Daniel Rocha Shooting

The police shooting of 18-year-old Daniel Rocha in June of last year has been big news around here. In doing a search for this post, I noticed that he even has a wikipedia page. The officer, Julie Schroder, was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by a Grand Jury in August. She was subsequently fired by Chief Stan Knee in November. Rocha’s family filed a lawsuit against Schroder a couple of weeks ago.

This incident on Monday night in my neighborhood is not going to help Officer Schroder. Schroder’s argument for shooting Rocha in the back was that she felt her partner was in danger of being tasered. It appears that the two officers that were tasered this week survived the ordeal just fine.

From what I’ve read, it’s clear that Schroder used excessive force. She should’ve been fired immediately, not after a long drawn out public protest. She should probably also face other consequences. The kid is dead. On the other hand, what’s up with people resisting arrest to the point that they’re able to get control of the cops’ tasers? Whether you’re being justifiably detained by a police officer or not, is it really going to help you if you fight? The end outcome for you is bad no matter how you look at it. You’ll end up with more charges against you at the very least and dead at the worst.

APD has had an increased presence in Southeast Austin for the past couple of years. They reorganized their command and control and opened a new substation to address the rising crime in the area, mainly north of Riverside. I attended a neigborhood meeting at Linder where they outlined some of the changes. Are these recent incidents a side effect of that increased presence? It’d be interesting to dig into some statistics to compare the Southeast region with other parts of the city over the past 2 or 3 years.

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