ST. LOUIS, Mo - The vote of five to three went along racial lines. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen eight person committee voted down Resolution 145 which would have recognized the work of police during protests on September 15th. Now, that resolution is gone and both sides are standing their ground.
Alderman Joe Vaccaro of the 23rd Ward proposed Resolution 145 to honor police for their work but it was met with opposition.
"Really, we need to get down to doing business and not get caught up in this tit for tat. It does not benefit anyone,” said 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard.
Alderwoman Hubbard's "tit for tat", comment refers to a recent resolution brought forth by Alderman John Collins-Muhammed honoring Anthony Lamar Smith who was killed by officer Jason Stockley. That resolution was approved but resolution will get no further discussion.
“I did it in light of that, but not because of that. I do believe there are two sides to every coin,” said 23rd Ward Alderman Joe Vaccaro.
Other committee members told Vaccaro that approving his resolution would only create another firestorm.
“I honestly believe it is just honoring the hard work of the police department that are out there, that have been injured during the line of duty,” said Vaccaro.
Alderman John Collins-Muhammed was most critical. He calls the resolution and Vaccarro ignorant.
“This resolution is 'BS,' and a slap in the face to black progress and a salute to white supremacy!” said Alderman John Collins-Muhammed.
Collins Muhammed offered an amendment to honor all first responders, deleting words that specifically referred to police allowing people to protest peacefully on September 15th. That was voted down before Vacarro’s resolution.
“We have a police department that is corrupt, racially divided, and a police department that has a problem when it comes to interacting with the black community,” said Alderman John Collins-Muhammed.
Anthony Lamar Smith's mother, Annie Smith, had this to say, “I think it's very disrespectful to the Smith family. My son was murdered and now they want to give them an award.”
Vacarro said, “I'm saddened that it didn't go through today. I think its wrong.”