Prayer services held for fallen officers

March 22, 2009 7:31:57 PM PDT
Special prayer services for the police officers killed Saturday took place at many churches throughout the Bay Area Sunday, especially in Oakland.

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"I love the Oakland Police Department. I appreciate the Oakland Police Department," Bishop Ernestine Reems-Dickerson told her congregation Sunday.

The Center of Hope Community Church is on MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland, just blocks from where the shootings occurred. Sunday morning's worship service included songs, sermon and prayers for the fallen officers.

"They were doing their job. And, to lose your life doing your job... That's painful," Bishop Reems-Dickerson told the congregation.

The bishop said it felt like Satan picked out East Oakland Saturday. Some who passed by the crime scene Sunday could only shake their heads.

"It's a shame because we need our officers around here to keep the drugs down. We need them around here," said Oakland resident Chappell Lynn.

Felicia McDaniel came to pick up her car that she left behind when the shootings began. She witnessed the aftermath.

"Seeing officers run, seeing tears, seeing bloody hands... It was just, it's just mind blowing Carolyn. It really is," she told ABC7.

For some the deadly shootings highlight the tense relationship between some members of the African-American community and law enforcement.

"Sometimes the officers are doing their job and there are some officers that are doing a good job at that. But, there are some officers who are officers just because of the power and they abuse their power," said Saladin Smith of Oakland.

"It's also a shame how these officers harass us like that," added Beatrice Hutson, also of Oakland.

Still, everyone ABC7 talked with Sunday expressed sorrow for the loss of life and in churches big and small, Sunday services remembered the victims.

Pastors from throughout the city are expected to gather Tuesday night, at the apartment building where three officers were shot, for a vigil.

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