By JP Massar
Alan Blueford of Oakland, CA, age 18, was shot and killed after being stopped for being, young, Black, male and “acting suspiciously.” His last words were “I didn’t do anything.”
Manual Diaz of Anaheim, CA, age 25, was shot in the back and killed as he ran away after officers decided to check him out because he was standing next to a car, talking to other young, Hispanic men inside it.
Derrick Gaines, age 15, was shot and killed in South San Francisco after officers stopped him and his friends for “acting suspiciously.”
Ramarley Graham, age 18, was shot and killed in his own bathroom after being chased there by a New York City police officer over a bit of marijuana.
There are far too many more.
Each case makes headlines. Each time the police announce that the officer thought that the deceased had a weapon. Usually no charges are brought, and in the cases when they are filed police officers are almost always acquitted — rarely if ever is an officer of the law convicted of murder for the execution of a young man of color — even if he was unarmed and shot from behind.
Eventually the case fades from memory, to be replaced by the next. As the cycle begins anew.
It’s way past time for this to end.
The Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition is attempting change this dynamic. On November 10th, 2012, in downtown Oakland, we will be staging a rally and march Against Police Brutality, to End Racial Profiling, and in Opposition to Stop & Frisk Policies which aid and abet such.
We have invited the families of the victims of police murders from around the Bay Area and Northern California, some going back as much as twenty years, to speak. We have reached out to local organized labor and have gotten endorsements for this action by local ILWU and SEIU chapters; their representatives will be speaking. Kristian Williams, author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America will also be lending his voice to ours.
Click here to read the entire essay, including our open letter to Judge Thelton Henderson about his decision on whether or not to put the Oakland Police into Federal Receivership in relation to their racist policies and behaviors.