Justice For Alan Blueford: The Fight Continues
For those who may be unfamiliar, Alan Blueford is a young man who was shot and killed by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso, on May 6th, 2012. Officer Masso maintained that when he attempted to stop Alan, he ran, and then shot at him, which caused Masso to shoot Alan. It has now been determined that Alan in fact, never fired a gun, that Officer Masso lied, and actually shot himself in the foot. Though a gun was found a distance away from Alan, multiple witnesses at the scene claimed they never saw Alan with a gun in his hand.
This information was largely ignored in the witness statements found in the police report (which took months of The Blueford’s fighting with OPD, Oakland City Council, and the DA to get a copy). For background information into Alan’s story, and his family’s struggle for justice, please watch this short film: I Didn’t Do Anything- The Fight For Alan Blueford.
On March 5th, 2013, the Justice For Alan Blueford Coalition along with Oakland community members, held a rally at the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. The idea for this rally was to call upon California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, and the Alameda County DA office to:
- PRESS CHARGES AGAINST OPD OFFICER MIGUEL MASSO FOR THE MURDER OF ALAN BLUEFORD due to the flawed and biased investigation carried out by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley which intentionally ignored clear evidence of a homicide and cover-up by the Oakland Police Department.
REOPEN ALL CASES OF OFFICER-INVOLVED KILLINGS FROM THE RIDERS CASE IN 2003 TO THE PRESENT, due to the pattern of flawed and biased investigations which has shown an unprincipled relationship, lacking objectivity, between the D.A.’s office and the Oakland Police Department, which continues to lead to Oakland Police Officers being unjustly cleared and immune from criminal charges for brutality and murder.
CREATE A STRATEGY AND POLICY TO END THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES, stop the militarized Oakland Police Department from terrorizing Black and Brown Communities, and allow the Black and Brown Communities of Oakland to exercise their right to political, social, and economic Self-Determination.
Prior to the speakers starting outside, a number of J4AB members peacefully assembled inside the courthouse to read a letter to Attorney General, Kamala Harris. Turns out, peacefully assembling and reading a letter to the Attorney General demanding justice for a young man shot and killed by OPD is not taken to kindly by the Alameda County Sheriffs. Here is a first hand account of what happened, from J4AB Coalition member Mollie Costello, who was roughed up multiple times by AC Sheriff B. McBride (among others). Video evidence and photos follow the account.
At 3:01pm on 3/5/13 several JAB comrades peacefully assembled in the hallway outside of the DA’s office at the Alameda Co Courthouse in Oakland, CA. While the assembled group was still all standing, one person began reading a letter JAB had written to Attorney General Kamala Harris. After only about a minute, maybe 2min, several Alameda Co Sheriffs showed up in the elevator directly next to the peaceful protest. At this point the group started chanting “Masso, Masso, you can’t hide, we charge you with homicide!” When the sheriffs moved in closer to our group, we sat down and continued chanting.
We were not planning on resisting arrest so when the sheriffs started pulling people to their feet, the 1st people pulled up thought they were being arrested and readily got to their feet only to then be shoved thru a doorway leading to a narrow stairway with no words used as far as I saw, just brute force. In the chaos that was happening, I thought I was being arrested and I threw my camera at one of our legal observers hoping he’d keep it going…this plan of me throwing my camera was not communicated, the legal observer did not keep it going. This was a HUGE tactical error on my part. I really needed my camera in the stairway and during our whole forceful eviction from the courthouse.
BTW, me remembering that I threw my camera at the legal observer explains where my ‘missing’ Ustream footage is from inside the courthouse, the footage I have is all I have from inside, there is NO missing footage, unfortunately. The hope now is that others have some footage from inside…..
To continue, once the Sheriffs forcefully got all of us into the stairway it was utter chaos for a few moments (or minutes?). I was one of the last protesters forced into the hallway. One of the sheriffs had a very painful hold on my left arm, I am fairly certain it was Officer McBride–the owner of the fat hand you see at the end of my video. I asked whoever was holding me so tightly and shoving me around if I was being placed under arrest. The answer I got was a very hard shove down the stairs from the very top of the staircase. JB said he witnessed the hard shove. JS had a camera the stairway, don’t know if it was pointed at me. I would have fallen all the down the stairs if another sheriff hadn’t caught me. A sheriff literally reached out and caught me, as far as I could tell.
