Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oakland PD Officer Speaks His Mind About His Roll-Out and Thoughts

Subject: Background: Oakland PD Officer Speaks His Mind About His Roll-Out and
>Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 00:26:55 -0700
an off-duty
Oakland cop that responded to the incident: Share it with whomever


On Saturday March 21, I was training at the Academy, coincidentally with some
aspiring police officers who are currently in an academy. At about 130pm or so I
received a phone call. I looked down at my caller ID and saw that it was my
sergeant. I thought to myself, I'm getting called out again. (I'm in a
specialized unit that that targets and apprehends homicide and shooting suspects
and violent gang members and drug gangs.) It is not unusual that I get called
out, given the violence that occurs in Oakland every day. I answer the phone and
my boss tells me that Mark Dunakin and John Hege had just been shot and was not
looking too good. He told me to round up the unit and get to Oakland immediately
and that the suspect was still on the loose. Just like any police officer under
immense pressure and stress, had to comprehend within seconds what had just
occurred. As I left the academy I told one of the recruits about the phone call.
I told him that this was the worst part about being a cop.

I called up my brother, who is also OPD and was recently promoted to my unit,
and told him the situation. I raced to his house, picked him up, and we raced to
Oakland. While on hwy 24, my brother called Sgt. Ervin Romans, who he had worked
for 2 years prior to coming to my unit. My brother told him that we were on our
way and asked Romans were we should stage. Romans told my brother to get to 73
and Macarthur ASAP and that it looked like Dunakin was dead. We continued racing
to Oakland when less than 10 minutes later and as we were getting into Oakland,
a teammate of ours broadcasted over the radio that it was all bad. He then said
that Sakai and Romans were both shot in the head while making entry. My brother
responds on the radio, "What?! Are you sure?? I just got off the phone with
Romans!" Sadly it was true.

We arrived at 73 and Macarthur and it was complete chaos. Four of my friends and
colleagues had just been shot and murdered. Several police officers and citizens
are in tears. Everybody is confused and disbelief. Oakland Councilman Larry
Reid, who I hope one day makes mayor of Oakland, is crying and visibly shaken.
He walks to me, while I'm holding back tears and an internal rage, and hugs me.
Councilman Reid while crying, tells me, "Don't ever forget to watch over each
other and take care of each other. When you guys are out here, you are all you
have. You must depend on each other to make sure we all make it home safe". And
he's right. In a world where people hate the police, we are all we have.

Later, as I'm leaving the scene, there is a group of about 50 or so on the
corner of 73 and Mac. I see many of them laughing, some dancing. They were not
hiding the fact that they were celebrating the murder of 4 police officers. The
same police officers who many of their friends or families at one time or
another may have called the police for help. I hear them making antipolice
remarks. While I'm still in complete shock, an intense feeling of rage builds up
inside me. I want to beat these guys to a pulp. But I don't. I'm held to a
higher standard and I refuse to lower myself to the standards of these pathetic
excuses for human beings.

We are not all perfect. People fail to realize that police officers are humans
and make mistakes. A mistake that one cop makes should not be a reflection of
the entire law enforcement community. What kind of world would we live in if we
believed that every person that lives in Oakland or other cities was a criminal?
What I love about Gracies Academy is how its made up of people of different
backgrounds and different walks of life. How we all can come together for the
love of the sport and friendships. How we meet and develop friendships with
people that would not normally meet in any other environment. That is why I feel
comfortable sharing this story.

I tell this story to you guys to share what a fellow companion of some of you
that I have met and have developed friendships with had experienced this
weekend. I also tell this story to spread the legacy of the four fallen heroes
and their story of the ultimate sacrifice. To many of you that train at
Gracies that are either police officers or aspiring police officers, have to
think that could have been me. I had worked for, worked with, was friends
with the four men killed on that day. They were fathers, sons, brothers,
husbands, and friendsthey were great cops but most importantly incredible
human beings. John Hege and Mark Dunakin were heroes for coming in contact with
this incredibly violent, pathetic excuse for a human being. They were heroes.
Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai wanted to be the first to make entry into the
house where the suspect had barricaded himself to face the monster that had just
taken the lives of two of our own. Also knowing the danger that they were
facing, knowing this monster was in there armed with a gun. They were both shot
in the head, They were heroes. This is a horrible time for many of us, but they
should not be forgotten and should always be remembered for making the ultimate
sacrifice in making the streets safer for our children, parents, grandparents,
friends, and loved ones. I hope some of you pray for them and their families.

Many of you guys roll and train among men and women that wear a uniform and risk
their lives every day to make our streets safer. Always remember and pray for
your training partners that are military, fireman, and police officers. They may
one day have to sacrifice their lives to help you, your loved ones, or someone
you know.

I don't expect many of you to read this entire story, but I hope it reaches at
least some of you. I hope to roll with you guys soon.

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