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On Oct. 12, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan announced that 44 of his officers would face some manner of punishment for their abuse of Occupy protesters last year. Some have hailed this decision as a sign that the Oakland Police Department is finally going to start holding its officers accountable. A look at the recent decisions by Jordan and the OPD, however, dispels any such hope.
On Sept. 18, many people in the Bay Area came together to support one family’s struggle for justice. Hundreds of supporters joined Jerilynn and Adam Blueford and many of their relatives as they confronted Oakland City Council to demand that it pressure the police department to investigate the death of their son, Alan.
Eighteen-year-old high school senior and Oakland resident Alan Blueford was shot to death by police on May 6 under curious circumstances. The coroner’s report, showing Blueford never shot at the officer, was finally released after the July 19 press conference Alan's parents were forced to organize.
OPD held a town hall meeting May 23 at Acts Full Gospel Church to try and calm down residents angry about the murder of Alan Blueford. As Chief Howard Jordan rattled off lie after lie, folks turned their backs to him. The church could not contain the outrage. The argument moved outside into the bright sunlight, where the police shuffled, anxious, like so many cave dwellers. Compare the response in Hunters Point when San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr attempted to hold a townhall on July 20, 2011, four days after police murdered Kenneth Harding, 19. See the videos.