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SLPOA Press Release
Posted On: Oct 16, 2014
MEDIA RELEASE
 
For Comments Contact:  Jeff Roorda at 314.420.3861 or 314-353-3200
 
St. Louis Police Officers Association Defends Member's First Amendment Rights
 
St. Louis, Missouri (October 16, 2014) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association released the following statement in response to media calls regarding St. Louis Police Officer Keith Novara allegedly attempting to "intimidate a local activist" according to a video posted on YouTube. 
"We've confirmed that a complaint was filed with Internal Affairs against our member, Keith Novara," SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda acknowledged.  "The Association has hired an attorney that specializes in First Amendment rights to represent Officer Novara.  It is confounding to us as an organization of law enforcement professionals that apologists for the so-called 'peaceful protestors' in Ferguson and the Shaw neighborhood defend throwing bricks, bottles and rocks at police officers as 'freedom of speech or freedom of expression'.  Then, those very same people feign righteous indignation when a police officer who is fed up with the corrosive, anti-police rhetoric that this particular agitator has made in a public forum on social media, exercises his freedom of speech and freedom of expression in a truly peaceful manner."  Roorda continued, "today Officer Novara joined the ranks of law enforcement officers and police union officials who have received death threats, had threats made against their children or been subject to cyber-attacks.  All of this for the mere act of setting the record straight on public statements made by people spreading irresponsible lies and calling for violence against the police.  Police Officers are not second-class citizens.  They enjoy First Amendment rights and every other right that is enjoyed by every other citizens and we will aggressively defend those rights to our last breath." 
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