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Justice 4 Alan Blueford – JAB – power punching the Oakland PD

November 29, 2012

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m., join Angela Davis and Alan’s parents for ‘Honoring Alan Blueford’ on what should be his 19th birthday: Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakland

by Malaika H Kambon

“This is the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition, or JAB. And we’re going to JAB the City of Oakland Police Department in the ass until they do what they’re supposed to do.” – Jeralyn Blueford, Nov. 10, 2012, on the steps of Oakland Police Department headquarters

The Justice 4 Alan Blueford Committee (JAB) didn’t stop all business in downtown Oakland on Nov. 10. They did, however, stop business as usual.

In an extremely orderly, peaceful and well-planned demonstration and march led by JAB, approximately 400 community members and organizations spoke out against the racial profiling and murder of young Black and Brown children. They then marched from downtown Oakland to the Seventh and Broadway OPD building, proceeded through West Oakland and then back to downtown, 14th and Broadway outside of Oakland City Hall.

Gathering people along the way, the march always spanned three or four lanes of traffic. Passersby stopped and asked questions. People came out of their homes as the march passed through West Oakland. Motorists honked their horns in solidarity and waited patiently as row upon row of people crossed in front of them.

The Justice 4 Alan Blueford Committee (JAB) didn’t stop all business in downtown Oakland on Nov. 10. They did, however, stop business as usual.

Traffic was monitored and detoured by people rather than by police. And many of the people in attendance for the entire march and demonstration were new rank and file community people, who came with their children and were not members of any organization.

They came to learn, and learn they did. They learned of the people’s history, from community members and families of slain loved ones who had experienced it first hand. Among other things, they learned that:

  • On Nov. 5, 2010, an on-duty police officer was sentenced for an on-duty shooting in the state of California for the first time.
  • On Nov. 7, 2010, Derrick Jones was killed by OPD Officers Perez-Angeles and Dara-Quiroz, two days after the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, murderer of Oscar Grant III. According to OPD and Alameda County District Attorney records, Angeles and Quiroz had both been involved in the shooting death of Leslie Allen on July 19, 2008.
  • On New Year’s Eve, 2007, OPD Officer Hector Jimenez shot and killed unarmed Andrew Moppin, one year before Johannes Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant III. Still free seven months later, Jimenez murdered unarmed Jody Woodfox III in July 2008. Jimenez again received paid leave until fired for the killing of Woodfox. Jimenez was the first officer ever fired for the officer-instigated murder of a civilian.
  • On Sept. 20, 2007, repeat offender OPD Sgt. Patrick Gonzalez murdered 20-year-old Gary King Jr. by shooting him in the back; shot and paralyzed 17-year-old Ameir Rollins in 2006; and murdered for the first time in 2002 by shooting and killing 19-year-old Joshua Russell. Gonzalez remains free to kill again, even after being wounded in the events of March 21, 2009, which left Lovelle Mixon and four Oakland police officers dead. Gonzalez has not ever been charged by the Alameda County DA’s Office nor has he ever been disciplined by OPD internal affairs.
  • In 2007, NYPD Officer Miguel Masso transferred to the OPD. According to a 2007 civil rights lawsuit, Masso and three other officers were accused of beating, macing, and tasering Rafael Santiago in a 52nd precinct station house in the central Bronx. On May 6, 2012, OPD officer Miguel Masso shot and killed Alan Dwayne Blueford, then shot himself in the foot. Masso was immediately transported to the hospital. Alan Blueford was left where he lie where he fell, to bleed out for four hours. Alan died of his injuries.

The OPD lies and conflicting reports protect these officers. The Policeman’s Bill of Rights shelters them from accountability, and the nationwide, systemic use of extrajudicial murder allows and encourages police departments to perpetuate a culture of racist violence.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m., join Angela Davis and Alan’s parents for ‘Honoring Alan Blueford’ on what should be his 19th birthday: Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakland

On Dec. 18, 2012, Angela Davis and family members of victims of police brutality will come together from across the country to strengthen the growing movement against racial profiling, police brutality and what Michelle Alexander has characterized as “The New Jim Crow” in her book of the same name. Grieving families from Oakland to Anaheim to New York City will unite on what would have been Alan Blueford’s 19th birthday to demand justice in the wake of an epidemic of racist police murders.

This kind of grassroots organizing will continue to occur. Awareness will continue to grow. For as long as the sons and daughters of AFRIKA, Asia and Latin America, Indigenous people and other communities of the global people of color majority continue to be murdered because of the melanin in our skins, the fight for liberation will continue.

