Officer cleared in Rocha shooting
On June 9, Rocha was killed with a single 9mm bullet to the back, fired by seven-year veteran Schroeder during a traffic stop in Southeast Austin that police say was connected to an undercover drug investigation. According to police, Rocha fought with Schroeder and Sgt. Don Doyle; equipment, including Schroeder's Taser gun, was knocked from Schroeder's belt, and both Doyle and Schroeder were knocked to the ground. Officially, police have said only that Schroeder shot Rocha during the "struggle." In an attempt to fill in the gaps, other police sources explained that when Schroeder righted herself, she realized her Taser was missing and, seeing Rocha hovering over Doyle, feared that Rocha had taken the weapon and was about to use it on Doyle. In response, she fired a single bullet, striking Rocha in the back. Even with the additional information, questions have remained like, why didn't Schroeder try using pepper spray or her baton to subdue Rocha before resorting to deadly force? Bobby Taylor, the lawyer representing Rocha's mother Daniela Rocha, has disputed the official account, saying, in part, that witnesses at the scene that night denied that there was any struggle, saying instead that police simply pulled Rocha from the car, knocked him down and shot him dead. Unfortunately, exactly what went down is likely to remain unclear since neither Doyle nor Schroeder's in-car video camera was operational during the incident. Why neither camera was running as policy dictates is likely to be one question Internal Affairs detectives will seek to answer in their administrative review of the case, which will commence now that the criminal inquiry has concluded. Police estimate that the IA inquiry will take between four and six weeks to complete; the case will then move to the Office of the Police Monitor's Citizen Review Panel for consideration. A federal investigation of the shooting is ongoing. (For more on the case, see "Rocha's Death," News, June 17.)
Daniel Rocha, Austin Police Department, APD, Julie Schroeder, Don Doyle, Travis County District Attorney's Office, no bill, police shooting, Office of the Police Monitor, Citizen Review Panel, Internal Affairs
Jordan Smith, Fri., Nov. 9, 2012
Josh Rosenblatt, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012
Josh Rosenblatt, Fri., Sept. 21, 2012
Jordan Smith, Fri., Sept. 14, 2012
Jordan Smith, Fri., Aug. 24, 2012
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