It appears that innocent until proven guilty is not the case with the Oakland Police Department. Eighteen year old Alan Dewayne Blueford’s last words were, “Why did you shoot me?" The response from Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso was four rounds fired, three of which ended Bluford’s life. Blueford was an unarmed student scheduled to graduate from Skyline High School within months of his death. Blueford was killed near 92nd Avenue and Birch Street on May 6th, 2012 in Oakland’s Elmhurst District.
Initial reports filed by OPD stated that Blueford was shot in an exchange of gunfire that resulted in his death and injury to Officer Masso. After no drugs or alcohol were found in Blueford’s blood stream and no gunpowder residue on his hand, OPD acknowledged that Blueford did not fire a gun and that Officer Masso had shot himself in the foot. Regardless of previous allegations of excessive force, Officer Masso did not face criminal charges for Blueford’s death. The Oakland community was outraged.
Three years after his death, Blueford’s parents continue to fight for justice for Alan and for police reform. They founded The Alan Blueford Center 4 Justice (www.justice4alanblueford.org) which also focuses on support for mothers who have lost family members to police violence.
The excessive force and abuse of power by the OPD positions them as judge, jury and executioners of the state.