Murdered Federal Police Officer David Patrick Underwood Laid to Rest
PINOLE, California — A public memorial service was held for a 53-year-old federal officer who was gunned down outside the Federal Building during a George Floyd protest in Oakland last month.
David Patrick Underwood was laid to rest in Pinole on Friday. The theater at Pinole Valley High School was jammed shoulder to shoulder with nearly 600 law enforcement officers and family and friends. Some wearing masks and some not.
Underwood’s sister said the last few weeks have “been a roller coaster, a horrifying roller coaster.” She recalled his murder on May 29 outside Oakland’s federal building around 10p.m. after a protest over George Floyd and the subsequent rioting.
Officials say a white van drove by and a shooter fired at Underwood and another officer, killing Underwood. An active-duty Air Force police officer named Steven Carrillo was eventually arrested with the federal complaint alleging he went to Oakland with an accomplice intending to kill cops.
“We are all traumatized by the way Patrick lost his life. He was such an outstanding person. Proud humanitarian, worked hard,” said George Phillips, Underwood ‘s lifelong friend. “For people of color, for Black people, there has been a pandemic for over 400 years, we have never found a vaccine. It is time we found a vaccine,” Phillips added.
He worked for the same company for nine years under contract with the Department of Homeland Security. He went to Pinole Valley High School with what many said was a smile that would light up the room.
A representative for the family said that they’ve been ignored by many state elected officials most notably no call from the governor’s office which adds to their pain.
But many law enforcement agencies were here to express their grief and other emotions.
Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security describes his reaction as “Anger- the thought that someone so motivated with hate would deliberately and callously target another person simply because they chose to wear the uniform.”
“I know if I were talking to him right now, what he would say (to) all of us, here today, and across America, is to stay strong – stay strong, and focus on love and peace and unity,” said Angela Underwood Jacobs, Underwood’s sister.
“Fear has risen for all Americans and we want to make sure my brother’s death is not in vain and that we can take this atrocity and find something of good in his death by focusing on his life,” she said.
“I thought about (the gunman’s) parents. Thinking as a parent, I have two children. I would think they were feeling, ‘How did this happen? What did we do wrong?’ I want to say they didn’t do anything wrong, these were choices (the gunman) made. So, I don’t give him much thought because that would be giving him too much credit,” says Underwood Jacobs.
Her final message was that as a society we must overcome discrimination and violence against African-Americans and against police officers.
“It was senseless, you know, he was standing there trying to protect everybody, and he wouldn’t have hurt anybody.” He was very close with his family and very close with his friends, he would do anything really for anybody,” said Jeanne Castro-Ricketts, a friend.
The acting Secretary of Homeland Security also spoke at the service.
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