid offered to have the attendee removed from the building. Of course that was a laughable threat, as the nearly two hundred other attendees wouldn’t have allowed for such implementation of police state activity, and the protestor took the moment to inform mister Reid of the likelihood of a rumble should he choose to attempt to follow through on that threat.
Eventually, Reid called for a ten minute recess to give themselves time to request the presence of the chief of police. That ten minutes became twenty, then thirty, during which time the angry crowd loudly chanted for justice for Alan Blueford, for killer cops to be jailed, and for OPD to be held accountable. Councilmembers gave the impression they were awaiting the arrival of Coward Jordan.
When councilmembers took their seats, Ignacio de la Fuente claimed that Larry Reid was ‘outside speaking with the family.’ This blatant lie was instantly and loudly called out by many in attendance, as the family was sitting in the same seats they had occupied throughout the meeting. One person called out, ‘don’t you recognize them?’
The next order of business was so out of place in the context of the problem at hand, that the crowded room erupted in outrage the moment it was announced. Item 4.2, titled ‘International City Of Peace Declaration‘ was a slap in the face to a community of people who have been literally under the gun of a police state for decades. More recently, the truth of that description of Oakland as a police state has been documented with the illegal actions taken by OPD and the Department of Homeland Security against protestors involved with Occupy Oakland.
At about 7:30pm, Larry Reid declared ‘all right, this meeting is now adjourned for two weeks.’ The response was overwhelming disgust and anger from the crowd, vowing to return with yet another chant : ‘we’ll be back.’ As Reid departed the dais and headed for the private chambers.
Where was Coward Jordan last night? After demands were made for him to appear and explain why the family of murdered teen Alan Blueford has yet to receive even the police report from the night he was shot and killed by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso, Jordan never appeared. When Larry Reid ran off to hide in council’s private chambers, Jordan was spotted hiding in that back room. Since nobody saw him enter, it seems he had been there quite awhile, yet never coming to face the crowd of legitimately angry people. Hence the name Coward.
Jordan earned this name long ago, when he abruptly ended a meeting at First Acts Church in which he was supposed to be informing the Blueford family the truth about the senseless police shooting of their son. At that town hall meeting, Jordan continued manipulating the delivery of information, each new rendition of the story hanging on to the invented concept that Alan Blueford somehow deserved to be murdered by police. After having shown enormous disrespect to the community that day, the people in attendance held an impromptu rally on church grounds as Jordan and his body guards, including Chris Bolton, left the premises. OPD then arrested a protestor after he left church property, for supposedly having assaulted a police officer by yelling through a megaphone. As is their normal procedure, they held this young man for the maximum number of hours possible in the notoriously abusive Santa Rita jail, then released him without charges. He had committed no crime.
This is a story about community. The loss of another young, black son is driving the community together. The people of Oakland seem to finally be ready to forego prescribed diplomacy in favor of getting results. Last night’s meeting was an exercise in getting results. If the disruption of routine city business last night is any indicator, and the city will not deliver justice for Alan Blueford, the people of Oakland will be taking justice for Alan.
Alan DeWayne Blueford, born December 20,was an 18 year old Senior at Skyline High School, preparing to graduate in June. He was the youngest son of Adam Blueford, Sr. and Jeralynn Brown Blueford.
During the early morning hours of May 6, 2012 Alan was murdered by an officer [Miguel Masso] with Oakland Police Department. His family is now seeking justice for his death.
Here is what we know:
At or about midnight, May 6, 2012, Alan and 2 friends were standing on the corner of 90 th and Birch Street waiting for “some girls in a white chevy,” Alan described to his father, Alan Blueford, during a phone call. After the phone call, police officers approached Alan and his friends with guns drawn. The police officers had been called to respond to another incident, but decided to stop Alan and his friends when they saw them because they “believed the young men had a concealed weapon.”
Alan ran down Birch Street, away from the police officers.
Approximately two blocks down Birch Street on the 9200 Block the officer chasing Alan murdered him by shooting him 3 times. The officer also shot himself.
Although, Alan had his brown wallet with his ID, Oakland Police Department never called to tell his parents he was shot and killed.
Alan’s two friends were detained for over 6 hours. After their release, one of the young men had the traumatic task of calling Alan’s parents and telling them Alan was shot and killed by an Oakland Police Officer.
Initial reports put out by OPD, stated that “a suspect” (Alan) and a police officer exchanged gun fire and the officer was shot in the stomach by the suspect and the suspect was shot by the officer. Both were said to have been rushed to Highland Hospital where Alan died and the police officer was expected to recover. OPD also included in their reports witness statements who said they saw Alan shooting. OPD reported that they retrieved Alan’s firearm at the scene.
Later OPD changed their story to state that the officer was shot in the leg and an investigation was in process to determine whether the officer was wounded by “friendly fire.”
Only one of the officers chased Alan.
What we now know is that Alan Blueford never shot the police officer, at the police officer, or anyone else. OPD changed their story yet again, admitting and confirming that THE OFFICER SHOT HIMSELF.
We also know that Alan was never rushed to Highland Hospital. Only the police officer. Alan’s body lay in the streets for approximately 4 hours.
Alan was shot multiple times by the police officer.
The family has reason to believe that Alan never had a firearm.
The family has reason to believe that Alan never caused the officer to be threatened. Alan’s body can be described as a shorter stature (approximately 5 ft 6 ½ inches) and thin built (140 lbs).
When Alan’s family learned of the claimed circumstances surrounding Alan’s death, we all knew that the facts were not true! Additionally, because they never called to confirm his death, we were sadly left with hope that the unnamed “suspect” was not Alan. He was joy to many people. We are suffering from a great loss.
Now OPD claims that the “victim” (no longer suspect) was a convicted felon on probation. His family will simply respond by saying felony probation does not describe Alan’s character. To describe Alan, you have to share that he 1] was a Christian; 2] worked with the disabled children at Skyline, one of whom described “Al” as his “bestfriend”; 3] began his mornings at Skyline High School by praying with his Godmother and Supervisor; 4] passed out candy at his
grandmother’s every Halloween; and 5] was well known by his family and friends as a respectful young man. But even more important is the fact that when the police officers decided not to respond to the call, but rather to bother Alan and his friends, all they knew is that they were 3 African-American young men. That’s why Alan was murdered.
Alan’s family is seeking justice for his death. We are determined to have this “incident” thoroughly investigated and all wrongful parties prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We ask that all of you support us by calling the City Councilman for District 7, Larry Reid, at 510-238-7007.
As we embark upon this long journey, we rely on the Grace and Mercy of our Father God, through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. We find peace in scripture, specifically Genesis 50:20 (NIV) “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant if for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Friday, May 11, 2012 at 5pm – VIGIL
Oakland Police Department, located at 455 7th Street, Oakland, CA 94607.
Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 3pm – March for Justice for Alan Blueford
Beginning: 9200 Birch Street, Oakland, CA
Ending: Eastmont Mall Police Sub-Station, located at 2652 73rd Avenue, Oakland, CA.