|Lt. Eli Roosevelt|
|Sons of Anarchy character|
|First appearance||"Out" (2011)|
|Last appearance||"A Mother's Work" (2013)|
|Created by||Kurt Sutter|
|Portrayed by||Rockmond Dunbar|
Roosevelt is a member of the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department and the head of Charming's law enforcement following the dissolution of the Charming Police Department. Prior to his assignment in Charming, he spent 15 years in Oakland working as part of an anti-gang task force.
Jax Teller and five other members of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original chapter (SAMCRO) are released from prison after serving 14 months for federal weapons charges. They return to their hometown of Charming, California. On their way into town, they encounter the town's new sheriff, Eli Roosevelt, who together with Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter has convened a secret task force to shut down the club's gunrunning operation. Roosevelt gives Juice two days to bring him a brick of cocaine so they can test where it's coming from. Juice steals a brick so that he can bag a sample, but accidentally falls asleep before he can return it. As the Mayans and SAMCRO meet to distribute the bricks, Chibs announces that one is missing; both gangs eye each other suspiciously. After a tense standoff, Clay and Alvarez agree that whoever stole the missing brick has to die. The club psychologically terrifies the two prospects expecting them to fess up, but neither cracks. Juice retrieves the brick from its hiding place, but is caught by Miles, who pulls a gun on him. The two tangle over the weapon and Juice is shot in the leg, but Juice is able to wrest control of the pistol and shoots Miles, before framing him for stealing the drugs. When Juice demands to meet Potter before bringing Roosevelt the sample, Potter orders Roosevelt to entrap him with the sample, which Roosevelt reluctantly does after Potter threatens to file a complaint. Roosevelt releases Juice, who returns to the clubhouse, where Clay awards him a "Men of Mayhem" patch for his help with the Russians and Miles. At Miles' grave, a despairing Juice attempts to hang himself from a tree using a chain, but his attempt fails when a branch snaps.
Eli Roosevelt's wife Rita is going through pregnancy. However, she ends up getting shot in the stomach by masked men hired by Clay Morrow. Clay intended to not kill her, but to kidnap her to sabotage Jax's relationship with Eli and the club. As Roosevelt waits for the DNA under Rita's fingernails to be identified, he swears revenge on SAMCRO if they are found guilty.Roosevelt promises to tell Jax the name of the rat who has been informing on them for the RICO case, in exchange for Frankie Diamonds. Jax devises a plan to trap Clay, which includes manipulating Gemma, who's Clay's weakness, and Jax tells Gemma if she wants back in the family's good graces, she has to get close to Clay and learn his dirty secrets. Jax and the club go on the hunt for Frankie Diamonds, while Clay and Juice follow up on their own lead in a race to get to him first. Clay and Juice discover Frankie has sought the protection of his old Mafia allies. The club votes on Frankie's expulsion and execution, but Jax tells Bobby they can't kill Frankie and explains the deal with Roosevelt. During the trip to find Frankie, Clay manipulates Juice into going after Frankie on their own. Nero takes Gemma to meet his disabled son. Clay and Juice find Frankie first, but Jax arrives before Clay can kill him. However, the Mafia kills Frankie when they see he killed the Mafioso assigned to guard him. Jax shows Roosevelt Frankie's corpse, and in exchange he gets confirmation about the Son who talked to the police. Clay and Juice are packing Clay's house, preparatory to Clay's move to Ireland. Jax strikes a new deal while ridding himself of old problems. Jax and Tig kill Pope and frame Clay for the murder with the help of Juice and Gemma. After killing Pope, Jax keeps his dealings going with Pope's second in command, August Marks. Bobby figures out what Jax has done and confronts him, then later on leaves his V.P. patch on the table. Tara is arrested for conspiracy to commit murder.
Development and reception
Eli is killed off in the sixth season episode "A Mother's Work. Dunbar has since commented on his characters death, saying:
When Kurt Sutter and I first sat down to talk about the job three seasons ago, I knew I was gonna die. He made it very clear. It was supposed to be a 10-episode arc. He said, “Hey look, 10 episodes. After that, you’re gonna die a horrendous death, and it’s gonna be great.” And I was like, “Yes!” I was excited. And during the read-through of the 10th episode, he said, “Rock, we love you. FX loves you. Fans love you. I love you. We can’t kill you. So see you next season.” Coming around to my third season, it got a little sticky because I booked a David Shore pilot called Doubt for another network [ABC]. We didn’t know if I was gonna end up coming back to Sons because of that, but it didn’t get picked up. I wasn’t in the first couple episodes [of season 6] because of that, and Kurt pulled me back on to the show, and we start going along, and then The Mentalist came after me with an offer, and it was something I couldn’t refuse. I sat down with Bruno and Chris, and they were like, “We love the work you’re doing on Sons of Anarchy. We know they haven’t made you a series regular yet, so we want to step up and make you a series regular on our show.
- "Sons of Anarchy Exclusive: Rockmond Dunbar Is the New Sheriff in Town - TV Guide". TVGuide.com. 24 May 2011.
- Radish, Christina (24 October 2012). "Rockmond Dunbar Talks SONS OF ANARCHY Season 5, How He Came to Be a Part of the Show, Why Kurt Sutter Inspires Him, and More".
- "'Mayans MC' Brings Back a Long Lost 'Sons of Anarchy' Antagonist". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Radish, Christina (8 November 2011). "Rockmond Dunbar Talks SONS OF ANARCHY and PASTOR BROWN".
- "'Sons of Anarchy' season finale: Rockmond Dunbar talks climactic scene". EW.com.