Oakland’s Government Can’t Defeat the Struggle for Justice against Police killings

Unresolved OPD Shooting of Black Teenager Alan Blueford Illustrates Oakland’s Continuing Crisis of Governance

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

By Scott Johnson, TruthOut

Every member of the large and close knit family of Alan Dwayne Blueford who could spoke truth to power at the Oakland City Council meeting on May 15 in support of justice for their slain loved one, who was gunned down on May 6 by one of the OPD’s paid killers behind the badge, Miguel Masso. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

After seeking justice from the City of Oakland for months, the family of Alan Blueford finally caught the attention of city leaders on September 18 when their protest brought the City Council to a halt.

Alan, an African-American high school student, was murdered on May 6 by Officer Miguel Masso, who drove up on the young man who had committed no crime, chased him for five blocks and shot him dead outside a Cinco de Mayo party. Masso initially claimed that Alan shot him, a story spread by the local media, although when it was revealed that Masso actually shot himself this lie turned into the claim that Alan pointed a gun at the officer. The Bluefords refute even this claim, considering Masso’s earlier lie.

Since May, the Bluefords have demanded that Masso be fired and prosecuted and that stop-and-frisk and racial profiling practices be ended among Oakland police. The elected leadership of Oakland have largely ignored these requests outside of a handful of closed door meetings where the Bluefords were promised a timely investigation and no slandering of Alan in the press. Neither promise was kept.

The Bluefords arrived at the September 18 City Council meeting with over 100 supporters to speak during open comments, recounting not only their heartbreak but also the endless unkept promises from the city and OPD. “I just want to know what happened to my son,” Adam Blueford, Alan’s father, both begged and demanded of the Council.

The Councilmembers, typically masters of evasion who are usually absorbed in their cell phones and magazines during public comments, suddenly all sat upright at full attention. Once it was clear the Bluefords were not going to walk away quietly without answers, City Administrator Deanna Santana went scurrying to find something to offer the Bluefords. Finally, it was announced that OPD Chief Howard Jordan was on his way to City Hall with the police report in hand – after refusing to release it for months.

This promise also evaporated within the hour after the Bluefords refused yet another closed-door meeting with Jordan, insisting he address the public in order to be held accountable. With no sign of either Jordan or the report, the Council attempted to resume with its first order of business – passing a resolution declaring Oakland an International City of Peace. This absurd resolution, from a city internationally known for the murder of Oscar Grant and the repression of Occupy Oakland, led to chants of “No Justice No Peace” and “Howard is a coward!” from both the Bluefords and the audience, many of whom were beaten and tear-gassed during those two movements. Continue reading

Witnesses Fear Police Retribution in Oakland

Written by Jennifer Inez Ward PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Alan Blueford, killed by Oakland, California police

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skyline High School senior Alan Blueford was just weeks away from graduating Skyline High School.

Instead, his family is preparing for a funeral and searching for answers.

Blueford died after being shot by an Oakland police officer on May 5. According to police, Blueford pointed a gun at officers after he ran when they ordered him to stop.

His family disputes OPD’s explanation of why the teen was killed and yesterday in City Council chambers, they pleaded through tears for answers in how the teenager ended up dead in the streets of East Oakland. For a half hour, they held up pictures and spoke about their treatment by Oakland police.

Blueford’s mother, father, a sister and others gathered at the speaker’s podium and told Councilmembers about the painful night they learned of Blueford’s death. The family said that Oakland police never reached out to tell them about the death of Blueford. Instead, they were told by the young man’s friends who were at the scene and briefly detained by OPD, that he had been shot by police. Continue reading

1/28/12–Oakland police arresting about 100 Occupy Oakland protesters

CBS News, January 28, 2012

[Police move in on Occupy Oakland protesters on Oak Street and 12th Street as tear gas gets blown back on them in Oakland, Calif. on Jan. 28, 2012. An unlawful assembly was declared as occupiers planned to take over an undisclosed building. (Bay Area News Group,AP Photo/The Tribune)]

OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland officials say police are in the process of arresting about 100 Occupy protesters for failing to disperse.

Police Sgt. Christopher Bolton says the arrests come after Occupy Oakland protesters marched through downtown Oakland a little before 8 p.m. Saturday, with some of the protesters entering a YMCA building in the city’s downtown.

The arrests Saturday night come after 19 people were arrested in Occupy Oakland protests during the day.

Police used tear gas and “flash” grenades Saturday to break up hundreds of Occupy protesters after some demonstrators started throwing rocks and flares at officers and tearing down fencing.

Three officers were hurt and 19 people were arrested, the Oakland Police Department said in a release. No details on the officers’ injuries were released.

Police said the group started assembling at a downtown plaza Saturday morning, with demonstrators threatening to take over the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center. The group then marched through the streets, disrupting traffic. Continue reading

Occupy Oakland: second Iraq war veteran injured after police clashes

Kayvan Sabehgi in intensive care with a lacerated spleen after protests in Oakland, a week after Scott Olsen was hurt. He says police beat him with batons

by guardian.co.uk,

Occupy Oakland clashes

Police used teargas to drive back protesters following an attempt by the Occupy supporters to shut down the city of Oakland. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP

Friday 4 November 2011

A second Iraq war veteran has suffered serious injuries after clashes between police and Occupy movement protesters in Oakland.

