ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Jeff Rothecker, the St. Paul police sergeant accused of urging drivers to “run down” Black Lives Matter protesters in a Facebook post, has resigned from the department.
“The Saint Paul Police Department today announced that Jeffrey Rothecker has resigned his position with the department,” SPPD said in a statement. “His resignation is effective immediately. No further information is available at this time.”
Under the name "JM Roth," Rothecker wrote on Facebook that drivers encountering Martin Luther King Day marchers on the Lake Street bridge should "run them down." Rothecker went on to explain how to avoid criminal charges. On Jan. 20, Rothecker released a statement of apology, which said his "poor choice of words conveyed a message I did not intend and am not proud of."
READ THE APOLOGY: 'I am extremely sorry for posting what I did'
“I am pleased that Chief Smith has accepted the resignation of Mr. Rothecker and that he is no longer a member of the Saint Paul Police Department. I believe it was the quickest and most certain way to reach a final outcome," Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement. “The Saint Paul Police Department is one of the finest in the country. The Department and Chief Smith are absolutely committed to strong relationships with the communities they serve. The actions Mr. Rothecker admits he engaged in were disgusting, harmful and out of step with the values of the Department and the community it serves."
The firing of Sgt. Rothecker from the St. Paul Police Department was one of three demands from Black Lives Matter-St. Paul, which has threatened to disrupt the Red Bull Crashed Ice event on Feb. 27. Those demands include:
1. Terminate Jeffrey Rothecker’s employment without pension and strip him of his license to be a peace officer anywhere for the rest of his life. Do NOT accept his resignation.
2. Re-investigate every case in which Rothecker’s investigation(s) contributed to a conviction.
3. Mayor Coleman to initiate the process to eliminate the progressive discipline policy in the collective bargaining agreement. Progressive discipline is what allows white supremacist officers like Rothecker to be disciplined seven times and still remain employed.
Full text of the Facebook comment
"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. 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."