Sports fans had a mixed reaction to the small group of St. Louis Rams players who took the field today performing a “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture. But there’s possibly no group who had a stronger reaction than St. Louis Police Officers Association who reportedly released a strongly worded statement calling the players’ action offensive and suggested the NFL punish those involved.
“The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.
“SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said, ‘now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson’s account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again.’
“The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization’s displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, ‘I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.'”
The full statement can read read at KSDK.com.
The statement’s strongest words are attributed to Jeff Roorda, a Democratic Missouri State Representative and a man considered to be a friend of Darren Wilson. At the time of this writing, Roorda has just deleted his Twitter account.