Sunday, March 22, 2009

In Mourning…

Dear Readers,

It is a very difficult time for those of us who live in Oakland. Yesterday afternoon, five of our experienced police officers were shot by an armed parolee, about four-and-a-half miles from my house. The shooter had a violent history and used an assault weapon in his attack. He was ultimately killed in the firefight.

Our valiant public servants had no chance to escape the viscous weapon in the hands of this man’s rage.

Three of the officers died yesterday, and a fourth was declared brain dead today. The fifth received only a minor injury and is physically okay. The faces of their fellow officers were covered with tears.

I was working at the computer in my dining room when all of this went down. I knew something serious had happened, because I could hear the sirens wailing, and wailing, and wailing. I had no idea it would be this bad.

Last night, I was obligated to work at the high school my daughter attends. Students are performing “West Side Story” and I am the Performing Arts Committee chair. I manage the lobby activities and coordinate the parent volunteers.

When I came home and watched the news, I cried for at least an hour. This morning when I looked at the headline on my Sunday paper, I cried all over again.

There are reports that some people in
Oakland are celebrating, but I know it is just a few. The perpetrator's grandmother looked so heartbroken before the cameras today as she gave her sad apology.

I spoke with two experienced Oakland public high school teachers who are certain that some of the highly stressed and grieving, soon to become very angry, police will now retaliate on residents who live in the community. Unfortunately, my good sense tells me to believe that they might be right.

This is all so difficult and twisted, and it just goes on and on...

This incident is just one more blemish on my city, for which outsiders will once again ridicule us with their contempt. Please everyone – read “The Code of the Street,” and try to understand.

Join me as I honor the fallen for their service and their sacrifice. My heart is with their families, coworkers and friends.

  • Sargeant Erv Romans, 43 years old
  • Sargeant Mark Dunakin, 40 years old
  • Sargeant Dan Sakai, 35 years old
  • Officer John Hege, 41 years old

I love you, and I’m so sorry we have lost you.

May you rest in peace.

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