Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why? How?

Sgt. Mark Dunakin. Officer John Hege. Sgt. Erv Romans. Sgt. Dan Sakai.

One week ago, these four members of the Oakland Police Department were respected, hard-working men who took their job of protecting and serving seriously. Today, all four are dead; the victims of a routine traffic stop gone wrong.

The man accused of killing them: Oakland resident Lovelle Mixon, a 26-year-old parolee who since the accident has been linked to the rape of a young girl last month.

We don’t need to rehash the gory details of what happened early Saturday afternoon. Nor should we try to link this tragedy to other non-related incidents that have involved law enforcement and unnecessary shootings in Oakland in recent months. But we do need to ask that burning question

Most would say it’s “Why?Why did this happen?” But I disagree.

There is no need to ask, “Why did Mixon kill four police officers in cold blood?” The answer to that is fairly obvious. The young man who had such a violent, criminal past was scared and full of anger.

The question is “How did Mixon get to this point?”

The answer: Mixon was the victim of a failed prison and parole system.

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