Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Was Mixon a Threat to Anyone But Cops?

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Anonymous police sources are now telling the Trib and the Chron that Oakland police brass decided to send the SWAT team after Lovelle Mixon on Saturday because they viewed him as a threat to the people in the apartment building where he was hiding out. It was just too much of a risk, they said, to barricade the area and wait out the cop killer. But was Mixon really a threat to anyone other than cops? After all, it wasn't as if he had gone on a rampage, shooting up the streets of East Oakland. On the contrary, he seemed intent on gunning down police, and no one else.

There's an old adage in law enforcement that if someone is audacious enough to kill a cop then they could kill anyone. But does that really apply now in Oakland? The relationships between cops and members of minority and low-income communities in West and East Oakland may be as bad as they have ever been. And after the apparent murder of a young black man by a BART cop in Oakland, the hatred of police has reached new levels of intensity. Witness the reaction of some who have expressed outright disdain for the slain officers. In fact, in this case, it's seems that OPD just didn't understand the raw emotions that likely were in play - that they were far more in danger than anyone else. Mixon was a deadly threat to them, but it's not clear at all that we was about to kill others. Nonetheless, the SWAT team stormed in after him, and two more cops ended up dead.

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