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March 22, 2009

Communities throughout the East Bay mourn the four fallen Oakland police officers

These are the faces of the four Oakland police officers fatally wounded in related gun battles with a parolee wanted on a no-bail arrest warrant. They are:



(Top far left) Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville, who was hired in January 1996. News reports say Romans, a member of the Oakland Police Department's SWAT team, was pronounced dead after he was shot as he entered an apartment building on 74th Avenue in search of the suspect.


(Top right) Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord. He was a traffic officer who was hired in November 1999. He and a traffic sergeant, Mark Dunakin, were shot during a routine stop of a 1995 Buick at 7400 MacArthur Blvd. Overnight reports said Hege suffered a critical brain injury and that he was on life support. His death was officially confirmed around noon Sunday.



(Left) Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, was a traffic officer who was hired November 1991. He was pronounced dead after being shot during the traffic stop at 7400 MacArthur Blvd.


(Right) Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, was hired in December 2000. Also a member of the department's SWAT team, he was pronounced dead after he was shot as he entered the apartment on 74th Avenue in search the suspect.
In a statement, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "All four officers dedicated their lives to public safety and selflessly worked to protect the people of Oakland. Maria and I join the Bay Area in remembering their service and honoring their sacrifice."
Schwarzenegger said Capitol flags would be flown at half-staff, and he was to fly in from Washington, D.C., today to meet with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

My family sends prayers to all the families who have lost a brave loved one. Thanks Soccer Mom for not publishing the photo of the monster who killed these heroes.

Anonymous said...

What about the rumor that this was payback for Oscar Grant? If there's anything like that going on, I'm scared about what's going to happen, if tensions are going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

The payback is in the minds of some idiots hanging around near the crime scene Saturday. On Brian Copeland's show, people there were yelling at the cops dealing with cleaning up the crime scene, saying BS like, "What goes around comes around." Can you believe that? Heard a lady interviewed on the news. She lives in the neighborhood and said she was embarassed for her neighbors, acting like such jerks. She said, when stuff happens, whos the first people they call? The police.
RIP Officers Sakai, Hege, Romans and Dunakin

Anna said...

God help us. These young men are so alive. This is so, so tragic. Four brave, young men, protecting us...

Thoughts and prayers to the families left behind. My heart just breaks.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen photos of all four officers. How can we not cry for these officers. This speaks volumes about how our police and firefighters are out there protecting us and ready to sacrifice for us each day.

Anonymous said...

Do we know about their personal circumstances? I wish to contribute to any foundation established for their families.

Soccer Mom said...

I have heard that a vigil will take place in Oakland on Tuesday evening and that the city and police officers association is working on funeral arrangements, as well as some kind of memorial fund for the officer's families. I'll look around and see if I can find out anything, and post it as soon as I know.

Anonymous said...

There is a wonderful organization called The One Hundred Club in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The "purpose of the One Hundred Club is to help provide for the spouses and dependents of police and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty."

Within 48 hours of the death of a law enforcement officer or firefighter, the group's representatives deliver a very
sizeable check to the surviving spouse and/or dependents so they have ready cash available. The dependents also receive an annual savings bond at Christmas and tuition to a college of their choice.

How can you help? Easy enough to write an annual membership check for $100 or easier still, a life membership for $1000.

For more information go to
www.100clubcontracostacounty.org or drop a not to P.O. Box 773, Danville, CA 94526 or
www.100clubalamedacounty.org.

Anonymous said...

I personally am getting a little sick and tired of all this "bleeding heart" emotion.

I am not be-little-ing what these officers do on the job, but they where sargents all very much aware of the risk, and they all made terrible tactical mistakes that cost them their lives. It comes with the job. There will be more people killed on both sides in the future. You can count on it.

Although it is tragic that these officers died by gunfire, more officers are killed anually by vehicle accidents. I think if everyone actually took a look at the numbers you would be surprised. A vehicle strike can happen from anyone, including me and you.

And if you look at officer deaths verses suspect deaths, the numbers don't even come close. More suspects die at the hands of officers by a large margin.

Now if you want to ad in warrantless searches (Patriot Act) provisions, checkpoints, etc. you open up even more possabilities of officers and suspects getting killed.

Police officers get killed because it is a inherant risk factor of the job. I personally do not beleive it is appropriate for the media to martyr these officers for public alcolaids. As I said; they knew the risk.

What about the suspect? What was his story? What happened to him growing up that made him a dangerous felon? What happened in his life to make him so angry that he felt compelled to open fire?

These are the questions that repeatedly don't get asked. And everyone wonders why; (although statistically crime is down) why some crimes are becoming more violent and more frequent.

Until the general public gets their collective heads out of the sand and starts dealing with the hard questions then there will no doubt be more killing on both sides.