Hundreds gather for Oakland vigil

March 25, 2009 12:43:47 AM PDT
A memorial was held for four murdered Oakland Police Officers who were gunned down Saturday. Hundreds of people came out Tuesday night to pay their respects. They came to honor the memory of the officers who were lost, but they also came to find a way to repair a grieving and divided city.

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"If you want to commit to making this a victory out of tragedy, put up your victory sign. Amen," said a man from the Interfaith Choir.

At 74th and MacArthur, a vigil was held near the spot where Lovelle Mixon murdered two motorcycle officers. It was also just around the corner from the apartment where Mixon killed two SWAT officers. Through candles and prayers, came a strong call for hope and healing.

"I was preparing my sermon when shots rang out that not only ripped the city apart, but has transformed our desire to work together," said the Rev. Scott Denman, form St. John's Episcopal Church.

The clergy addressed the mistrust between the police and many residents, but they also sent out a call for the community to take control of its neighborhoods.

"I say to each and every one of us, Oakland is not a bad city. I say to each and every one of us, Oakland is not a terrible city," said the Rev. John Clark, from the Praise Fellowship Christian Church.

"We're going to get through this, but we're going to get through this with the support of you, the other law enforcement families and our own personal families," said acting Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

Mayor Ron Dellums took the podium and told the crowd the White House has contacted him.

"The president of the United States who carries the burden of the world and nation, stood with us and even at this moment is attempting to reach the families to express his condolences," said Mayor Dellums.

Members of the group Youth Uprising lit a candle for each officer, and in the end, six doves were released -- one for each officer, one for the whole city, and one just for the neighborhood.

One local pastor said the shots that ran out on Saturday, were also heard around the city, the state and the entire nation.

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