Adam Blueford, father of Alan Blueford, leads the Nov. 10 march for justice for the unarmed 18-year-old murdered by Oakland PD for no reason on May 6, 2012, just before his high school graduation. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
This is part of the message sworn to by nearly 400 people in the streets of Oakland fighting to end the racial profiling that is decimating the ranks of Black and Brown children across the U.S.

Quoting Fannie Lou Hamer’s message that poor people are “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” of having to behold the tears of families crying as we bury our youth and our futures, speaker after speaker testified from the pulpit of the church in the streets – which is also a blood drenched battlefield in this corner of California called Oakland.

Black and Brown families from Oakland to South Africa swore to the world that Oakland is tired of its streets being drowned in the savage murders of our youth. In 2012 alone, 12 or more Black and Brown children have been murdered by the Oakland Police Department.

That is at least one child per month, buried before his or her time.

This is neither random, nor accidental, nor the work of so called rogue cops. This is standard operating procedure in the U.S., according to “Every 36 Hours: Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of 120 Black People,” compiled by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

The use of deadly, extrajudicial force against Black people is woven into the very fabric of U.S. society. This is unacceptable.

Black and Brown families from Oakland to South Africa swore to the world that Oakland is tired of its streets being drowned in the savage murders of our youth. In 2012 alone, 12 or more Black and Brown children have been murdered by the Oakland Police Department.

Yet on Nov. 15, 2012, Oakland city officials rejected a motion filed by prominent civil rights attorneys John Burris and Jim Chanin asking federal District Judge Thelton Henderson to place the OPD under federal receivership. The rejection came in spite of the fact that the OPD has not complied with the 51 reforms set forth in a negotiated settlement agreement (NSA) reached after Oakland agreed to pay $10.9 million in damages and attorneys’ fees in a settlement between the city and 119 plaintiffs in the infamous Riders case.

South African activist Mazibuko Jara spoke to the crowd. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The Riders case came about when Oakland Police Department Officers Clarence Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung were arrested, fired, charged and/or convicted of kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, planting false evidence and filing false police reports. A fourth officer, Frank Vazquez, fled to Mexico and has been sought by the FBI since the year 2000.

Coincidentally, Mabanag’s attorney in the case was Michael Rains, the same Rains who got Johannes Mehserle’s murder charge reduced to involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Eve 2009.

Federal receivership – or not – of the OPD will be decided in a Dec. 13, 2012, hearing.

But wouldn’t the federal takeover of the OPD be a mere red herring to give credence to the department’s actions as being “out of control,” when in actuality Oakland’s chief of police, backed by the mayor’s office, is very definitely directing what its police force does?

The Oakland Rider case was settled in 2003. Yet in the intervening years from 2003 to 2012, instances of Oakland Police Department misconduct and murder have escalated.

And extrajudicial killing, as illustrated by the Rider case, is always determined, governed, sanctioned and controlled. The puppeteer always pulls the strings of the puppet.

The march route led from downtown Oakland to OPD headquarters at Seventh and Broadway, through West Oakland and back to 14th and Broadway. On 14th Street, people cheered, threw up a fist, took photos on their cell phones, joined in and came out of their shops to watch. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
So why would anyone think that the appropriate remedy to the problem of a racist, extrajudicial, killer police department is the federal government stepping in and placing said department into receivership? To what avail? Information would be gathered. But to what avail would such information gathering be used? Would the information gathered be secret? Would it be made public? What actions would be taken? When would the federal government leave?

And most importantly, who would monitor the “monitors of the monitors”?

These are critical questions because no one knows what forms federal receivership of the Oakland Police Department would take. There are no guidelines because there are no precedents.

According to Wikipedia’s definition, federal receivership is “a remedy of last resort in litigation involving the conduct of executive agencies that fail to comply with constitutional or statutory basic human rights.”

Remedy?

These are critical questions because no one knows what forms federal receivership of the Oakland Police Department would take. There are no guidelines because there are no precedents.

But the federal government – FBI – is also author of the infamous, domestic surveillance and counterintelligence program known as COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO was based specifically upon the principles of disruption, disunity and divisiveness. It was designed to monitor and “neutralize” domestic groups deemed to be a “danger to national security.” People monitored included anti-war, civil and human rights groups, self-defense organizations and individuals. This meant everyone from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the Weather Underground to Professor Ward Churchill; from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee to El Hajj Malik el Shabazz to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to the American Indian Movement (AIM) to grand jury resisters to environmental groups saving trees – from Judi Bari to Jesse Jackson.