Kayvan Sabehgi, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in intensive care with a lacerated spleen. He says he was beaten by police close to the Occupy Oakland camp, but despite suffering agonising pain, did not reach hospital until 18 hours later.

Sabehgi, 32, is the second Iraq war veteran to be hospitalised following involvement in Oakland protests. Another protester, Scott Olsen, suffered a fractured skull on 25 October.

On Wednesday night, police used teargas and non-lethal projectiles to drive back protesters following an attempt by the Occupy supporters to shut down the city of Oakland. Continue reading

The attack on Occupy Oakland–the police, the mayor, the blood and gas of Babylon

Plan to break up Occupy Oakland camp took a week

Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle Columnists

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oakland began preparing to dismantle the Occupy camp in front of City Hall a week ago, when interim Police Chief Howard Jordan and City Administrator Deanna Santana put out the call for neighboring jurisdictions to provide some of the hundreds of cops who wound up being mustered early Tuesday.

On Friday, two days after those two had set the process in motion, Mayor Jean Quan abandoned her initial support for the protest and came to the same conclusion as they had: The camp was a hazard to public safety and health, and had to go.

The questions were how, and when.

First up, timing. It would take at least five days to arrange the influx of police from other jurisdictions, and anyway, Occupy forces were planning a big march Saturday. That meant Monday at the earliest.

In the meantime, the plan was to try to thin the crowd by sending in social workers to lure away some of the hard-core homeless who had joined the campers.

On Monday, fire officials went through removing propane tanks that could serve as weapons against police.

By then, Quan had gotten out of Dodge – flying to Washington for long-scheduled meetings designed to raise money for developing the old Oakland Army Base.

The mayor, who has been taking hits over her public safety policies, was concerned about how it would look for her to be out of town when the cops made their move – but not concerned enough to cancel, feeling that her new police chief could handle the situation.

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[Here, from CBS and AP,  the official story, including fabricated justifications,  from the police-embedded journalists. — Frontlines ed.]
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October 26, 2011

Tension remains after “Occupy Oakland” clashes

Occupy Wall Street protesters run from tear gas deployed by police at 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, Calif., Oct. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Darryl Bush)
(CBS/AP)OAKLAND, Calif. – The scene was calm but tense early Wednesday as a crowd of hundreds of protesters dwindled to just a few dozen at the site of several clashes between authorities and supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement a night earlier.Police in riot gear stood watch only a few yards away from a group of stalwart demonstrators in the aftermath of skirmishes in front of City Hall that resulted in five volleys of tear gas from police, in blasts that seemed to intensify with each round, over a roughly three-hour stretch of evening scuffles.The conflict began much earlier in the day when police dismantled an encampment of Occupy Wall Street protesters that had dominated a plaza across the street from the government building for more than two weeks.

Police fired tear gas and beanbag rounds, clearing out the makeshift city in less than an hour.

Hours after nightfall Tuesday evening, protesters had gathered at a downtown library and began marching toward City Hall in an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of the disbanded camp.

They were met by police officers in riot gear. Several small skirmishes broke out and officers cleared the area by firing tear gas.

The scene repeated itself several times just a few blocks away in front of the plaza, where police set up behind metal barricades, preventing protesters from gaining access to the site.

Tensions would build as protesters edged ever closer to the police line and reach a breaking point with a demonstrator hurling a bottle or rock, prompting police to respond with another round of gas.

The chemical haze hung in the air for hours, new blasts clouding the air before the previous fog could dissipate.

The number of protesters diminished with each round of tear gas. Police estimated that there were roughly 1,000 demonstrators at the first clash following the march, at least one of whom was injured when what appeared to be a tear gas canister hit his head, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

About 200 remained after the final conflict around 11:15 PDT, mostly young adults, some riding bicycles, protecting themselves from the noxious fumes with bandanas and scarves wrapped around their faces.

Police have denied reports that they used flash bang canisters to help break up the crowds, saying the loud noises came from large firecrackers thrown at police by protesters. Continue reading

‘Troubling’ frequency of Oakland cops pulling guns……..on African-Americans

Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnist

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oakland police are often too quick to draw their guns, especially when confronting African American suspects, according to a report by a federal court monitor.

As part of the fallout from the “Riders” scandal, the monitor looked at a random sampling of police reports from the first three months of this year and found 80 incidents in which officers drew their weapons, two of which resulted in fatal shootings.

Although the analysis found that officers had acted appropriately in a majority of the cases, court monitor Robert Warshaw and his team said they were “troubled by the high number of instances” – 28 percent – in which police didn’t have to draw their guns.

“Officers frequently presumed – often, with no basis – that whomever they were contacting was armed,” their report said. Continue reading