A St. Paul, Minnesota, police sergeant was placed on leave after posting a status to Facebook that encouraged drivers to run over Black Lives Matter protesters during a rally.
Sgt. Jeff Rothecker, known on Facebook as JM Roth, was outed by online activist Andrew Henderson after Rothecker made the shocking comment on a post about the protests.
“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 the past people in this group has shown a propensity towards violence,” Rothecker’s post read.
“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 you in civil court, but remember that it will be jury trial and so most likely it will come out in your favor.”
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman subsequently released a statement condemning Rothecker’s comments.
“I am outraged and disgusted by the post and have directed the SPPD to investigate,” Coleman said. “That investigation is currently underway.”
“There is no room in the Saint Paul Police Department for employees who threaten members of the public,” Coleman added.
“If the allegation is true, we will take the strongest possible action allowed under law.”
The St. Paul Police Department confirmed that a complaint was filed against Rothecker, and that he was placed on administrative leave. Rothecker, who is an elder abuse investigator and has been with the department since 1993, is the Vice President of the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police.
“The statement is offensive, disappointing, concerning and does not reflect in any way—or align with—the views, values and practices of the Saint Paul Police Department,” the department wrote in a statement on their Facebook page.
“There is no tolerance within the department for employees who insult, threaten or attempt to silence those exercising their First Amendment rights. If it is determined that the comment was written by a member of the Saint Paul Police Department, swift, strong and decisive disciplinary action will be taken”