Attorney: 'No path to criminal case' for St. Paul cop who told drivers to ‘run over’ protesters


The St. Paul police officer who resigned after telling people to run over protesters will not be charged with a crime.

Community members had pushed for criminal charges against Jeffrey Rothecker after he posted on Facebook about Black Lives Matter protesters, but St. Paul City Attorney Samuel Clark said in a statement to BringMeTheNews that "there is no path to a criminal case."

"Mr. Rothecker’s comments were outrageous and hurtful, to be sure, but that does not necessarily mean that a crime occurred," Clark's statement said, noting prosecutors looked at it "from every angle."

Rothecker was placed on administrative leave while the police department investigated his comments. He resigned from his position in mid-February.

Clark says the crime that most closely matches what Rothecker did is disorderly conduct – it's a misdemeanor to engage in "offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others."

Although it may seem as if his comments would fall under that, Rothecker's "comments do not meet" standards set forth by a Supreme Court ruling, which found part of the statute unconstitutional unless limited to "fighting words," Clark explained. 

Rothecker's resignation also stopped any discipline he could have faced, the Pioneer Press reports. The agreement between him and the city means he will not sue and he waives all claims he could make against the city. In return the city paid him $7,500.

If he would have stayed on as an employee and was disciplined, Rothecker would have been able to appeal the punishment, and the city would have been required by law to pay him during the appeal process, the Pioneer Press says. Ultimately, the city determined that would have been more expensive than the amount Rothecker received in the agreement.

Next Up

Willians Astudillo

Twins pitchers decimated: 16 runs, 18 hits, 8 walks ... 4 strikeouts

The White Sox hammered the Twins 16-4 but Astudillo took the mound in the ninth.


Girl shot in the head at birthday party 'fighting for her life'

Trinity Ottoson-Smith was struck by a bullet in the head last weekend.

Kelly Kleine

Broncos hire Vikings' Kelly Kleine as highest-ranking woman scout in NFL history

Kleine will reunite in Denver with former Vikings executive George Paton.

Joel Eriksson Ek

Wild looks to exorcise demons from haunted Game 2 history

The Wild have lost nine straight Game 2s entering Tuesday night's tilt with Vegas.


Woman who died in crash after car lost tire in Minneapolis is ID'd

The 35-year-old Minneapolis woman was originally from Mahnomen.

Flickr - fishing minnesota 2020 -Lorie Shaull

Curious conservation officer reports from the Minnesota DNR

Gravel thieves, raucous campers and some quick thinking that backfired.

St. Paul police squad

Police 'tactically disengage' from standoff in St. Paul

The incident lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours.


Another Raising Cane's set to open in the Twin Cities

This will be the 11th Raising Cane's restaurant in the metro area.

kimberly potter

Trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter starts Dec. 6

Potter is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Health care workers ratify tentative agreement with Allina Health

The union was threatening a strike just two weeks ago.


County attorney: Suspects in attack on protesters are 'sick people'

"There is no doubt that the attack by the four was racially motivated," Freeman said.