Chaos broke out during a public meeting in St. Louis City Hall last night as citizens discussed the possibility of a civilian review board for local authorities.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the meeting carried on without conflict for over an hour. Tension arose when policemen offered oppositional testimony. The melee occurred after Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Department, urged for Alderman Terry Kennedy to establish order—while wearing a wristband supporting former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. After Kennedy told Roorda "do not tell me my function," all hell broke loose:
Standing in the aldermanic hearing room packed with people shoulder-to-shoulder beneath a ceiling painted with allegorical images of Western democracy, Roorda shouted back at Kennedy.
Others began yelling, then pushing and shoving as officers struggled to maintain control. Some in the crowd scrambled to leave the packed room, which has only two exits.
The commotion lasted for about 15 minutes until order was restored.
Kennedy attempted to resume the meeting, but it was futile in the tense room. He ended the hearing shortly after it resumed.
Gawker notes that, at one point, a man recording the scene screams, "You white supremacist motherf*****!" as things escalate. There were no arrests, nor were they any serious injuries.
The Post-Dispatch adds that the board was suggested in response to last year's events in Ferguson, Mo. Supporters insist that it would give civilians the opportunity to voice opinions, as well as a place to hold police officers accountable. Meanwhile, those in opposition maintain that it will impede police work.