ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A St. Paul police officer accused of urging drivers to run over Black Lives Matter protesters in a Facebook post has apologized, reports CBS Minnesota.
Sgt. Jeff Rothecker's post came early Saturday morning under an article about a protest planned for Martin Luther King Day. Organizers hoped to shut down a bridge connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The Facebook comment read, "Run them over. Keep traffic flowing and don't slow down for any of these idiots who try and block the street." The post then elaborated on how drivers could avoid prosecution if they did hit a protester.
Rothecker was placed on administrative leave after the post appeared.
He issued a statement about it Wednesday.
"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," the statement reads.
The Associated press reports Mayor Chris Coleman issued a statement Wednesday saying he remains "outraged" by the post.
"While an apology is certainly in order, it is not sufficient to repair the trust that has been broken," Coleman said.
The police union said it doesn't agree with the contents of Rothecker's post but represents him and "will ensure that he receives due process," according to the AP.
Rothecker, an Army vet, has been an officer with the St. Paul department for more than 20 years.
Rothecker resigned from his post on the Minneosta Fraternal Order of Police on Tuesday. He had been the 2nd vice president of the group.
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