by People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey
Adante Pointer Esq. is one of the legal warriors fighting the people’s fight for a long time in the streets and courtrooms of the Bay Area. I became aware of him during the Oscar Grant movement in 2009-2010. I remember he would be flanking John Burris, the Bay Area’s Johnnie Cochran in the courtroom, and at press conferences he would help explain the “legalese” to the media and public so people could understand what exactly happened in the courtroom.
Some of the most important things about him for me are that he is a human rights lawyer who comes from a similar background as I do, with a good reputation among his clients and the community and someone who produces results. I have always had a lot of respect for this brother’s work and grassroots, approachable nature.
Recently Oakland police had pulled their weapons on Adante Pointer, Esq, unjustifiably threatening his life, like they have on many of his clients who were not as fortunate, and got sent to the spirit world, under police gunfire. Here’s that story as well as that of a legal warrior in our local community.
M.O.I. JR: Where are you from? And what interested you about law?
Adante: I am from Oakland. I grew up in West Oakland in particular. Law interested me because I always saw it as being a tool to equalize society so that the West Oaklands of the world could have the resources like the Piedmonts or Beverly Hills of the world.
M.O.I. JR: How did you become a lawyer? Who were you inspired by?
Adante: I first became interested in becoming a lawyer when I saw the cereal cabinet of my first grade classmate who lived in Piedmont. They had like 5-6 boxes of cereal and his mom was there to pick him and his siblings up every day and they lived in a big house and everyone had their own room. I asked him what his dad did and he told me his father was an attorney, I was sold at that moment lol.
As I grew up, I became interested in politics and thought many of the congressmen and women had law degrees. I thought earning a law degree would assist me with representing my community and give me the tools to fight on our behalf.
I was inspired by Thurgood Marshall, Johnnie Cochran and my mother!
M.O.I. JR: How did you hook up with the Bay Area celebrity lawyer John Burris?
Adante: I had called and emailed his office looking for an opportunity after having been turned down by many other law firms around town. For a number of reasons, I fixated upon his office and sent a constant stream of calls and emails with no response.
One day I was driving around East Oakland with some friends and happened to see him at a stop light. I told my friends to act like they had some sense and I pulled up beside him and introduced myself as the guy who had been calling and emailing for the last few months.
He kinda blew me off but told me to get in contact with his assistant. Instead, I showed up to his office the next day in a suit ready to work. I waited for a couple hours before he showed up and had a quick interview. I came back the next morning without an appointment and asked if I could work. I started working for free. He couldn’t get rid of me and the rest is history, as they say.
M.O.I. JR: I first became aware of you during our participation in the Oscar Grant movement. From your viewpoint, what made this a monumental moment in Bay Area, California and American history?
Adante: The Oscar Grant movement was a game changer! The case elevated the senseless killing of Black and Brown people beyond the concern of our community but took it to a world stage due to the cell phone video that captured it. It was similar to Rodney King and the civil rights marchers who had dogs put on them in that you didn’t have to believe the victim, his family or our community. The proof was right there in front of the public on their television on their internet.
You couldn’t avoid the horrible truth so easily any more. It was historic because it was the first time in over 101 years in California that any police officer had been criminally prosecuted for murder.
M.O.I. JR: Can you describe the case of police terrorism that you are working on in Vallejo?
Adante: Vallejo has soooo many cases! I currently represent several families who have been terrorized by VPD, who have had a loved one killed or injured or falsely arrested by VPD. Some of the names most people know about are Willie McCoy, Ronnel Foster and Anton Barrett. Unfortunately there are many others!
Vallejo seems to have developed a bad habit of permitting its officers to literally get away with murder! The district attorney refuses to hold anyone accountable and the city government wants to bury its head in the sand like nothing’s wrong. Vallejo reminds me of how Oakland used to be, a lot of bad stuff being done and the police feel invincible – and the community’s tired but unable to force the police department to change.
Now Oakland has a much stronger community voice by way of the Police Commission. Hell, they just fired Oakland’s police chief! Vallejo will one day get to that point too.
M.O.I. JR: Can you talk about your recent encounter with police terrorism where you were the actual victim? Do you think that the police officer would have treated you different if you were not a lawyer?
Adante: Unfortunately, what happened to me happens far too often and gets NO headlines. I was driving, minding my business, when out of nowhere I was pulled over and had several guns pointed at me – threatening my life. I was given conflicting commands that if I had not kept a cool head would have got me killed.
I managed to negotiate my way out of the car safely, told them I was an attorney, then was made to crawl backwards under threat of being shot. I was then handcuffed and put in a police car while they searched my car.
Afterwards, I was told they were searching for a man who brandished an AK-47 while driving a silver car somewhere in Oakland, earlier that day. Later, I was told the person fired an AK47 from a silver car.
I just so happen to be a civil rights lawyer so I was able to file a complaint and have the incident investigated. It happens to lawyers, doctors, whoever ….
M.O.I. JR: After the Oscar Grant movement, Ferguson and the murder of Sandra Bland, is police terrorism decreasing or is our awareness just increasing?
Adante: Police terrorism is not decreasing. It’s just that we’re being made more aware through body cams and laws that are forcing police to be more transparent and report what they are doing in the public’s name. Awareness is high, but so is the terrorism.
“Looking around the Bay Area, which is thought to be progressive, there are far too many people acting as district attorneys and judges and commissioners who have NO business being trusted with doing the will of the people.”
M.O.I. JR: What are your initial thoughts about this “progressive” district attorney movement sweeping the country with the election of Philly’s Larry Krasner and San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin?
Adante: I love it! We need more progressive and fair-minded folk in positions of power. Many people don’t realize there are many local politicians who control their fate and can be easily removed from office. Looking around the Bay Area, which is thought to be progressive, there are far too many people acting as district attorneys and judges and commissioners who have NO business being trusted with doing the will of the people.
M.O.I. JR: Under Obama it seemed like Blacks were being murdered on television more than they are being murdered by police under Trump. Is that real or an optical media-inspired illusion?
Adante: Unfortunately, Black folks are still being murdered by police. What makes it to TV is a decision made by TV execs and producers, NOT the families or lawyers who are faced with fighting for justice. Trust me, if I opened up my files to show you all the police brutality that goes on, you would cry.
M.O.I.: What kinds of law do you specialize in?
Adante: I specialize in civil rights and personal injury. I essentially help people to learn their rights when it comes to dealing with police misconduct and I help people hold companies and individuals who hurt them or their loved one accountable through injury lawsuits. I’ve always had an interest in standing up for the common folk against the powers that be.
M.O.I. J.R: How do people keep up with your case? How could people get in touch with you to access your services?
Adante: People can find me on social media and/or drop me an email. My social media accounts are Facebook: adante pointer, and on Instagram: adante_pointer_esq. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.