OAKLAND -- A community meeting to give residents more information on a fatal officer-involved shooting earlier this month turned raucous Wednesday night and officers later arrested two members of the Occupy Oakland movement, police said.
The purpose of the meeting, the first of its kind under a new Oakland Police Department policy, was to share information about the fatal police shooting of Alan Blueford, an 18-year-old Skyline High School senior who was killed May 6.
Police said Blueford pointed a gun at an officer, who then shot the teen three times in the chest. The officer also wounded himself in the foot.
Department spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said the department initiated a policy to hold community meetings following fatal police shootings "to share what information we can without jeopardizing the investigation."
"Transparency is important, not only for the victims' family but for the community at large," said Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, who is representing the Blueford family. "The issue always is, is the information being communicated one-sided or is it balanced? It could have a positive effect, but it could also have a negative effect if only negative information about the victim is being communicated."
Police held the meeting, among other reasons, to set straight street talk and online rumors that Blueford was shot in the back. Burris said that is untrue and acknowledged that wrong information
"Information should be given out sooner rather than later," Burris said. "The rumors themselves can be much more detrimental than anything else."
On Wednesday night, Police Chief Howard Jordan recounted the events leading up to the shooting and said again that Blueford was armed and that he was not shot in the back.
Police have witnesses and physical evidence supporting that information. Police said that shortly after midnight on May 6 police approached three people in the 1900 block of 90th Avenue. When one man took off running, officers chased him to the 8200 block of Birch Street, where Blueford pointed the gun and police fired on him.
About 100 people, friends and family of the victim and others turned out at Acts Full Gospel Church for the meeting, including more than two dozen Occupy members.
Police said the Occupy protesters were heckling and disruptive at the meeting.
As people left the church, protesters tried to block Jordan from heading out, followed him outside and surrounded his car, preventing him from leaving. Some at the meeting deny that claim.
Additional officers were called for crowd control and one officer was pushed and spat on by an Occupy protester, police said.
Though protesters left, the person who police said pushed the officer and a man who had an arrest warrant for a parole violation were later arrested at the Coliseum BART station.
Mike King, a member of the Occupy Oakland movement, said Occupy protesters were upset because they believe Jordan was not addressing an overall systemic problem with police brutality.
"People are angry because (the Oakland Police Department) keeps killing unarmed black kids in the street," King said. "There's a long history around police brutality cases."
King said he only knew of one arrest for the parole violation.
Watson said police are not deterred by the protesters and meetings about fatal police shootings will continue.
"We will still go forward with these meetings," she said. "It is now part of our mandate."