St. Louis meeting on police oversight degenerates into an angry brawl
A meeting concerning civilian oversight of St. Louis police officers came to an abrupt end on Wednesday after a fight broke out in the crowd, the Huffington Post reported.
The disturbance reportedly started after an argument between Jeff Roorda, who leads the city’s police officers association, and Alderman Terry Kennedy.
Witnesses accused Roorda of shoving a woman, which angered members of the audience. Footage taken at the scene by livestreamer Bassem Masri shows Roorda grabbing one woman by the arm and pushing past her before being pulled back.
Masri –who filmed many of the protests in nearby Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson last August — can be heard cursing at Roorda in the video, calling him a “piece of sh*t” and a “white supremacist.”
KSTL-TV also posted a picture of Roorda wearing a bracelet saying, “I am Darren Wilson.” Officers have worn similar bracelets in support of Wilson in the past. Wilson was never indicted in connection with Brown’s death.
— Staci D Kramer (@sdkstl) January 29, 2015
According to the Post, the meeting was held to discuss a bill concerning the creation of a citizen oversight board that, if implemented, would be nominated by the city’s mayor and approved by the board of aldermen. The board would have the authority to investigate allegations of police misconduct.
KMOX-FM reported that an officer was speaking when the disturbance started. No arrests were made at the scene. The meeting was adjourned after order was restored.
Masri also posted a clip of an unidentified man throwing his phone down after Masri confronted him for telling a woman, “Just shut up.”