In earlier years, the FBI “monitored” to “neutralize” both Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Tim Killings of the Laney College Black Student Union brought his fire to the rally. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The FBI monitored everything, including telephone conversations, public speeches, travel, apartment purchases, work places, public meetings, yacht cruises, even the trash you put in your garbage can.

Yet none of the above is an illegal act.

Dr. Huey P. Newton’s book, “War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America,” states: “Of the 295 documented actions taken by COINTELPRO alone to disrupt Black groups, 233 – or 79 percent – were specifically directed toward destruction of the [Black Panther] Party. Over $100 million of taxpayers’ money was expended for COINTELPRO; over $7 million of it allocated for 1967 alone to pay off informants and provocateurs, twice the amount allocated in the same period by the FBI to pay organized crime informants” (pages 53-54).

The book goes on to state, “The vast arsenal of techniques employed by the bureau against the BPP were tried and tested over the years in foreign espionage,” and quotes William C. Sullivan, former assistant to J. Edgar Hoover as saying that the same techniques that were used against Soviet agents were “brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate. This is a rough, tough business” (page 54).

The FBI engaged in or encouraged a variety of actions intended to cause – and in fact causing – deaths of BPP members, loss of membership and community support, draining of revenues from the party, false arrests of members and supporters, and defamatory discrediting of constructive party programs and leaders” (page 54). In conjunction with the CIA, military “counterinsurgency experts” and the newly formed DEA (in 1973), the FBI had the authority to “request wiretaps and no-knock warrants … and to enter residences surreptitiously, distribute misleading information, plant phony evidence, and conduct even more extreme clandestine assignments” (page 49).

The next generation of freedom fighters inspired the crowd at the rally. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Media “assets” – the SF Examiner’s Ed Montgomery for example – manufactured lies out of whole cloth and posted articles written by FBI officers in major mainstream newspapers in order to target and discredit key people, such as Huey P. Newton, for arrest, conviction and imprisonment (page 61-62). An FBI memorandum to its SF headquarters described Examiner article(s) as part of its “counter-intelligence activities.”

So how are the Oakland police to be monitored? Will there be an FBI agent in every car? Will there be a tiger in every toilet bowl? Or maybe there will be a pig in every blanket and/or a federal cop under every rock!

If so, how is this a remedy to the communities being victimized by extrajudicial, racially motivated killings?

The federal government is alleged to be investigating the 2009 murder of Oscar Grant III. The U.S. Department of Justice investigation was to be conducted by its Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco and the FBI. Yet no results have been produced since the investigation began in July of 2010.

So how are the Oakland police to be monitored? Will there be an FBI agent in every car?

So if the U.S. Department of Justice takes over the Oakland Police Department as receiver, the city of Oakland could become even more an occupied territory. As in Haiti, the leadership of the Ton Ton Macoutes, Ti Machete death squads and the Haitian National Police are backed up, “monitored” and trained variously by everyone from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the so-called peacekeeping U.N. MINUSTAH forces and by the U.S. CIA.

This has brought nothing to Haiti but an escalation of paramilitarism and violence directed against the grassroots poor, an assault against the democratic process begun with the 1991 election of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and epidemics of cholera, murder, rape and death spread by the U.N. MINUSTAH troops who have been an occupying force in Haiti since the 2004 coup d’etat orchestrated by the U.S. against Aristide’s first and second democratically elected terms in office.

The multi-racial crowd united to demand that OPD Officer Masso be held accountable for murder. Masso, hired by Oakland despite accusations of brutality as an NYPD officer, shot himself in the foot after shooting Alan and was taken to the hospital immediately while Alan was left for four hours to bleed to death where he fell. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The very same tactics are being used against Black people here. On Nov. 11, 2012, Ben Hartman of the Jerusalem Post reported in his article, “Israeli police chiefs to meet with LAPD,” that 14 Israeli police commanders landed in Los Angeles on Nov. 10, 2012, to “meet with their counterparts in Los Angeles and Washington and discuss the complicated issues of policing in minority communities.” This delegation is in the U.S. as part of a “joint Israel police-Abraham Fund Initiative.”

The most blatant example of this kind of escalation in paramilitary activity in U.S. cities was the decimation of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s. What was the alleged “criminal activity” of the Panthers? Their alleged crime was the development of a Ten Point Program to determine the destiny and the empowerment of the African community.

