A St. Louis City Hall meeting exploring the creation of a civilian-run police oversight board was halted Wednesday night when a melee erupted, highlighting the still simmering tensions exposed when an unarmed black Ferguson, Mo., teen was shot dead by a white cop last August.
The crowd grew testy an hour into the public forum as police officers spoke in opposition to the bill and state Rep. Jeff Roorda, who doubles as the business manager of the city’s police union, got into a shouting match with meeting chairman Alderman Terry Kennedy, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Witnesses say the a shoving match began after Roorda — who was reportedly wearing a wristband in support of Darren Wilson, the ex-cop who shot Michael Brown — pushed a black woman in the aisle of the packed hall.
“You white supremacist motherf—–. Get the f— out of here, man,” someone can be heard shouting at Roorda in a video that captures the meeting-stopping push.
“I was literally just trying to leave the meeting and I got caught in whatever Roorda and Kennedy had going on in their exchange,” Cachet Currie, the woman who was pushed, told KMOV.
“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.”
Currie suffered a scatch on her forehead she said came from Roorda.
Before the wild melee, Roorda initially stood and called for order as activists interrupted the proceedings.
“Excuse me, first of all, you do not tell me my function,” Kennedy shouted back, the Post-Dispatch reported.
Things devolved from there. The out-of-control meeting was adjourned 15 minutes later.
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SOURCE: New York Daily News