Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Police Union Spokesman Tells His Side in 'Ferghanistan'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Police Union Spokesman Tells His Side in 'Ferghanistan'

Article excerpt

After the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, viewers of cable television news got familiar with Jeff Roorda former Missouri legislator, former cop in Arnold, former police chief of Kimmswick and current business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

The cable networks pressed Roorda for the police side of the story behind the death of Brown, killed by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. In "Ferghanistan: The War on Police," Roorda expands on his take on the case The Blue View, as it were.

About that title: Early in his book, Roorda writes that the violence that followed Brown's death "was most certainly a war. That's why cops on the ground dubbed it 'Ferghanistan.'"

About Roorda's take on the case: He calls his book "a cop's-eye view of things, and I do not purport it to be counterbalanced by, or fairly representative of other viewpoints."

In other words, the book is a 209-page editorial, although one written with more linguistic gusto (if a touch less copy-editing precision) than most editorial pages display.

Among his many observations and conclusions is a warning about what has come to be called "the Ferguson Effect." As Roorda puts it, "Cops under the constant siege of violent assaults against them, along with the threat of criminal prosecution or civil litigation suddenly become reluctant to do their jobs."

As a result, he adds, crime jumps up as more people conclude that they have little to lose when police are passive. (This theory has been contradicted by many, including President Barack Obama.)

Roorda heaps blame on the likes of St. Louis Aldermen Antonio French and Terry Kennedy and the Rev. Al Sharpton in the author's eyes, the real bad guys. Other targets are Gov. Jay Nixon, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, sent in to control the police operation against violent protesters. …

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