The community is asking the city of St. Louis to arrest Jeff Roorda for assaulting a female community member during a City Hall meeting taking place late Wednesday, January 28th, 2015.
As community members convened in an attempt to testify in front of the Aldermen Board to pass Bill 208, a bill that would establish a Civilian Oversight Board in the city of St. Louis, Jeff Roorda, President of St. Louis Police Union, disrupts the meeting by agitating the crowd until the meeting was force to adjourn.
What is Bill 208?
Bill 208 is the product of 20 years of organizing work led by grassroots organizations in the Coalition Against Police Crime and Repression (CAPCR). In response to recent events in Ferguson, Bill 208 has received renewed energy and attention.
A local demand in recent events is listed as:
The demand was created in response to the murder of Michael Brown and its aftermath on the community which exposed the ongoing crisis of police-on-black crime and the ongoing systemic problems of police practices in black, brown and all oppressed communities.
When does Jeff Roorda assault a female community member?
One by one tax-paying citizens and hard-working members of the community stood up to testify why the bill should be passed. Equally, community members opposing the bill, most being off-duty police officers, also expressed their concerns and biases that it was unfair to question police officers and have a board review their actions.
Racial tension filled the audience as St. Louis police officers expressed their alliance to one another by wearing green "St. Louis Finest," t-shirts and community organizers concerned about the black, brown and oppressed communities filled the first two rows ready to speak up about holding officers accountable for their actions and bullying tactics.
As a community member testified, Jeff Roorda got up from his seat located in the back of the meeting area, walked to the front of the meeting area where pro supporters of the bill occupied, kneeled down and showcased his two wristbands with the words "I am Darren Wilson." Supporters of the bill began to take a picture, which Roorda proudly posed for, and shared it on social media. Tension grew as Roorda continue to stand and walk around the front of the meeting hall.
Roorda continues to disrupt the City Hall meeting by shouting, "Come on Mr. Alderman how about some order here, Huh?!," while a police officer is testifying and some of the crowd members try to silence others from sighing at the officers remarks. Alderman Terry Kennedy replies back, "Excuse me, first all, you do not tell me my function," the crowd begins to applaud in agreement of the Alderman but is quickly drawn to Roorda pushing a woman in the crowd that stood near him.
When female activists Brittany Ferrell and Alexis Templeton tried to confront Roorda and demand police arrest him for assaulting a female, officers pointed at the activist and tried to pull them from the crowd, as well as Tory Russell and other supporters of the community.
The City Hall meeting was restored and ended with a powerful testimony from community organizer Kayla Reed demanding to pass the bill for the protection of the community before before coming to a close.