A St. Paul police officer is on leave as he is investigated for allegedly urging drivers to run over Black Lives Matter protesters during an unpermitted march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that blocked traffic.
On Friday, the Pioneer Press posted an article titled “Black Lives Matter planning to rally at Lake Street bridge Monday” on Facebook, and a user by the name of “JM Roth” posted this comment:
Run them over. Keep traffic flowing and don’t slow down for any of these idiots who try and block the street. Here is the deal, you continue to drive and if you hit someone make sure you call 911 to report the accident and meet the cops a block or two away and you can justify stopping further away because you feared for your safety since in the past people in this group has shown a propensity towards violence. Since they are trying to block the street and/or cross where there is no crossing you should not be charged with anything. Now, these idiots could try and sue in civil court, but remember that it will be jury trial and so most likely it will come out in your favor.
Andrew Henderson, who frequently videotapes officers, noticed the comment early Saturday morning and reported it to the police, filing a complaint with them on Sunday.
Henderson said that he was familiar with Roth because that same user often commented on posts in the Minnesota Cop Block Facebook page, for which Henderson is an administrator. Henderson shared evidence that “JM Roth” was police officer Sgt. Jeffrey M. Rothecker and filmed himself reporting the post to police.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman issued a statement on Monday saying he is “outraged and disgusted by the post and (I) have directed the SPPD to investigate.”
“Chief Smith and I are committed to building strong, trusting relationships with the communities we serve,” Coleman continued. “There is no room in the St. Paul Police Department for employees who threaten members of the public. If the allegation is true, we will take the strongest possible action allowed under law.”
Source: The Grio