Committee meeting Live
As outlined in Nicholas J.C. Pistor's article from the Wednesday night meeting, what was supposed to be a meeting to gather public comment for a proposed civilian oversight board for the police department plunged into chaos.
Packed house in the hearing room tonight. People from both sides of the issue here to speak about Civilian Review legislation. #democracy
Antonio French is the alderman for the 21st Ward. @Citizens4THubbard is the Twitter handle of Tammika Hubbard, alderman in the 5th Ward.
Packed House at Public Meeting on Civilian Review http://t.co/7fgPZn12n2
Jeff Roorda is wearing an "I am Darren Willson" wrist band at the CRB hearing #BlackLivesMatter #civilianoversight
Jeff Roorda is the business manager for the St. Louis Police Officer's Association.
Jeff Roorda wears his I Am Darren Wilson bracelet at the meeting http://t.co/B8PAqqRl26
Like seriously to show up in a Darren Wilson arm band incited this http://t.co/1URp41mbIW
Some meeting attendees said that Roorda shoved a woman - or two women. Video from Bassem Masri (starting at about the 59-minute mark) shows crowd members talking and shouting during testimony, then Roorda asking for order. Masri shouts expletives as Roorda tries to move up the aisle, attendees stand up and pushing starts. Another view of the outburst can be seen in this video (near the 17:30-minute mark).
Before the eruption, Pistor noted the atmosphere in the room:
Some in crowd get enraged when someone disagrees with them.
After the meeting:
The behavior of union official Jeff Roorda tonight was deplorable, and disrespectful to the fine men and women he is supposed to represent.
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.
Supporters of reform must understand that opponents will try to provoke you, get you off message. Be smart. Be disciplined. Resist. And win.
The tension is at a all time high between @SLMPD and the citizens of Stl.
Were in a bad place right now.,,, there's no faith in our system! We need to fix this and fix it NOW!!!! Or we will never move forward
One protest organizer, Charles Wade, said:
Actually, @AntonioFrench, Roorda's behavior actually reflects the behavior of his members.
I am not anti-police but I am anti-bully and the police have becomes bullies in #STL, @AntonioFrench.
I don't expect anything less from the man that represents them when the people he represents behave very similarly, @AntonioFrench.
@akacharleswade We need oversight and accountability. A strong civilian review board will help.
As noted in the article, many demanded Jeff Roorda's arrest.
@chriscarter3 @AntonioFrench Interested in knowing what u are going to do as alderman re: the assault u just witnessed @city hall?
@chattyantisoc @AntonioFrench @city we made sure that the woman who was assaulted filed an official complaint and report. Then...
@ChrisCarter3 @AntonioFrench I'm confused. If I assault someone in a room full of witnesses I'll be arrested on the spot.
Richard Callow is a political consultant; @Chrissi is the Twitter handle for 6th Ward Alderman Christine Ingrassia.
Too much rude. Too much loud. Too much shoving. Not enough gavel.
@publiceyestl We have a gavel at the neighborhood board meetings. It causes more drama than good :)
@UffdaJen @publiceyestl I was appalled by the disrespect attendees had for people testifying and nothing was done to help maintain decorum.
@UffdaJen Think of "gavel" in the sense of planning ahead and setting a tone early. By the time the snacks are being tossed, it's too late.
@UffdaJen @publiceyestl nothing can change for the betterment of the city until we truly listen to one another.