A police officer in St. Paul, Minnesota allegedly wrote a comment in response to a Black Lives Matter protest that has caused St. Paul police to put him on temporary leave while they investigate the situation.
The Facebook comment from JM Roth said to, “Run [Black Lives Matter protesters] over…don’t slow down for these idiots who try and block the streets...You can justify…because you feared for your safety since in the past people in this group has shown a propensity towards violence.”
TwinCities reports that Andrew Henderson, an administrator on the Minnesota Cop Block Facebook page, noticed the comment late Saturday night and filed an internal affairs complaint. The alleged police officer is Sgt. Jeffery M. Rothecker.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has commented on the issue, stating that he is “outraged and disgusted by the post and [I] have directed the SPPD to investigate…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."
The Black Lives Matter protest was set to occur in St. Paul’s Lake Street bridge on Monday; many BLM protests occurred throughout the U.S. on Monday due to Martin Luther King Jr., Day.
The St. Paul police department has also issued a statement condemning Rothecker’s comment: “The statement (posted) is offensive, disappointing, concerning and does not reflect in any way—or align with—the views, values and practices of the St. Paul Police Department.”
An active investigation is currently ongoing.
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