During Friday morning’s broadcast of Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski tried with all of her might to give Jeff Roorda, the business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, every opportunity to walk back comments he made to Fox News the previous day about Ferguson protesters wanting “dead cops.” Roorda was a guest on Fox & Friends Thursday morning to discuss the shooting of two police officers at a protest in front of the Ferguson police station hours earlier. (Both officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were released from the hospital on Thursday.) During the interview, he made the following observation about Ferguson protesters:
“Dead cops, that’s what they want. Let’s not pretend like they wanted Tom Jackson’s resignation or they’re mad because Mayor Knowles is still there. They want dead cops. That was their goal all along and that was their goal last night.”
Morning Joe brought Roorda on Friday morning to both discuss the shooting and address his inciteful and outrageous remarks. Ever the professional agitator, Roorda refused to temper his hateful rhetoric and instead doubled down on it. Mika asked the Darren Wilson confidant if he wanted to perhaps amend his remarks about protesters wanting dead cops considering most of them are peaceful and have legitimate concerns that they want addressed. Roorda answered back that while some protesters might be peaceful, “the shooters were until they decided to pull a gun out and try to kill two cops.”
Brzezinski tried again to help Roorda walk back his original stance.
“I just wonder then why you would put protesters in a group of one when there are so many people that do certainly want change and have been protesting peacefully night after night after night. Are you sure that was the way to say it?”
But, Roorda being Roorda, he just went right on lumping all the protesters together as violent thugs who want to shoot up cops by saying, “It ceases to be a peaceful protest the minute somebody in the crowd engages in violence.” Eventually, Mika pointed out to Roorda that she was trying to help him out so that he won’t have this hanging over him, calling his comments “ham-fisted.” Roorda shot back by blaming the media for labeling the protesters as peaceful and this shooting as an isolated incident, insisting that this “is an ongoing phenomenon.” He also praised Joe Scarborough for going off on a race-tinged rant late last year regarding protests against police brutality.
Below is video of the entire interview, courtesy of MSNBC:
Over the past 24 hours, since news of the shooting in Ferguson broke, Roorda has been a ubiquitous presence on television, making multiple appearances on all three major cable news networks. Besides his infamous spot on Fox & Friends, Roorda was also interviewed multiple times by CNN throughout the day and evening Thursday. During one appearance with Don Lemon Thursday night, as protesters were chanting and beating drums in the background after a candlelight vigil was held near the spot of the shooting, Roorda made an offhand remark that “you can hear the war drums back there.”
Roorda specializes in inciting and antagonizing members of the local community, especially those who are black. While using the pretense that he is just supporting his police brethren, he’s specifically gone out of his way to anger those who are calling for widespread reforms in policing. Earlier this year, Roorda attended a St. Louis city meeting regarding the formation of a civilian review board of its police department. He showed up wearing an “I Am Darren Wilson” wristband and created a melee by shouting at an alderman and shoving a woman. The man is nothing but a provocateur and should not be treated seriously at all, especially by the mainstream press.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).