Death of Daniel Rocha

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Daniel Rocha (died June 9, 2005) was an 18-year-old who was shot and killed in southeast Austin, Texas by police officer Julie Schroder, a seven-year veteran of the Austin Police Department, on June 9, 2005. The officer was responding to a report of drug trafficking when she pulled over a dark Chevrolet Suburban carrying Rocha and two others.[1]

Events[edit]

According to officers reports, soon after being pulled over near the intersection of South Pleasant Valley Road and Quicksilver Boulevard, a scuffle between Rocha and Officer Schroeder took place.

It was during this time when Rocha was shot in the back at point blank range. Schroder's testimony was that she used lethal force to protect both officer Sgt. Don Doyle and herself from a taser gun, which, she argued, Rocha could have used. Witnesses at the scene say that he was on the ground face down, unarmed, with Officer Schroeder's knee in his back when he was shot at point blank range.

Austin Police Department Policy provides that cameras in patrol cars be on during traffic stops. Three police cars participated in the stop, yet two of the three available cameras were not on during the incident and the third arrived after Rocha was shot.

Multiple tests were conducted on Rocha to determine whether narcotics were in his blood the night he was killed. Rocha was initially reported drug-free by Travis County Medical Examiner Robert Bayardo. On July 18, 2005 Bayardo reversed this position, stating investigators found traces of marijuana in a "subsequent toxicology screen". This reversal resulted in criticism against the findings from some members of the community.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Austinites Mourn Rocha, Protest APD For Answers". KXAN-TV. June 13, 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-04.
  2. ^ Smith, Jordan (July 22, 2005). "Rocha Case: New Drug Evidence Raises Questions About County Lab". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-04-04.