On Friday, Cachet Currie attempted to follow-up on a complaint that she filed Wednesday against Jeff Roorda, the Business Manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
“Jeff Roorda physically assaulted me. Both of us are private citizens and both of us are equal in the eyes of the law. That he believes that he has the right to hit me… to strike me, demonstrates that he still behaves like the worst police officers do,” Currie said. “He doesn’t get to hide behind the blue shield of invulnerability. If this is how he acts as a private citizen, image how he was as a police officer. If this is who police officers have chosen to represent them, imagine how they act on the street.”
She filed the complaint immediately after an aldermanic hearing on legislation enacting Civilian Oversight for the St. Louis City Police Department.
“The police are deliberately being negligent in not bringing the case to the circuit attorney to have assault charges issued. Their lack of action is a miscarriage of justice.” Attorney Jerryl Christmas said. “Clearly there is a double standard when it comes to enforcing the law on their own. The police continue to protect their members that exhibit bad behavior and this further emphasizes the need for civilian review and police accountability.”
In the wake of the assault complaint the Organization for Black Struggle has called for him to apologize for his actions and resign from his position.
OBS says Jeff Roorda, who has been the face of policing in St Louis City for the past twenty years, led a group of police officers and their supporters who openly praised the actions of Officer Darren Wilson and spoke against the need for civilian oversight over the St. Louis Police Department.
“If Mr. Roorda sees no reason why he should resign or at the very least step down while he is under criminal investigation, then police officers of good will should hold him accountable by stripping him of his position and power,” said Christine Assefa, one of the Organization for Black Struggle’s Civic Transformation Organizers.
OBS pointed out that Roorda sponsored HB 1466, which would seal all records involving police action and prevent police departments from disclosing the names of police officers involved in shootings
“This is what we’ve been facing here in St. Louis every time we have to interact with the St. Louis Police Department. Mr. Roorda is a reflection of the past living in the present; he is the worst excesses of the 19th and 20th centuries come back to bite us. The legal system should hold him accountable by bringing the full force of the law down upon him,” said Kayla Reed, a Civic Transformation Organizer for the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS).
In supporting Ms. Currie’s statement and complaint, OBS pointed out how the existing Civilian Review Board legislation is a first tiny step toward fundamentally transforming the relationship between the police and the community.
“The Quality Policing Initiative (QPI) is a way to transform all policing authorities. We not only want the police to do a better job, we want to fundamentally transform the jobs that police do,” said Montague Simmons, Executive Director of the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS).
Mr. Roorda’s past actions as a police officer and the mindset of officers he represents demonstrates why we have to have the strongest possible data gathering measures in place. We need early warning systems in place to help us see when an officer is on the path to becoming a threat to the public’s safety and security so that the system can intervene to correct or remove that officer.
We need systems of accountability to help us track behaviors and expose when we have an officer who should not be allowed to hold the power of life and death over citizens so that again, authorities can correct or remove that officer.”