ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - St. Paul Police Sergeant Jeff Rothecker released a statement Wednesday apologizing for his Facebook comments which urged drivers to run over Black Lives Matter protesters.
“I am extremely sorry for posting what I did, I understand that the post was insensitive and wrong. My poor choice of words conveyed a message I did not intend and am not proud of. Shortly after submitting the post, I re-read it and deleted it. As a law enforcement officer, I would never intentionally encourage someone to commit a crime. I very much regret my actions.
I apologize to all the citizens of St. Paul, the department, my fellow law enforcement professionals and my family for the scornful attention my mistake has brought upon them.
I apologize for exposing all law enforcement officers to increased scrutiny, during this difficult time of ongoing conflict between officers and members of the community.
I apologize to the community members who participated peacefully in the protest.” ~ Sergeant Jeff Rothecker
The apology was released through the St. Paul Police Federation. The federation said they do not endorse his behavior, and will ensure that Rothecker receives due process.
Following the apology, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement, "I continue to be outraged by the online comments. While an apology is certainly in order, it is not sufficient to repair the trust that has been broken. Beyond that, Minnesota law prevents me from talking about disciplinary action until any employee appeals period is over.”
Rothecker has since been put on administrative leave from the St. Paul Police Department, and resigned Tuesday from his leadership position with the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police.
"The public should be aware that Sergeant Rothecker is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army," the police federation said in a statement Wednesday. "He has served the City of St. Paul for over two decades as a police officer. He has many supporters in the community and among his fellow officers."