OAKLAND (CBS SF) — About 150 people gathered at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland Friday morning for a memorial Mass in honor of four Oakland police officers who were killed by a wanted parolee five years ago.
The Rev. Jayson Landeza, the chaplain for the Oakland Police Department, said, “There isn’t a day when we don’t remember 3/21 and we’ve never been the same since as individuals, as a police department and as a city.”
Landeza said that March 21, 2009, “saw Oakland at some level at its worst but at some level at its best because we saw the support and affection of the city for our police officers.”
The officers who were killed were Sgt. Mark Dunakin, Sgt. Ervin Romans, Sgt. Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege.
They were fatally shot by parolee Lovelle Mixon after officers made a traffic stop on him. Mixon was fatally shot by other officers later that day.
“Many of us remember where we were on 3/21 and this is an opportunity to remember these officers in our daily lives and to connect with each other about the pain of this day,” Landeza said.
“May this be a day of spiritual reflection in a place of light, rest, happiness and peace,” he said. “As we say at the Oakland Police Department, heroes live forever and may these officers rest in peace and live forever.”
Among those who attended the Mass were the family members and friends of the fallen officers, members of the Oakland Police Department and other police departments, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and several City Council members.
Quan said afterward, “Those of us who are associated with the city always pause and think of these officers.”
She said she asked that all city flags be lowered in honor of the officers and there was a ceremony early Friday morning to lower the flag at City Hall.
“It’s amazing that the children of these officers are almost young adults now and we want them to know that Oakland will always be their home,” Quan said. “This is a day to pray for peace and no more homicides in Oakland.”
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