Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Oakland Murders

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Last Saturday, four Oakland police officers were shot and killed by a man identified as Lovelle Mixon, who was a suspect in a rape case. Two officers were gunned down as they made a vehicle stop on Mixon, and two others were killed by Mixon as he was barricaded in a relative's apartment. Mixon was also killed in the final exchange of gunfire.

Police deaths always strike close to home for me because of my own law enforcement background with US Customs and DEA. Many years ago, I worked a case with the OPD in Oakland, and two of my former DEA colleagues were also ex-OPD officers. In addition, one of my fellow former Military Police colleagues from Germany was in the Oakland PD. Undoubtedly, they are grieving even if they didn't know the dead officers.

From most news accounts, it is heartening to read that the community is supporting the Oakland PD in numerous ways. Don't forget that Oakland is still trying to recover from a very questionable shooting by a BART transit officer of an unruly passenger. (That officer has since been fired and indicted.)

In spite of the massive support from the Oakland public, there was an unfortunate incident Wednesday, when a crowd of about 60 yahoos marched against the police and in support of Mixon. Even more unfortunately, the San Francisco media, no friend of the Oakland police, gave them wide publicity. CNN has also been accused of accentuating the negative in reporting the relations between the police and community in the wake of this tragedy. It is disgusting, but that should not be allowed to mar the otherwise impressive outpouring of support coming from the good people of Oakland.

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