General Crime

* Oakland City Counsel Meeting Disrupted By Protests Over Police Shooting Death

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Shouted down by rowdy protesters furious over the May police shooting of Alan Blueford, the Oakland City Council adjourned its meeting early tonight with little of its agenda completed. Blueford, 18, was shot and killed in the 9200 block of Birch Street after police said he ran from police in the 1900 block of 90th Avenue just after midnight on May 6. Police initially reported that Blueford had been killed in an exchange of gunfire that injured the officer. However, the following day police said that while a gun believed to be Blueford’s had been recovered, it had not been fired, and the officer’s injury to his foot was self-inflicted. Police said Blueford was transported to a hospital, where he died. Several members of Blueford’s family appeared before the City Council tonight, disputing the police account and pleading with council President Larry Reid to help them uncover more information about Blueford’s death by releasing the police report.

“We still don’t have a police report, Mr. Reid, I thought you were going to help us,” Jeralynn Blueford, Alan’s mother, said. “You don’t know what it’s like to bury your baby.” “The story has changed so many times, and we can’t stand for it,” she said, referring to the police retraction that an exchange of gunfire had injured an officer. She also disputed that her son had ever been transported to a hospital. Other family members also demanded that the city produce the police report from the night of their son’s death, and in response Reid said that Police Chief Howard Jordan was on his way to City Hall with the report.

After Blueford’s family spoke, the council worked its way through a long list of speakers outraged over the police handling of the Blueford shooting, finally cutting off the public comment portion of the meeting by calling a 10-minute recess. When the meeting resumed about 30 minutes later, Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente was chairing the meeting and announced that Reid was outside speaking with Blueford’s family. The council attempted to move on with the agenda, beginning with a recommendation to declare Oakland an International City of Peace and Sept. 21 as Oakland’s International Day of Peace, but were consistently interrupted. The audience in the crowded chamber booed and began chanting “No justice, no peace” and “jail killer cops,” drowning out any discussion by councilmembers. Reid then returned briefly shortly before 7:30 p.m. to abruptly adjourn the meeting. He said the next meeting would be in two weeks. Protesters vowed to return then.

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