Kill and be killed: Police murders in Oakland


armed-police-os2originally published:  26th March 2009

National news wires lit up with shocking news that four Oakland, California, police officers were shot dead on March 21 in two separate gunfire exchanges with 26-year-old parolee Lovelle Mixon.

It began with an apparently routine traffic stop by two motorcycle cops when suddenly Mixon opened fire, killing one on the spot and mortally wounding another. In a final shootout at his sister’s home several hours later, two SWAT officers were killed with an assault rifle before Mixon himself was fatally gunned down.

Another violent police confrontation in the Black community; not the first, not the last. Basic conflicting social, economic and political interests remain between the protagonists and are sure to explode again.

Predictably, the bloody aftermath produced cries of outrage from self-righteous establishment politicians fanning stoked emotions to justify renewed calls for increased police patrols, stricter probation standards and harsher punishment of offenders. This completely misses the point. Haven’t we heard enough of these domestic versions of “Shock and Awe?”

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