Family seeks reports in police shooting

Henry K. Lee
SF Chronicle, July 20, 2012

Relatives of a man shot and killed by Oakland police lashed out at the department Thursday, saying they have been unable to obtain a full accounting of what led to his death.

Alan Blueford, 18, was shot after witnesses said he pointed a gun at an officer early May 6 during a chase near 92nd Avenue and Birch Street in East Oakland, according to police.

But Blueford’s relatives reiterated Thursday that they didn’t believe the police version of events. They said they want to see the police report to learn more about the circumstances of the slaying, including why the officer opened fire and whether Blueford received medical care after being shot.

“I cannot begin to tell you what this has done to my life and my family,” said Blueford’s mother, Jeralynn Blueford, 46, of Tracy, at a news conference outside the coroner’s office in downtown Oakland. “I, as his mother – we, as parents – deserve to know what happened to our baby.”

Adam Blueford, the dead man’s father, said, “We want the truth. We’re not going to stand for anything but the truth.”

Representatives of police and the district attorney’s office said they have not turned over their findings to the family because the investigations are still open.

“We established lines of communication with the family early on, and we have continued to share information as it becomes available for release,” said Sgt. Chris Bolton, chief of staff for Chief Howard Jordan.

The incident began when an officer, identified by sources as Miguel Masso, and his partner saw Blueford and two companions on the 1900 block of 90th Avenue shortly after midnight. Blueford appeared to be hiding a gun, police said.

Blueford ran and twice pointed a gun at Masso, who responded with four shots, according to Masso’s attorney, Harry Stern.

Three shots hit Blueford, and the fourth hit the officer in the leg, police said.

Several independent witnesses said they had seen Blueford point the gun, Bolton said.

A gun was recovered at the scene, police said. Investigators do not believe it was fired.

Blueford was on the verge of graduating from Skyline High School in Oakland. He was on felony probation for a burglary conviction from San Joaquin County, Bolton said.

Dan Siegel, an attorney who previously served as legal adviser for Mayor Jean Quan, said at the news conference that authorities’ disclosure of Blueford’s criminal history and their reluctance to release information was “absolutely contemptible” and “slander.”