SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

East Bay | Police State and Prisons | Front Page

Mon Aug 4 2014 (Updated 08/05/14) Three-Time Killer Reinstated After Being Fired for Throwing CS Flash-Bang at Scott Olsen
Robert Roche Reinstatement: Oakland Police Impunity Continues Seconds after an Oakland police officer shattered Scott Olsen’s skull with a lead-filled munition on October 25, 2011, officer Robert Roche threw an explosive teargas grenade at persons who were attempting to come to Olsen’s aid as he lay critically injured on the ground in clear view of the police. Roche was subsequently fired, but on July 30, 2014, an arbitrator overturned the termination and reinstated him with full back pay. Roche officially returned to work at OPD on Monday, August 4.

Robert Roche is known as a three-time killer. In Oakland, on duty, Roche has killed Ronald Brazier, Jose Buenrostro, and Jeremiah Dye. In TV news footage from October 25, 2011, Roche’s helmet number is visible, and there is no dispute that he threw the CS Blast towards Scott Olsen, who was unconscious and bleeding from the head, and those who had rushed to his aid. Roche's actions as an Oakland police officer have cost the Oakland taxpayers almost $6 million in civil settlements to date.

The arbitrator’s decision is not unexpected. In twelve out of the last fifteen personnel arbitrations in which OPD officers challenged their terminations, the officers were successful in getting their jobs back. And the lack of accountability at OPD goes beyond rank and file officers. The arbitrator’s decision was apparently based in part on the fact that Roche had been ordered to deploy gas by then-Captain Paul Figueroa. At the same time, Figueroa authorized the use of “beanbag” impact munitions, on persons who might attempt to throw the teargas devices back at the police. It was inevitable that Scott Olsen and others would be seriously injured or killed, yet Figueroa was not disciplined and has since been promoted to Assistant Chief.

photoRead More | videoScott Olsen speaks out against the reinstatement of Robert Roche

Previous Related Indybay Features: Petition Demands OPD Be Prohibited from Using "Less Lethal" Weapons at Protests | $4.5 Million Settlement Reached In Scott Olsen’s Lawsuit for “Less Lethal” Shooting by OPD | Oakland Occupiers Defiant After Police Raid, Mass Arrests, and Tear Gas/Projectile Attacks

11/25/15 California Prisoner Hunger Strikes & Class Action Lead to Major Limits on Use of the SHU   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | California
11/24/15 Thirty-Year-Old Yonas Alehegne Becomes OPD's Fourth Fatal Shooting Victim in 2015   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Immigrant Rights
11/24/15 Board Of Supervisors Pass Most Comprehensive Cell Phone Simulator Privacy Policy in U.S.   Police State and Prisons | Government & Elections
11/24/15 Labor Organization Works to Provide Dependable Access to Tools   Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/24/15 Students Call for Tuition-Free College, Cancellation of All Student Debt, $15 Minimum Wage   Labor & Workers | Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/24/15 Mission Santa Cruz Vandalized Repeatedly Following Canonization of Junipero Serra   Racial Justice | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/22/15 Black Friday 14 Action a Prelude to Huge Rally to Raise Oakland Minimum Wage to $15/Hr   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
11/16/15 San Francisco Tenants Unite Against Rent Increases and the Demolition of Their Homes   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Government & Elections
11/15/15 Alameda Council Meeting Erupts Over Rising Rents with Violence from City Official & Police   Police State and Prisons | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Government & Elections
11/14/15 CCSF Faculty to Strike and Picket Over Contract Negotiations and Class Reductions   Education & Student Activism
11/14/15 Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies Brutally Beat Man in San Francisco's Mission District   Police State and Prisons