Roger Rogerson, rotten apple in a festering barrel

Infamous corrupt NSW detective Roger Rogerson has been found guilty of murdering Jamie Gao. The court was presented with overwhelming evidence against Rogerson and his co-convicted former police officer Glen McNamara.

Rogerson was known for considering himself judge, jury and executioner. In the mid-1970s, while on duty, he shot and killed Phillip Western and Lawrence Byrne, two petty criminals. In 2006, he was quoted by Nine News as saying, “That’s what [a gun is] for, maybe they should use it more often … The thrill to me was catching them, chasing them, investigating them and catching them.”

In 1981, Rogerson was investigated for the murder of Warren Lanfranchi, a Sydney drug dealer who had close connections to Neddy Smith, a well-known standover man. Smith, also an associate of Rogerson, was later investigated for the murder of Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, who was an outspoken witness linking Lanfranchi’s death to Rogerson.

The charges go on, including conspiracy to bribe and murder fellow officer Michael Drury, and the disappearance of Rogerson’s co-conspirator Christopher Dale Flannery, a Melbourne contract killer.

During this repugnant career, he was presented with 13 awards for bravery, and the highest award of honour in the NSW police force, the Peter Mitchell Trophy. Throughout his time in the force, the NSW police minister, commissioner and chief of department all supported Rogerson, and in many cases covered up his criminal activity. For many years, he was a protected specimen.

Rogerson and his department colleagues were subject to a police integrity commission inquiry for their involvement in criminal activity. Rogerson was later charged and found guilty of perverting the course of justice by lying to the commission.

He may be the most rotten of apples, but the barrel from which he came is a festering pile. The police exist to protect the rule of the bosses and politicians. Rogerson was a right wing turd who was more than willing to do their dirty work. He would attack protesters and was at one stage caught up in the framing of activist Tim Anderson, who later claimed that, while he was in custody, Rogerson and another officer beat him numerous times.

Rogerson’s record and the long cover-up of his and other officers’ crimes show that the establishment not only accommodates such behaviour but actively promotes it. They knew what he was doing, and instead of disciplining him, they awarded him medals.

With two Aboriginal people shot by the police in the last three weeks, and the hundreds of cases of police brutality and murder we see circulated on social media, the role of the police becomes ever clearer.