A St. Louis council meeting took a turn for the worse when a brawl broke out after a police union official allegedly shoved a woman.
The incident took place last night during a public hearing to create a police review board overseeing the force’s conduct. With about 50 people signed up to speak about the police and the possible board, tension grew – to the point where chairman of the alderman board, Terry Kennedy, lost control.
Jeff Roorda, head of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, called for order in the hall. Kennedy, feeling disrespected, asked for Roorda to sit and said, “You do not tell me my function,” to which Roorda began making his way towards Kennedy, pushing attendee Cachet Currie in the process.
Wow! Things just got outta hand pic.twitter.com/58WbugaeKR
— Christina Coleman (@ChristinaKSDK) January 29, 2015
Roorda, known for his strong opinion regarding the police force, isn’t a stranger to controversy in the St. Louis area. During the protests following the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, the officer showed his support for former officer Darren Wilson. He continued his allegiance by sporting an “I am Darren Wilson” wristband.
Currie told reporters that she was trying to leave the meeting when she was pushed.
“I was literally just trying to leave the meeting and I got caught in whatever Roorda and Kennedy had going on in their exchange,” KMOV reported. “Roorda just jumped out into the aisle, pushed me over, and tried to get to Kennedy. I’m like ‘wait a minute, don’t push me.’ Then he started going off on me, pushing me.” People in the crowd started shouting, KSTL’s Staci Kramer said. Police officers sought to hold Roorda back from engaging with other attendees, according to the St. Louis American.
— Staci D Kramer (@sdkstl) January 29, 2015
She also suffered a minor abrasion on her forehead.
There were no arrests made during the brawl. Alderman Antonio French commented on the incident, calling Roorda’s actions disappointing.
“We saw once again tonight how fractured our city remains. We have a lot of work to do. I believe a strong civilian review board can help,” French tweeted. “The behavior of union official Jeff Roorda tonight was deplorable, and disrespectful to the fine men and women he is supposed to represent,” he added.
The meeting finished without further interruption, but there was not a reported vote on a bill to establish the police review board.
SOURCE: St. Louis Post Dispatch | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.