Community mourns slain Oakland teen, seeks justice

Demonstrators with the Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition walk through the streets of Oakland on Nov. 10, 2012 to bring attention to police violence. Photo by Curtis Coloma/The Guardsman

By Curtis Coloma

Around 400 supporters of the Justice for Alan Blueford coalition met at noon on Nov. 10 in downtown Oakland for a peaceful march against police brutality.

The coalition formed shortly after Blueford, an 18-year-old African American man, was shot and killed on May 6 by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso.

Blueford was running from the officer, then tripped and fell when the officer shot him three times, according to news reports.

J.P. Massar, one of the founding members of the coalition, said that this has been a consistent problem in the area and the coalition wants to put an end to police brutality.

“We hope to get Masso fired, as well as charged with murder,” Massar said. “We want to shed light on and to put an end to the de facto stop-and-frisks that we believe to be the cause of Alan’s death.”

Alan’s mother and father led the somber yet optimistic march and carried a banner that read “Justice for Alan!”

“We are not going to go away and just take this laying down. We’re going to stand for justice and we’re going to keep fighting until we get justice,” Alan’s mother Jeralynn Blueford said. “Alan is not here so I’m here today because Alan doesn’t have a voice.”

As the march progressed and reached the Oakland Police Department, the crowd began to chant, “How do you spell racism? OPD!” which was followed by “no justice, no peace! No racist police!” and finally “Justice for Alan!”

In October, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office released a report saying the officer acted in self defense.

The Oakland Police Department is under investigation for failing to implement reforms and faces a potential federal takeover.

For more information regarding the Alan Blueford coalition, visit their website www.justice4alanblueford.org,.

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