A Minnesota cop has been placed on leave for allegedly encouraging drivers to run over Black Lives Matter protestors on Facebook. The comments, attributed to St. Paul Sgt. Jeffrey M. Rothecker were reportedly about a demonstration on the Lake Street-Marshall Ave. Bridge Monday (Jan. 18) that caused traffic jams.
He was ousted by Anthony Henderson, a local civilian who records police activity. After reading Rothecker’s post early Saturday morning, Henderson filed an internal affairs complaint with St. Paul police and recorded the now deleted comments. Rothecker wrote under the name “JM Roth,” but Henderson was able to confirm his identity.
The post reads:
“Keep traffic fllowing and don’t slow down for any of these idiots who try and block the street. Here’s is the deal, you can continue to drive and if you hit someone make sure you call 911 to report the accident and met the cops a block or two away.”
He also told drivers how to get away with the crime.
“You can justify stopping further away because you fear for your safety since in the past people in this group has shown a propensity towards violence. Since they are trying to bock the street and/or cross where there is no crossing you should not be charged with anything. Now, these idiots could try and sue you in civil court, but remember that it will be a jury trial and so most likely it will come out in your favor.”
Chris Wachtler, a lawyer for the St. Paul Police Federation confirmed, that an investigation has been opened. “We will let the process play out. I can’t comment on an active investigation until it is complete.”
The police department called Rothecker’s words “offensive” and “disappointing,” noting that they “do not reflect in any way — or align with — the views, values and practices of the St. Paul Police Department.”
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he was “outraged and disgusted” by Rothecker’s post. Coleman avowed a commitment to building “strong trusting relationships “ in the community with the help of Police Chief Thomas Smith.
“There is no room in the St. Paul Police Department for employees who threaten members of the public,” said Coleman. “If the allegation is true, we will take the strongest possible action allowed under law.”
See more in the video below.