March 23rd, 2009
09:07 AM ET

Oakland – it's time to back the badge

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San Francisco Chronicle
Chip Johnson

The deaths of four Oakland police officers gunned down in the line of duty Saturday afternoon are undisputable, immutable, irrevocable proof of the chaotic level of predatory violence on the streets of this city.

Even as crime dipped in the first three months of the year, gun violence has continued largely unabated – and now it has claimed the lives of four police officers.

The shootings of Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege during a seemingly routine traffic stop in East Oakland, and Sgts. Daniel Sakai and Ervin Romans two hours later as they burst into an apartment looking for the killer, will have lasting repercussions for a city already regarded as one of the most violent in the country.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    I'd like to see Revs. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton at the memorial service for these heroes decrying the fact that their civil rights were violated when they died doing their jobs for the city of Oakland. Rainbow Coalition webpage calls for "one big tent" and Al's calls for a level playing field in civil rights. That means they should be sticking up for the rights of all, not giving a criminal a pass because the perp was a man of color. Who's to say that the perp did not victimize others of color, too? In that case, would they have stood up for the victims? A level playing field in Oakland would mean that all citizens had the right to life (as in the Constitution), regardless of any race factor. In addition, if one said that they were becoming "Uncle Toms" because the perp was black, they could justifiably point out the rate of black on black crime and the need to protect all victims from criminals, since no one knows where the perps would strike next. This guy in fact entered a house to hide from the police with a neice in the house, then opened fire. He wasn't thinking of her safety, and she could have been killed.

    March 24, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  2. Gordon S.

    This guy should have never been on the street. Just shows how liberal our court system has gotten to be. People like him should be kept in prsion until their death or execution. Cop killers should receive the death penalty regardless of what state they commit the crime in.

    March 24, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  3. jh

    Atty gen. Jerry Brown dosent have a clue. The dark secret is that rehabilitation is non existant in the bulk of US prisons and billons of dollars are being wasted and this is a result. Some people are dangerous and some people are neglected and made that way. This guy was a killer. HE should have been in jail - but if there is no baseline of works and what dosent who can measure who should be released and who should not

    March 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  4. jh

    the problem is not only this persons unsecured release from prison. The issue is the failure of the prisons to work at all, the failure to reintergrate people released into communities across the country, provide training, shelter, or respect and the disconnect between the police in communities of color that allow distrust and hate to fester.

    March 23, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  5. Joe In Hartford, CT

    Another four dead cops killed by a man with an assault weapon. Open warfare on the US/Mexican border fought by drug cartels using AMERICAN guns.
    I wonder why the Republicans are not on CNN asking, "Who knew what? When did they know it? Who is responsible for this? Who wrote the laws?" Perhaps we can create legislation to recoup our losses on this one too...errr...ummm....maybe not.
    They are suddenly shocked and appauled to find out that big business executives are getting big bonuses! They are on CNN bashing these same executives for excessive compensation. Who would have ever thought we'd see that day?
    Where is there outrage now? Why are they not on CNN asking who gave this guy the abiltiy to HAVE an assault weapon?
    Yeah, yeah, yeah...guns don't kill people...people kill people. That is the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard. I don't see this guy overpowering and killing two armed police officers with a knife in his hand. The hypocrisy is astounding and the band plays on.

    March 23, 2009 at 11:29 pm |