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.

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.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 886
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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I was working as a bailiff at the Oakland Municipal Ct. I was assigned to handle thr arraignment of the killer of Officer Blan. Killer was named Simmons? Had a bandage on his head where other officers had shot Simmons through the windshield. He was a large, tough Black man. Very dangerous. Had a minor traffic warrant. I felt very bad for Officer Blan. The danger was that we did not have secure, locking holsters or semi-autos with a safety. David Marks, my friend from ACSO was later killed at OPD also with his own weapon. Both were very gentle, non agressive officers. I quit and took a teaching job. Never forgot these brave officers.

Deputy Sheriff
Alameda Co, Deputy Sheriff

November 14, 2020

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