Police Officer Robert W. Blan

Police Officer Robert W. Blan

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, May 23, 1973

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Robert W. Blan

Officer Robert Blan was shot and killed with his own weapon during a traffic stop for a faulty headlight at 2:30 am on Pine Street in Oakland.

During the stop, he requested backup when he discovered the driver had an expired driver's license. While placing the subject in his patrol vehicle, a struggle ensued. 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 with bullet wounds to his chest, leg, and back. The suspects suddenly returned to the scene and attempted to run down the other officers, who opened fire. All of the suspects were apprehended.

Officer Blan was transported to Kaiser Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

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 was a United States Army Military Police veteran and had been a member of the Oakland Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 886
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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As a young Berkeley officer,Weeks (?) before Officer Blan died I was asked to cover Berkeley PD warrant officer trying to serve this warrant on Simmons at a motel on San Pablo Ave...
We asked the motel proprietor what room he was in; he told us we had just missed him leaving moments before.
We had passed three black guys on our approach and I’ve always wondered if Simmons was among them...
And if we had confronted them maybe Officer Blan would be alive today?
R J Richardson BPD #57
(retired Walnut Creek PD)

Rex Richardson, Officer
Berkeley Police 1969/1973

August 2, 2022

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