After which, in 1969, then head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover declared, “The Black Panther Party, without question, represents the greatest threat to internal security of the country,” and pledged that 1969 would be the last year of the party’s existence. Hoover was particularly incensed about the Free Children’s Breakfast Program, which fed children in the African community and simultaneously taught children their true African history.

Interesting words from someone who was known to be such a virulent racist partially because of his hatred of his own genealogical relationship to enslaved Africans and whites on the plantation in Pike County, Mississippi, owned by a branch of the Hoover family. This history is recorded in three books by African author Millie McGhee – “Secrets Uncovered,” “What’s Done in the Dark” and “Drifted Back in Time: Deep Secrets Revealed” – and a documentary film, “What’s Done in the Dark.” Her grandfather was J. Edgar Hoover’s second cousin.

So, even as the BPP Ten Point Program point 7 dealt specifically with putting “an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people,” the fight today is against the same police brutality and extrajudicial killings in communities of color that the Black Panther Party fought against for three decades.

Alan’s mother, Jeralyn Blueford, led the closing prayer. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The remedy proposed by the BPP for Self-Defense was profoundly different from that now being proposed by either the City of Oakland – an oversight committee consisting of a compliance director and an assistant chief of constitutional policing to focus solely on OPD compliance with the 2003 NSA mandated reforms – or the law offices of John Burris: federal receivership.

Point 7 of the Black Panther Ten Point Program reads: “WE BELIEVE we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense.”

As the Ten Point Program also points out, quoting the Declaration of Independence: “(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is (the people’s) right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

The City of Oakland does not seem interested in democratic solutions, however. The proposed introduction into an already bad situation of an “oversight committee” chosen from the present city government that has a history of misconduct against Black and other peoples of color seems to indicate this.

A federal receivership does not seem to be a much better option. Yet one of the two options will prevail. A people’s option – community self-defense – is not even on the City’s radar.

Point 7 of the Black Panther Ten Point Program reads: “WE BELIEVE we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist oppression and brutality.

More police beget more police, and this is how it starts. The use of extrajudicial force and violence begets the use of more extrajudicial force and violence. And the unstable government in Oakland under Mayor Jean Quan continues.

Amid two re-call bids, approximately $58 million paid out in settlement monies to victims of police violence and misconduct, it appears that Jean Quan’s Oakland seeks to grow its own army.

For the purposes of “detecting or preventing terrorist activities,” the FBI is authorized to “visit any place and attend any event that is open to the public.” Somehow, the prospect of an FBI agent walking into a meeting of people struggling to be free and announcing him/herself as an FBI agent is illogical.

Thus, they will be undercover.

And in 2003, Oakland’s then Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan proved himself willing to violate both California Penal Section 407 and a federal consent decree in his use of plain-clothed undercover cops in a violent confrontation with anti-war Port of Oakland and Occupy Oakland protestors on Oct. 26, 2011.

As such, won’t both the city of Oakland and the federal government consider the families protesting the racial profiling of their dead children subversive? How many freedom fighters will the OPD entrap while monitoring, protecting and serving on dark city streets and/or in cyberspace?

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense proposed that communities monitor communities, rather than going to the enemy police. This is what we should be working toward, not blindly acquiescing to the imposition of a higher level of police to monitor themselves.

Down that road lies madness.

For more information and updates, go to Justice 4 Alan Blueford. Malaika H Kambon is a freelance photojournalist and the 2011 winner of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association Luci S. Williams Houston Scholarship in Photojournalism. She also won the AAU state and national championship in Tae Kwon Do from 2007-2010. She can be reached at kambonrb@pacbell.net.

 

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2 thoughts on “Justice 4 Alan Blueford – JAB – power punching the Oakland PD

  1. msfreeh

    FBI agent convicted of daughters' abuse
    July 11, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

    An FBI agent who lives in Carroll County has been convicted of sexually abusing his daughters over a 14-year period.

    The agent, as part of an agreement with prosecutors, pleaded guilty Friday before Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold to two counts of second-degree sexual offense and two counts of child abuse.

    The agent's name is being withheld to protect the privacy of the victims.

    In exchange for the agent's plea, the state dropped 18 other counts against him, ordered a presentence investigation and agreed to let him remain free on $125,000 bond pending sentencing Sept. 10.

    The agent was suspended from the FBI's Baltimore field office when he was arrested in December.

    Reply

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