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Lovelle Mixon's parole was supervised appropriately, state review finds

March 25, 2009 |  1:30 pm

Mixon A preliminary report on the fatal shooting of four Oakland police officers found today that supervision  of the alleged gunman, Lovelle Mixon, was handled appropriately by the state's parole division.

The details of the review were contained in a letter from Inspector General David R. Shaw to Matthew L. Cate, secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The review of parole by the state Office of the Inspector General concluded that agents followed protocols  not only in supervising Mixon but in providing job assistance and drug-testing for the 26-year-old parolee.

When Mixon missed appointments with his parole officer, the report found, he was promptly listed as a parolee at large, and the necessary authorities were contacted and officials brought in the Fugitive Apprehension Team to search for him.

The review of Mixon's parole records "showed that Oakland parole agents were diligent  in their monitoring and drug-testing of Mixon, commensurate with his status as a high-control parolee," Shaw wrote.

"Based on our preliminary inquiry, it appears that [parole officials] followed department policies and procedures in their supervision of Mixon after his release from custody and in their attempts to locate and apprehend him."

The state department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was heavily criticized Monday by Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown for what he characterized as poor supervision of parolees, what he referred to as one of the "darker secrets of the whole prison industry."

But a timeline released by corrections officials earlier this week detailed many contacts between Mixon and his parole agent and efforts to track him down.

Corrections Undersecretary Scott Kernan said the inspector general's conclusions mirrored the internal review by the parole agency.

"The inspector general's conclusions confirm the results of our immediate internal review of the handling of Lovelle Mixon's parolee supervision records," Kernan said. "Our peace officers and our brothers and sisters in local law enforcement should be commended for their professionalism in light of this tragedy, and we share in the grief of the Oakland PD and their families."

Mixon was pulled over for a routine traffic stop Saturday, leading to the shootings that ultimately claimed the lives of four Oakland police officers, along with Mixon. Oakland police said earlier this week that a day before the shooting, detectives had connected Mixon's DNA to an unsolved rape case. It's unclear whether the two officers who pulled him over knew this.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Lovelle Mixon. Credit: Oakland Police Department