01/07/2010

Report says leadership missteps led to Calif. police killings

The report cites the failures of the senior command to stop the raid

Editor’s Note: Police Chief Anthony Batts recently said that the public has a misperception that "everything went wrong" on March 21, and points to some "very good and solid decisions" as well as "many courageous, selfless acts" that occurred the day Lovell Mixon murdered four Oakland police officers. The public release of this report will likely worsen that misperception, but regardless of its effect on the public, one hopes that this document — like any after action report — provides an opportunity for OPD and all police agencies to learn, train, and prepare for the next deadly encounter.

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
The San Francisco Chronicle

OAKLAND, Calif. — An independent report on the March 2009 slayings of four Oakland police officers released Wednesday concluded that two SWAT team members lost their lives in a poorly planned "ad hoc" raid in search of the killer that should have been called off.

"The failure of the senior command to stop the raid and implement other tactical alternatives was of serious concern," said a panel of law enforcement veterans who held three days of hearings last fall into the slayings of SWAT team Sgts. Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai, along with Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege.

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