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Police Officer Robert W. Blan | Oakland Police Department, California Oakland Police Department, California

Police Officer

Robert W. Blan

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch: Wednesday, May 23, 1973

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 24

Tour: 2 years

Badge # 886

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Officer Robert Blan was shot and killed with his own weapon during a traffic stop.

During the stop, he requested backup but became engaged in a struggle before the officers arrived. During the struggle, the suspect gained control of Officer Blan's revolver and shot him three times. When his backup officers arrived, they found Officer Blan unconscious. The suspects suddenly returned to the scene and attempted to run down the other officers, who opened fire. All of the suspects were apprehended.

The gunman was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 12 years to life on December 13, 1973, but was released after serving only six years of his sentence.

Officer Blan had been a member of the Oakland Police Department for two years and had previously served with the Military Police of the United States Army. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

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Back in the 1970's Bob and I worked together, adjacent watches and adjacent beats. Always fun with Bob around, we covered each other on almost all calls for a year. I was injured (in a UC drug case) and hospitalized on a Thursday; Bob was murdered the next week. We had planned to ride our motorcycles from OPD to Yosemite for a weekend, beginning on the day after I was injured. I never saw Bob again after his visit with me in the hospital. Bob adored his wife and two children. Sadly, like so many other families where fathers go missing, the young lad went into ruination. That's all been very hard to watch and no amount of caring or helping worked for him/them. But I know Bob is fine, cruising the clouds on his 1972 frog-green Honda 450.

Patrolman, John Compatore
Oakland PD
March 23, 2016


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