Last week, former Sergeant Gregory Preece made his first public appearance after the shooting death of Tyisha Miller, to accept two awards he received from the Riverside Police Department and State Assemblyman Rod Pacheco for his role in the City Council shooting, on Oct. 6, 1998. The audience, consisting of over 300 police officers, their families and members of the city government whooped, hollered, clapped and cheered as he walked down the aisle of the council chambers to receive his awards. Much louder than they had clapped for any other award recipient.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 1998, Preece had appeared at the gasoline station on the corner of Brockton and Central, a minute before the fatal shots were fired by four white police officers into the car, where Miller lay in medical distress. He said later, he did not want to interfere or distract the officers from what they were doing, even though according to their own statements, they had formed a circle around the vehicle and had each other in their line of fire. After the shooting, Preece told two of the officers involved, Wayne Stewart and Michael Alagna to stop exchanging hi-fives, because he did not want a picture of them doing that, to appear in the front page of the local paper. Grieving members of Miller