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Sunday, November 26, 2006

[CA] Richmond Police Officer Harper has been murdered by ex-boyfriend

Friday Richmond Police Officer Kaliah Ashante Harper was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in a parking lot after leaving a funeral for two youth in the community. Another stolen life - Quartus Lee Hinton is accused of "shooting her multiple times in the upper body and head at point-blank range." She had broken up with him a few weeks before. He fled, there was a manhunt, and last night he was arrested.
Her department refers to her as a "rising star" - working narcotics before she was even off of probation, a stack of commendations, and from the news articles, very loved not only for who she was, but very respected for her professionalism.
(I know there will be more to tell. Anything that can be learned from this domestic violence tragedy for other officers facing personal dangers in their lives needs to be lifted and known.)
I am adding her people to my prayers.


  1. Excerpt. Kaliah's mom:

    ..."Nobody took anything away from me," she emphasized, placing a shaking hand over her heart. "I still have her right here."

    (I know I shouldn't post full articles but I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH and feel it so honors Kaliah and it's author, her family AND her department that I'm willing to take my chances.

    It's beautiful.)

    Slain cop's mom calls her special
    TheReporter.com, CA - 16 hours ago
    By Kimberly K. Fu/Staff Writer
    Article Launched:11/28/2006 06:37:25 AM PST


    In a word, that's how friends and family described fallen Richmond police Officer Kaliah Ashante Harper, 28, who was shot fatally last Friday in Fairfield following a memorial for two young boys killed in a traffic accident.

    The Suisun City woman's former boyfriend, 28-year-old Quartus Lee Hinton of Vallejo, was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail on suspicion of murder.

    "She had a great soul and a great heart," said Harper's mother, Beverly Moore, on Monday. "From the day she was born, she was just special."

    Moore declined to speak of Hinton, saying she chose to focus only on the beauty of her daughter and remember the good times they shared. There were many, she said, as the family - she, Harper and her youngest daughter, 17-year-old Kadija Bateman - was extremely close.

    "Nobody took anything away from me," she emphasized, placing a shaking hand over her heart. "I still have her right here."

    Hinton's former wife, who annulled their marriage in 2002, said she learned about the killing Monday. She has not been in touch with the suspect and declined to talk about him.

    "I don't want to discuss him," Kalanah Clark said. "He's been out of my life for years now."

    Hinton's relatives could not be reached for comment.

    Moore described her eldest daughter as a shining star with a huge heart, a flair for helping others and a talent for accomplishing everything she set out to do.

    At age 4, she played piano during her nursery school graduation in Richmond.

    In elementary school, she charmed teachers who thought she was too gregarious and became an aide in the classroom.

    She later excelled in junior high through high school, graduated from California State University, Sacramento and finished at the top of her class at the police academy in Napa.

    Harper had always wanted to be a police officer, her mother said, because she loved Richmond and the community.

    "She wanted to change the world, and what better way to do that than through law enforcement?" she said.

    Harper was never afraid, Moore remembered, possibly because she believed she would not live a long life. Call it a premonition, Moore said, adding that her daughter spoke the thought often but did not let it deter her from fulfilling her dreams.

    "She lived her life to the utmost, every day," Moore said.

    Richmond Detective Mauricio Canelo attended the academy with Harper. He described her as a driven competitor and an exceptional friend.

    "She was always the kind of person you could trust. She was always there for me, and I was there for her," Canelo recalled. "She was always trying to find the good in people, give them a second chance, even if we knew they were bad...

    "She was a great officer and a great friend. She's gonna be missed by all of the officers in Richmond. It's gonna be hard."

    Harper joined the Richmond Police Department in 2002 and quickly racked up commendations. She was recognized not only for exemplary police work, but for community efforts - such as organizing a spur-of-the-moment Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2005. She was also chosen for an elite departmental team specializing in narcotics enforcement.

    Marlena Armstrong of Antioch said she was more familiar with Harper the friend than Harper the cop, but loved all sides of the best friend she'd known since the seventh grade.

    No one wanted to befriend the newcomer to school, Armstrong said, remembering the volleyball practice she thought she'd spend alone. That is, until Harper came along.

    "No one wanted to speak to me and she must've seen the tears in my eyes," Armstrong said. "She came up from under the net and said, 'You look like you need a hug.' And I needed that hug! I was infatuated with her from then on," she said.

    "She was a great friend... She taught me lessons. I (was) not an emotional person, but I am now. I cry with my husband, I cry with my parents. I let it out. She helped me cry. She was a perfect friend."

    Harper's sister, Kadija Bateman, said her sister truly was an angel. She gave love and was loved, she said, will forever be missed. She shared a cautionary message for women of all ages that she hoped would help them in their lives.

    "If it doesn't seem right and you feel like your life is threatened and your relationship isn't going right, just let it go," she said. "It's still unreal to me. I still can't believe it. I'm still waiting for her to come home."

    A memorial service for Officer Kaliah Harper is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza. Wilson & Kratzer has scheduled a viewing from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the corner of Barrett Avenue and 24th Street.

    Karl Fischer of The Contra Costa Times contributed to this story. Kimberly K. Fu can be reached at crime@thereporter.com.


  2. A year ago I had the great pleasure of meeting Kaliah in Vegas for a girls weekend. She and I bonded for some reason, maybe my past and her future formed a silent bond.

    She was so classy and beautiful. We got tattoos together on March 12, 2006 (my birthday). She went first. It was my first time and I was so nervous!!!

    We had breakfast, dinner, dancing for about 4 days with all the girls. I am so glad I had this opportunity to meet her and spend this time. I just want her family to know she is special and I won't ever forget her.

    After her death, I left an abusive relationship with her on my mind. If Kaliah couldn't defend herself, as an officer, how could I? I got the restraining order. It is still touch and go for me. I don't want to end up the same, but I am so sad that she did. I pray that she is at peace. God bless her family.
    I won't stay and settle for this treatment any longer. I can't. I think of her and keep moving.


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