BREAKING: Roorda Disrupts Civilian Oversight Bill Hearing
St. Louis, MO - During the first hearing of BB208 Civilian Oversight Bill at City Hall, Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Association, single handedly disrupted proceedings and instigated a skirmish. The chaos started when Roorda disrupted the standing room-only proceedings by shouting, “How about some order here!” at Alderman Terry Kennedy, who serves as chairman of the Committee on Public Safety. Then, Roorda attempted to push his way to the front of the room. In the process, Roorda physically assaulted Cachet Currie, a St. Louis resident who was standing nearby.
Immediately following Roorda’s actions, off-duty police officers, wearing t-shirts and wristbands that read “St. Louis finest” and “I am Darren Wilson,” stood up, turned over chairs and surrounded Roorda before pushing away civilians in attendance. At that point uniformed officers entered the Kennedy Room, and escorted Roorda and his contingent of off-duty St. Louis police officers out of the room. After attempting to re-establish order, Ald. Kennedy announced that the hearing would have to be adjourned.
Roorda and other off-duty police officers left the hearings unscathed, and without being questioned by police. Currie suffered a head injury. Her glasses were knocked off her face and trampled by off-duty police officers. In immediate statements to press, Roorda denied causing the melee and assaulting Currie. However, the entire incident was caught on film, with several videos and pictures documenting Roorda’s actions.
Roorda’s behavior as a leader of the police union demonstrates the total lack of judgement that has become so typical of the region’s police departments. His aggressive outburst was a flagrant attempt to undermine the democratic process and silence the voices of St. Louis citizens who attended the hearing hoping to create a more trusting and cooperative police-community relationship. Roorda’s impulsive aggression is precisely the type behavior that has tarnished the relationship between community members and police, proving exactly why we need a strong and independent Civilian Oversight Board to hold rogue police accountable.