Group rallies for Mixon rather than officers

March 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
As the investigation into the deadly shooting of four Oakland police officers is ongoing, but the tragedy has highlighted deep divisions within the community and friction with the police.

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Organized by Oakland's Uhuru Movement For Economic Development, the group of about 40 people marched down MacArthur Boulevard past the two sites where Lovelle Mixon killed four Oakland police officers before police killed him.

"Lovelle is a hero! Lovelle is a hero!" shouted a woman in the rally.

Demonstrators say Mixon was fighting back against what they see as an oppressive police force.

"I don't condone what he did, but karma comes around. What goes around comes around," said a man speaking to the crowd.

Many of those who chose not to take part in the march believe this tragic incident is a symptom of a much larger problem.

At Oakland's Youth Uprising center some teens want to open up a serious dialogue between the police and the community.

"I think coming together as a community and actually putting our ideas together and brainstorming," said T-Royal, from Youth Uprising.

Others say it's time to end what has become a culture of "Us against them."

"We need to learn how to be able to work together as one instead of all of us always feeling like 'I can't talk to them because he's a cop,' or 'I can't talk to them because she's a city official,' or 'I can't talk to that lady or that young man because they don't know what they're talking about they're not intelligent enough to hold a conversation,' and it's not always like that," said Martaina Hardeway, from Youth Uprising.

The small turnout at Wednesday's demonstration reflected the community's intolerance of Mixon's actions, but the incident has created a strong desire to improve relations between the police and the community.

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