As we reported below, Hollis, who moved to Denver from Detroit in 2005 and was a single mother and president of the Black Police Officers Association, had worked the Jazz in the Park concert series for several years. Then, just as the music ended after 8 p.m. on Sunday evening, a fight broke out between what are characterized as "two groups" -- the police have studiously avoided confirming that they were members of rival gangs. In trying to calm the frenzy, Hollis was shot in the head, dying a short time later.
Oliver was busted shortly thereafter, and since then, the media has scrambled for details about him in a sea of misinformation, even about the spelling of his first name. The DPD originally gave it as "Rollen," although many local outlets have now settled on "Rollin," perhaps because that's how he lists himself on his Twitter feed -- a little-used account that features tweets that both use violent language and contradict it. An example of the former....
A soldier diez once...but a coward diez 1000 timez # U.T.G— Rollin Oliver (@Boog_Da_Bank) November 15, 2011
And the latter....
Jesus is my big homie!!!!— Rollin Oliver (@Boog_Da_Bank) April 6, 2012
A 7News report suggests that the photos on Oliver's Twitter feed, as well as those shared on a Facebook page listed under the name "Boogie Oliver," show him throwing gang signs. In fact, the photos in question find him pointing to his T-shirt, which touts Park Hill, where he lives. Here's a look at one of them:However, the Facebook reference to Oliver's work as "treasurer" at "Park Hill Pharmaceutical" hints at a sideline slingin' drugs. (His rather minor arrest record includes a marijuana possession accusation in 2009, in addition to a weapon charge from a couple of years earlier, when he was a juvenile.) And Fox31's Julie Hayden reports that sources have confirmed to her that Oliver admits to membership in a specific (though thus-far unnamed) local gang.
CBS4's Brian Maass offers more details in his report, including a jail admittance form on which Oliver allegedly admitted gang ties -- something confirmed to Maass by people inside and outside of the police department.
If the gang connection is genuine, why hasn't the Denver Police admitted it, rather than dancing around the subject at a news conference yesterday? One theory: The department wants to avoid the sort of public frenzy that a "Summer of Violence II" label would likely ignite. But a fact is a fact, and if Oliver was indeed gang-affiliated -- and if plenty of other shootings in the area this summer have also been gang-related -- the DPD is merely postponing the inevitable.
In the meantime, times and dates have been finalized for Hollis's funeral and burial services, and an account has been established so that folks can donate to help support the child she left behind. See all of that below, followed by a statement from the Black Police Officers Association, the CBS4 report, the full press conference courtesy of 9News and our previous coverage.
Service and donation information:
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2012, at 1100 hours at: Denver First Church of the Nazarene 3800 E. Hampden Avenue Englewood, CO 80113 303-761-8370
Interment follows at: Fairmount Cemetery 430 S. Quebec Street Denver, CO 80247 303-399-0692
Donations for Officer Hollis' daughter and family can be made to: Celena Hollis Memorial Fund Account Number 23012705 Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU 700 W. 39th Avenue Denver, CO 80216 303-458-6660
Black Police Officers Association statement:
Celena Hollis was an outstanding member of the DPD, but she was so much more than a police officer. She was a great friend, mother, sister, and daughter. Celena was the light of her family. Her smile warmed everyone's heart and she brought a smile to everyone's face. She had wisdom beyond her years and it showed in her personal, as well as her professional relationships.
Before Celena came to our DPD family, she lived in Detroit and worked as a Detroit Police Officer for 4 years. She came out to Denver in 2005 and began a new career with the DPD. She didn't come alone; she brought her beautiful daughter Amyre. Her baby, Amyre, was the light of her world. She did everything with her in mind. She like so many other single moms focused on making her child's life better. She took her on trips and vacations all over the place and they enjoyed each other; they were friends...the best of friends.
She loved her family. She was a mentor, friend and role model to her sister. She was the heart of her family and loved them all dearly. They always came first and were a central part of what Celena focused on in life.
I personally met Celena, when she came out to Denver and rode in my district, before she had been hired. From our initial meeting, I liked Celena and we became great friends. Celena was an active participant in our organization and was our current president. She had helped to refocus the organization and take us to new heights. We will miss her spark, leadership, and enthusiasm.
Celena was my friend and she had her family, but she was part of our family, the DPD family. With that she got 1400+ brothers and sisters. She will be missed and will always be loved by her second family, here at DPD.
Thank You on behalf of the Hollis family for your support and condolences during this time.
Page down for our previous coverage.