RNC 2020: Mike Pence's comments on killing of Oakland federal officer David Patrick Underwood are misleading

ByLiz Kreutz and Melanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Friday, August 28, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

During his speech to the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence drew attention to California by discussing to David Patrick Underwood -- the federal protective service officer who was fatally shot in Oakland.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- During his speech to the Republican National Convention, where he condemned riots and looting across the country, Vice President Mike Pence drew attention to California by paying tribute to David Patrick Underwood -- the federal protective service officer killed earlier this summer in Oakland.

Mr. Pence specifically mentioned Underwood's sister, Angela, who attended the speech at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

RELATED: Federal officer shooting suspects Steven Carrillo, Robert Justus 'came to Oakland to kill cops,' FBI says

"Angela, we say to you, we grieve with your family," Mr. Pence said, as she nodded, "And America will never forget or fail to honor officer Dave Patrick Underwood."

The vice president made the tribute while speaking about his commitment to law enforcement and calling for an end to violence across the country. But his remarks about Underwood were also misleading.

Mr. Pence said Underwood "was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland," suggesting he was killed during a protest following the shooting of George Floyd. The vice president did not mention that the man accused of killing Underwood, Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo, is believed to have links to the extremist "boogaloo" movement and used the protests as a cover to carry out his attack.

RNC 2020: Pence denounces violence in Republican convention speech

According to law enforcement, in May, Carrillo and Richard Justus allegedly pulled up in a white van alongside a guard shack at the federal courthouse in Oakland and shot and killed Underwood, critically injuring his partner. They allegedly fled the scene, which was near where protests were taking place in the wake of George Floyd's death, setting off an eight-day manhunt.

"We believe Carrillo and Justice chose this date because the planned protest in Oakland provided an opportunity for them to target multiple law enforcement personnel and avoid apprehension to the large crowds attending the demonstrations, as described in detail in the complaint," John Bennett, FBI special agent in charge of the San Francisco field office said at a press conference after an arrest was made.

Carrillo along with his alleged accomplice Robert Justus used the protests in Oakland that night as a cover according to FBI special agent in Charge John Bennett.

"There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland as some of the media have asked. They came to Oakland to kill cops," said Bennett.

"Pat Underwood was murdered because he wore a uniform. He wore that uniform to signify his authority to protect the federal courthouse," said US Attorney of the Northern District of California David Anderson.

Carrillo, according to federal prosecutors, was linked to a little known but emerging movement called "boogaloo." They also go by "boogaloo bois" or "boogaloo boys." The federal complaint alleged he went to Oakland with an accomplice intending to kill cops.

Mr. Pence did not address the racial unrest happening across the country during his speech Wednesday night. When speaking about Underwood, he said his "heroism is emblematic of the heroes that serve in blue every day."

"The American people know we don't have to choose between supporting law enforcement and standing with our African-American neighbors to improve the quality of their lives, education, jobs, and safety," he said.

WATCH: David Patrick Underwood's family and friends talk to ABC7's Anser Hassan before Underwood's memorial