Community and family members marched through East Oakland over the weekend and spoke at a City Council meeting this week to protest the police killing of Alan Blueford, an 18-year-old senior at Skyline High School.
Blueford’s family and supporters held up pictures at Tuesday’s council meeting and asked for answers. “My heart is bleeding every day,” Blueford’s mother Jeralynn said. “I want the facts of what happened, how it happened and why it happened … we need help, Oakland Council.”
Blueford’s older sister, Janae, said the family is struggling to deal with the awful reality.
“This is, of course, the hardest thing we have ever had to go through,” she said. “It’s very, very difficult. If we’re not crying, we’re angry. If we’re not angry, we’re crying. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anybody.”
“We want the City Council to hold the police department accountable and demand a thorough investigation,” she said. “So many facts in the case have changed already, we need to make sure that nothing gets swept under the rug.”
According to Oakland police, it was just after midnight Sunday, May 5, when officers approached a group of three people in the 1900 block of 90th Avenue, believing that one man was carrying a hidden gun.
One of the young men started running, and the officer ran after him for several blocks. The officer fired his weapon, police said, when they were in the 8200 block of Birch Street. According to police, Blueford pointed a gun at the officer but did not fire the weapon. The officer fired four shots, hitting Blueford several times, and one hit the officer’s foot, police said.
Police say witnesses confirm that Blueford pointed a gun at the police officer.
The youngest of five siblings, Blueford transferred to Skyline High School in December. According to Skyline High Principal Troy Johnston, the young man was working hard to graduate in June. He was quiet but popular among his group of friends and worked in the school cafeteria, Johnston said.
Blueford lived in Tracy with his family, who have hired Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris to represent them.
Hammer, a well-known rapper, entrepreneur, and actor, spoke at a rally in front of the police station, saying he knew Blueford since he was a child because he was a “dear friend of my children.” “ The character assassination won’t stand,” Hammer said. “Alan was a good kid.” The police must be held accountable, he said. “How (can) the penalty for fleeing (be) death?”