Young People Anticipate the Aftermath of Mixonís Rampage
YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, Commentary , Various Authors Posted: Mar 24, 2009
Editorís Note: No one will be more affected by the fallout of the shooting-deaths of four Oakland Police Department officers at the hands of Lovelle Mixon than young people living in his neighborhood and places like this all over the Bay Area. YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia asked young people how they thought their lives would change in the wake of the massacre. Authors are interns at YO! and The Beat Within.
Police Will Be More Nervous
Well, what happened with the four police officers in Oakland getting killed is terrible, but itís also just life Ė stuff happens. I think the police are really going to be cracking down on youth, not just in Oakland Ė itís gonna happen all over. Even if you just look like youíre gangbanging or you just look like youíre in the street, you are going to be harassed by the police. The police are going to try and make an example of anyone else in the street life.
The other thing is that the police might be kind of nervous, and when they pull people over, I think that any move the person makes can cost them their life. I think the whole city is going to get cracked down on just because of one personís stupidity.
This whole thing is not going to affect me because I donít be in the streets like that. But in a situation with me and the police, I will be kind of scared. If I get pulled over, the police wonít know that Iím not in the streets just by the way I look Ė especially with my gold ones and clothes Ė they gonna think that Iím a gangster when Iím not even close to that. So, in that situation I will be very nervous and uncomfortable.
- Ricky Rollins, 17
Black People Are Moving Out of Oakland
For me, what happened this weekend with the police killings Ė itís going to change a lot of things because my family is from Oakland and cops in Oakland already put a lot of black people in jail for no reason. There might be a lot of black people who will move out of the city of Oakland because of all the killing going on. This is happening already
My life is going to change because I donít want anything to do with the police. My family has a lot of history with the police, and I donít want anything to happen to them. I have a five-month-old son and, as he grows up, he is going to see all these things happening in these streets and I donít want anything to happen to him. I hope the police put this situation behind them.
I live in Richmond and I am not going to go to Oakland from now on because I donít want to be in this same situation. When I see the police, I am going to get scared because of what happened.
- Deajene Willridge, 17
Black Men Are Self-Destructing
Well, my concerns for this drama that just happened over the weekend in Oakland, you know five cops getting shot by a black man, who then lost his life. I mean what else is there to say besides the law will be cracking down harder, meaning low-tolerance, more lock-ups, and more angry black folks. Just hearing this s--t drives you crazy. What I can do? What I can say? Black dude feels like his life has just hit a climax, he reacts, then boom! I can say I believe a lot has to do with [the shooterís] prior crime weighing on his mind.
But weíve seen this situation before, like how Phillyís murder rate was a record high for like the fifth time or more Ė being 406 Ė in 2006. So, the city hired an extra taskforce to calm the cityís blazing heat, this was intense for the people. And then there was this guy by the name of Bryan Nickels down in Atlanta, he was on trial in 2005 for rape, but about to be acquitted. He reacted in the same manner as Mixon, but in his case, he killed the judge.
Me, myself, I sometimes feel like these men in life, like I wanna self-destruct, but I canít. In their cases, I donít know, maybe they felt like their lives were ending, so they ended it themselves by ending other peopleís lives.
- Mike Wright, 22
Young People Need to Stop Doing Dumb Things
I think now in Oakland, cops are going to act different when they see young black men. They will probably have more cops on the street just to be careful, and these cops will probably be more aggressive than before. Honestly, if a cop approaches me like he is going to arrest me, I will run the other way because I donít want to go to jail because I donít want my family to worry about me. Sometimes, I think cops pull people over because they donít have nothing better to do.
But I think if young people want cops to stop acting bad, they need to stop doing dumb things. They should go to school and get their diploma instead of dropping out.
- Quamaine Wallace, 17
Donít Lynch the Community
I see the fatal police shooting as a horrible situation and my heart goes out to the family of those officers and the alleged shooter. Peopleís lives were lost, not only were the officers killed but the suspect as well, who was relatively young.
I understand the Oakland Police Department will be very upset, but they must understand that the community shouldn't be harmed. What I mean by this is that Oakland PD shouldn't look for a way to retaliate or lynch the community because of their hurt and anger. I think that police officers in Oakland will be on high alert and may potentially take out their frustration on the male black youth and it will result in a crisis situation.
This affected me as well, because my mom was suddenly warning me about going outside and the danger of living here in Oakland. Now, I look at the city differently, like whereís the protection?
- Sean Shavers, 17
Now, Iím Watching Out for Police
Personally, Iím not changing anything I used to do before the killings. I feel like, that this whole situation was just four more murders added to the other murders of 2009 in Oakland. The only difference is that it was finally some cops.
Iíve lost a lot of n-----s in these Oakland streets, not to mention that one of my patnas got killed by the Oakland police, but does the city care about that? Let them tell it, they were just doing they job.
Now after all that happened, Iíve been really watching out for the police. To the police, Iím a target because I am on felony probation and I live in a real violent section in East Oakland. As a matter of fact, the cop killings that took place last Saturday happened right around the corner from my house. So every time I see them, Iím afraid they gonna bounce out on me and take me in just because, or kill me if I decided to run from them.
- Damarius Brown, Age 18
Police Need to Realize They Are Not Supermen
On March 22, five police got shot and four died. Personally, I think this was a good thing because the police always think theyíre tough cause they got a gun. Another reason I think this was a good thing is because the police need to know how it feels to lose someone they care for. Iím originally from Hunterís Point in San Francisco, but now I live in Oakland, and it seems like everywhere I go there are punk ass cops trying to be superman. The thing is Ė theyíre not made of steel.
I feel two things are going to happen. One is that the police that are scared are going to be even more scared, and when youíre dealing with a scared cop, they tend to do all the unnecessary stuff. The second thing thatís going to happen is that there are going to be more assholes on the job. I think Lovelle Mixon just made it harder for the black community because the cops already look at us like criminals, now they going look at us like killers. The police need to know that everybody who wears a hoody isnít a criminal.
Everybody can learn from this incident. For example, the police should learn that it isnít okay for them to abuse their powers and because eventually somebody might snap and MURDER THEM!!! And for the people who think itís okay to shoot at the police, know that if you do, they will be on you like a lion on a zebra so you better have a backup plan or a getaway driver. For myself, I learned that bad stuff happens to everybody.
- David Cunningham, 18
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