At a Wednesday night meeting held at St. Louis City Hall, a verbal exchange between the head of the St. Louis Police Officers Association Jeff Roorda and St. Louis Alderman Terry Kennedy went from 0 to 100 when Roorda heckled Kennedy by shouting from the back of the room, screaming, “How about some order here?” Roorda then pushed and shoved his way towards the front to get to Kennedy, upsetting everyone by his behavior and incited complete chaos in the court room.
The vibe of the meeting was relatively calm, according to reports, but it went left when Roorda (rocking a “I Am Darren Wilson” wristband) yelled at Kennedy because a cop had been interrupted by another attendee. Kennedy responded to Roorda asking for order by saying, “You do not tell me my function,” and from there, Roorda started charging towards the front. In trying to do so, he shoved a woman, Catchet Currie, who was just trying to get from her seat and leave. Currie said, “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.”
Others in the room got offended and in wanting to defend Currie (and give Roorda a piece of their mind) and everything got crazy. The other cops present tried to separate the crowd, but all together it ended up being a huge shoving match. So much for leading the example, huh Roorda?
The incident was broadcasted all over Twitter and Vine. Here are a few pics and videos.
It is pretty appalling to see a City Hall meeting fall under such disarray, but it goes to show St. Louis, Ferguson and the state of Missouri is still healing from the trying year that was 2014. Michael Brown’s death by former cop Wilson inflamed the city’s struggle with race, class, and authority.
Fellow Alderman, Antonio French expressed his disappointment and embarrassment over the brawl on Twitter later that night:
The meeting that Alderman Kennedy was trying to conduct, with the participation of citizens, Ferguson protestors and town leaders present, was for the continued development of a new “citizens oversight board.” This new board is meant to help with monitoring, independently, any complaints and concerns of the citizens on disorderly conduct from St. Louis police. Alderman Kennedy has been supportive of this idea and has been reading proposals since this past December.