Lovelle Mixon Raped Two Women Day of Final Shootout with Cops, and Yet…

I never thought Lovelle Mixon was any kind of hero. His shooting two Oakland motorcycle cops and then two SWAT team officers was celebrated by some in the Oakland black community as revenge against the excesses of the police, especially coming on the heels of the slain Oscar Grant, the young father and baker who was murdered by a BART cop on New Year’s. On the other side, as four Oakland police officers were laid to rest, politicians, police officials and the media eulogized and recorded them as the true heroes in this case. Really, I think none of these people–Mixon and the cops he killed–are the heroes people think that they are. What is black and white to some in the polarized Oakland community is actually quite gray and not necessarily very pretty.

This Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a state laboratory had confirmed through DNA tests that Mixon had raped two women in the early morning of March 21 as they set up a booth from which they sold food for day laborers. The two women were confronted at gunpoint, robbed, and brought to 45th Avenue and San Leandro Street, where they were raped repeatedly. Mixon later fled the scene, and the women called police.

The date is important to the timeline of Mixon’s actions, because later that day, Mixon was stopped by the two Oakland policemen, ostensibly for a fake license. It is not known whether the policemen knew about the rapes committed that morning, or even whether Mixon was being sought for having violated parole. It’s not even known whether Mixon knew that they knew. However, it’s reasonable to assume that Mixon was probably on a hair-trigger about being apprehended for the rapes, and didn’t want to take any chances.

Since March 21, investigators have found that:

1.  Mixon raped a 12-year-old girl on her way to school.

2.  Mixon was implicated in a home invasion robbery in Modesto.  He and an accomplice, Cedric Daniels, 22, acquired a rifle, jewelry and cash, while pistol-whipping and assaulting the residents.

3.  Mixon was involved in the rapes of five more women, all perpetrated in the early morning hours.

There’s a certain twisted pleasure that some cops have felt and expressed, even in this article, that the black Oakland community had no business supporting the likes of Lovelle Mixon.   Understand that I know that “some people” are not the whole black community, but of course, these guys, particularly the spokesmen for the police unions, just don’t get it. The need for some blacks to valorize someone like Mixon is because the Oakland cops are not seen as heroes at all but as an intrusive and marauding force by a majority in the black community. The Oakland black community can delineate an Oscar Grant from a Lovelle Mixon, whereas the cops have lumped them together.

Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, said Monday that the latest information shows what kind of person officers were dealing with that day.

“It doesn’t change what happened,” he said. “All it says is, to his supporters – this is who you’re supporting. Congratulations for supporting a monster…”

All this gloating does not excuse police tactics in the Mixon case, which seemingly has been given short shrift in the local press, but has been noted even in locales like Sacramento and Los Angeles. A cousin, Latressa Gary, in a KCRA interview, prefaced her remarks saying that while she did not approve of Mixon’s shooting of the police officers, she felt that in the case of the second shooting, the SWAT team came out in force and “under anger” against the alleged killer and rapist, disregarding the safety of civilians in the building and environs, including Mixon’s other relatives who might have been in the apartment.

Reynete Mixon, who was present, was injured by police concussion grenades during the shoot-out. Another sister, Enjoli, 24, was arrested two days later on a bench warrant for being found under the influence of drugs from last October. Confused and upset when she appeared in court, she had little information to give police about her brother’s comings and goings. Not all of Mixon’s relatives knew–or wanted to know–about his activities, which said also included pimping. As UnderCurrents columnist Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor related on April 16:

What is missing from this narrative are the exact circumstances at the 74th Avenue apartment in the period immediately before the SWAT team broke in. The SWAT team took what is unquestionably the most dangerous tack in attempting to apprehend Mr. Mixon, entering an enclosed space occupied by an armed and dangerous suspect who they believed had already shot and killed two police officers, and without the team knowing either the layout of the space or any of the circumstances inside. If there was a probability—or even strong possibility—that Mr. Mixon would have escaped without that immediate entry, or if Mr. Mixon posed some clear and immediate mortal danger to police or civilians at the time the SWAT team surrounded the apartment, then one could make the reasonable argument that entering the apartment as the SWAT team did was tragic, but necessary.

But without knowing the details of what the officers knew or suspected in the moments before the apartment entry, it is impossible to say whether the forced entry decision was justified, or whether there was an alternative strategy that might have reasonably led to capturing—or, if necessary, killing—Mr. Mixon without the same danger to the SWAT officers.

There is also the question of whether or not the police action itself in entering the apartment posed a danger to civilians in the vicinity, in particular any individuals who may have been present in the other apartments in the building in which the two officers and Mr. Mixon were killed. We know that an uninvolved civilian, Mr. Mixon’s sister Reynete, was in the apartment at the time and was slightly injured by the concussion grenades thrown by the officers. As for the other tenants, was any attempt made by police to evacuate the building prior to the entry? Would such an attempt have jeopardized the police action, alerting Mr. Mixon to the police presence, or was it simply the case that the commander in charge on the scene—whoever that might have been—did not take into account any possible civilian casualties? Again, we do not have the information necessary to make any judgment.

From an article by Associated Press writer Paul Elias published in the Oakland Tribune, we learned this week that the Oakland Police Department plans to conduct an internal investigation of the March 21 MacArthur shootings, to “include a review by outside SWAT experts.”

That is commendable, but not nearly enough. In the past, such internal investigations have sometimes served to obscure public scrutiny of certain actions of the Oakland Police Department, rather than to enhance it.

In other words, it appears that the cops came in strictly on raw emotion, as if they hadn’t had any previous training, in order to get that guy, and not to do their jobs. Have they been watching way too much TV and movies? This is the kind of thing that can’t be justified, no matter how much and how quickly someone needs to be apprehended or subdued. It’s the type of mindset that killed Oscar Grant.

And because of the fools-rush-in attitude, two more policemen were killed before Mixon was shot dead. Mixon could have just as easily been taken alive, if they had decided to wait things out. People could have found out what motivated Mixon, and who his other victims had been, without sympathizing with him. Instead, the police narrative functions as the only credible one; whereas, the minority looks crazy for making Mixon out like a martyr simply because the cops may have felt that they wanted him dead in the first place.

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~ by blksista on May 8, 2009.

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