True Crime

Oakland's Cop Killer

Five months ago, Lovelle Mixon was released from prison. In a fascinating profile, The New York Times recreates his path to a traffic stop in Oakland over the weekend, where he murdered four police officers before being shot. “In the months leading up to the shooting, Mr. Mixon seemed to mix the elements of both the striving and the sinister, struggling to find legitimate employment—he took a real estate class, for example, a nonstarter in a down economy—but also buying a gun.” He also began pimping, which paid for the 1995 Buick Park Avenue he was d riving when police pulled him over. His parole officer, meanwhile, supervised 70 other parolees, and so probably had a difficult time tracking Mixon’s actions. He was originally imprisoned in 2002 for assault with a deadly weapon during a carjacking. In January 2008, he was suspected of homicide and locked up for another nine months for possessing a drug scale and a stolen lap top. He was released on parole, but “He told me that he was ready to go back to jail just so he could change his parole officer,” says his father.