SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The sister of a federal security guard who was ambushed in a hail of bullets during a night of intense protests and unrest in Oakland, gave an emotional testimony before Congress, on Wednesday.
David Patrick Underwood, 53, of Pinole was shot and killed by a gunman during protests over the police killing of George Floyd, while guarding the Ronald Dellums Federal Building. His death may have been connected to the death of a Santa Cruz sheriff deputy who was killed, in a similar ambush days later in Santa Cruz, according to investigators.
Angela Underwood Jacobs appeared before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police reform in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by officers in Minneapolis, and urged Congress to make change in her brother’s honor.
“Patrick was a good man who only wanted to help others and keep his community safe. He had an infectious laugh and a corny sense of humor,” said Underwood, a Republican and former city council member, in southern California. “He would go out of his way to help family, friends and strangers. He did not deserve to die in such a horrendously inhumane way.”
Underwood described a poignant scene at their mother’s deathbed.
“When our mother fell to the ground as she was dying, he picked her lifeless body up as her spirit was leaving to place her upon her bed, because that’s where she wanted to die. My question is, who will pick up Patrick and carry his legacy?”
While she condemned police brutality, Underwood was critical of the recent unrest in U.S. cities, and denounced calls to abolish police departments.
“Where is the outrage for a fallen officer that also happens to be African American?”
“Police brutality of any kind, must not be condoned. However, it is blatantly wrong to create an excuse of discount of discrimination and disparity to loot and burn our communities to kill our officers of the law,” she said. “It is a ridiculous solution to proclaim that defunding police departments, is a solution to police brutality and discrimination.”
The brother of George Floyd also testified, on Wednesday.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another black person is killed for no reason.” Philonese Floyd told the lawmakers.
His brother, George Floyd suffocated to death when his arresting officer held his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The death, caught on video, sparked Black Lives Matter protests worldwide and calls for police reform.
House Democrats introduced a bill on Monday that would ban chokeholds, mandate anti-bias training and make it easier to sue officers for misconduct in the line of duty.