Slain Oakland officers honored at memorial

May 7, 2010 2:16:49 PM PDT
Four Oakland police officers who were slain in the line of duty last year were honored at the annual California Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento this morning.

The 34th annual event, sponsored by the California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation, included a candlelight vigil Thursday night, a memorial caravan this morning and a public ceremony across from the state Capitol building.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George spoke at the ceremony and according to a prepared text said, "These officers gave their lives so that the rest of us could continue our own lives."

The four Oakland officers were shot March 21, 2009, in two separate incidents by Lovelle Mixon, 26, who had previously been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and was wanted for a parole violation.

The officers were Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy; Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord; Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville; and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley.

Dunakin and Hege were shot after they stopped Mixon in a routine traffic stop in Oakland. Dunakin was killed and Hege died after being taken off life support two days later.

Romans and Sakai were slain with bullets from an assault weapon when they entered an apartment where Mixon was reported to be barricaded. Other officers then returned fire and killed Mixon.

The chief justice said in his remarks, "We all belong to the society to which these courageous officers dedicated their lives - and we are a better community, a better state, and a better nation because of them."


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