At this point, we once again all sit down on the stairs and start chanting, or continue chanting, I don’t remember. Our plan was never to resist arrest so when the sheriffs started to remove people sitting in the stairway, our people got up and peacefully went along as far as I could see. I was at the very top of the staircase and they were removing people from the bottom 1st so I got to see everyone be taken away, I did not witness any resistance on our part, I do not know how tightly the cops held on to or how hard they shoved my comrades as they removed them from the stairway.
I know for a fact it was officer McBride who personally escorted me off the staircase. He grabbed my left arm again and was pushing me very hard and fast down the stairs. At one point I saw a sheriff coming up the stairs I was being pushed down, I tried to move closer to my side of the stairway as I passed the other sheriff coming up the stairs, but right as I passed the other sheriff, McBride gave me a really hard shove right into him. I said out loud “hey, you just pushed me into that guy”, and McBride says all sarcastically “oh yeah, I pushed you”. I was so sure they were going to try to arrest me for assaulting the other sheriff. As I am telling this story, I realize that I was the last protester taken out of the 2nd floor stairway as well as out of the building. I didn’t have any comrades watching my back and they knew it. This is why I am so sore today I feel like I was in a car accident, they shoved me and twisted my arm extra hard because they knew no one was behind me.
My repeated question from before the moment I was shoved into the stairway on the 2nd floor to when they pushed me out the front door was “Am I being placed under arrest?” to which my repeated answer was to be pushed, shoved, or have my arm twisted harder. My repeated statement while being forcefully removed from the courthouse was “please stop hurting me, I will cooperate, just please tell me if I am being placed under arrest”. Which made McBride hurt me even more.
And you have the rest of the story on video….”
Live Stream Video Archives, March 5, 2013:
- J4AB members reading letter to Attorney General inside
- AC Sheriffs push demonstrators down stairs (outside) angle 1
- AC Sheriffs push J4AB coalition down stairs (outside) angle 2
- Mollie shows bruises to Sheriffs
Additional footage, March 5, 2013:
- Alameda Sheriffs forceful grabbing and pushing peaceful protesters (outside)
- Raheim Brown’s Brother Speaks
- Alan Blueford’s Parents demanding prosecution of OPD Officer Miguel Masso
- Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition at the Superior Court of California County of Alameda
- Mario Romero’s Mother and Sister supporting Justice 4 Alan Blueford
- Dan Siegal (attorney) speaks out
Photos, March 5, 2013:
- Justice for Alan Blueford Rally via dakini on Flickr
- Rally to Demand Prosecution of OPD Officer Miguel Masso
Mollie Costello, OccupyTheMob and somebody (knows who they are) contributed to the content of this piece. If anyone has footage of the sheriffs getting violent INSIDE the courthouse, please email me at email@example.com and I will update the post. Thank you.
While I was putting this piece together, there was an announcement made that Ghetto Prophet (GP), Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol today (March 7, 2013). It is believed to be a political attack as stated in the announcement here:
PLEASE SPREAD WIDELY:
Today, Comrade Ghetto Prophet (GP), Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. The pigs claim he is in violation of his parole. The problem with that is, GP has been OFF OF PAROLE SINCE AUGUST OF 2012. And at no point since August has the state called him, sent him mail or shown up at his door to let him know he failed to report (WHICH ACCORDING TO THE PAROLE OFFICE IS MANDATORY AND COMMON PRACTICE BEFORE AN ARREST WARRANT CAN BE SERVED)
We believe this is a political attack. On Tuesday, GP participated in the JAB Coalition rally at the Alameda County Courthouse. He had at least two verbal altercations with the pigs and gave a firey speech condemning them. Couple that with the fact that it is public knowledge that ONYX is launching strategic and sustainable campaign against police brutality. Door knocking was to commence the first Saturday in April. This information is all over the internet and we are one of three hosts for the town hall on the OUSD PD scandal tomorrow night at Uptown Studios where we will announce the campaign. We were also part of the coalition that released the transcript and subsequent analysis about the OUSD PD scandal.
What better time to hit an organization than when they are organized and initiating the on-the-ground work of engaging the people in the struggle against the police repression.
In addition to the campaign against police brutality – our literacy program launches on April 3rd and we are well engaged in our healthy images campaign and of course continue feeding the people.
When the state feels threatened, it strikes. Given his penchant for leadership and his past record, Comrade GP would be viewed as and important (and easy) member of our organization to attack.
We assume the state believes that we will now have to drop our work for the people and deal with this organizational crisis. They have severely underestimated us, our comrades and our coalitions. We will continue our work while SIMULTANEOUSLY fighting to liberate our comrade from the state. FREE GP. FTP