Jeff Roorda, the controversial St. Louis police union head, has been let go, according to local reports. The Riverfront Times reported Monday the St. Louis Police Officers Association asked the city to remove Roorda from union-related emails going forward.
The outlet also noted that Roorda took no responsibility for the ending of his tenure. He instead claimed his firing was due to efforts to appease Mayor Tishaura Jones.
According to the outlet, the union did not renew Roorda’s contract earlier in the year as he was a candidate for state office. He lost his August primary but never received a new contract.
For her part, Jones has publicly commented about Roorda in her personal capacity. In a December 2021 Tweet about Roorda switching parties, Jones tweeted he showed his true colors and used the hashtag #FireRoorda.
It’s equally likely, Roorda’s political ambitions provided an out for the police union looking to chart a new past forward. His statement claimed the police union was “at a crossroads.”
Back in February, the police union voted on whether to renew Roorda’s contract deciding not to renew. In 2020, the Ethical Society of Police uplifted a call to action for St. Louis residents to call officials regarding Roorda’s prior contract renewal.
Reportedly, Roorda doesn’t live in St. Louis and hasn’t served as a police officer in Missouri in over 20 years. According to public information, he was fired in 2001 for making false statements and filing false police reports. Despite this, the St. Louis Police Officers Association saw fit to have him as lead until this month.
As Sarah Fenske noted in a Tweet, Roorda wished Darren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown Jr., “Happy Alive Day” on the first anniversary of Michael’s death.
In 2016, Roorda blamed former President Barack Obama for a sniper in Dallas who shot five police officers. He claimed the president had had blood on his hands.
Local media outlets have directly called out Roorda’s behavior. A 2019 editorial in the St. Louis Dispatch referred to the former union spokesman as an “obnoxious internet troll.”
“Online posts by the St. Louis Police Officers Association graduated from name-calling and fanning the flames of racial division to using threatening language that could have endangered the safety of an incumbent alderman,” read the editorial. “Roorda’s problematic track record speaks for itself. He was dismissed by the Arnold, Mo., police force after 17 years for making false statements. After 18 months as business manager of the St. Louis County Police Association, that union terminated its contract with him.”
The following year, an article in the St. Louis American called for the media to collectively stop amplifying Roorda’s “divisive rhetoric.” Roorda’s last day on payroll is Sept. 30.
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