Thursday, October 5, 2017

Protesters Denounce Jeff Roorda at SLPOA Headquarters, Draw a Counter-Protest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 8:29 PM

click to enlarge Cori Bush leads protesters in a chant in front of the St. Louis Police Officers Association. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • Cori Bush leads protesters in a chant in front of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Standing in front of the headquarters of the organization representing St. Louis police officers, activist Cori Bush pointed to the sign overhead calling the cops represented "St. Louis' finest."

"This is a lie," Bush told the protesters assembled. The organization could be the city's finest, she noted — but then said that the organization's business manager, Jeff Roorda, doesn't want that.

Roorda was controversial long before the protests that erupted in St. Louis three weeks ago following the acquittal of former officer Jason Stockley on murder charges; Mayor Lyda Krewson called for his termination even before her election this spring. But the union's activity of late has only upped the ante, with Facebook posts calling out business owners who've critiqued police response to the protests.

Even as Roorda announced a bid for Jefferson County executive, he's become a pariah in the city whose officers he represents. Tonight's protest even included an inventive new chant:

"We know he's a racist and I don't mean sorta; y'all gotta fire that pig Jeff Roorda!"

The protest began at Hampton Village at 4:30 p.m. but ended up marching to the nearby offices of the St. Louis Police Officers Association before concluding without incident around 7:20 p.m.

Protesters at one point blocked the intersection of Hampton and Chippewa, but unlike other recent actions, didn't draw a massive police response or any arrests.
click to enlarge A group of counter protesters engaged in a staredown. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • A group of counter protesters engaged in a staredown.
The group did, however, briefly attract a counter-protest — roughly a dozen "Blues Lives Matter" demonstrators who provided a different point of view. The pro-police group was originally standing at Hampton and Bancroft but followed the protesters up to Chippewa before peeling off.

One man, in a Make America Great hat, came up to union hall for a bit. No one on either side appears to have been persuaded to change their minds about anything.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
click to enlarge PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
click to enlarge A driver tried to slip through the crowd as they were in the streets. A cop could be seen later getting the man's information. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • A driver tried to slip through the crowd as they were in the streets. A cop could be seen later getting the man's information.



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