St. Louis Police Officers Association want Rams players punished for Ferguson gesture
St. Louis, MO — Five players from the St. Louis Rams came onto the field Sunday making the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture to show their solidarity with protesters of the Michael Brown shooting and the non-indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Now, the St. Louis Police Officers Association is calling for the punishment of the football players involved, and they also want a public apology.
During the pre-game introductions, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens stood together with their hands raised honoring Michael Brown. Witnesses say Brown had his hands up before being shot and killed by Wilson.
The Police Officers Association called the players’ actions “way out of bounds” in a public statement they released on Sunday.
The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization’s displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, “I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.”
You can read the St. Louis Police Officers Association’s full statement here.