St. Louis, MO - A resolution thanking St. Louis police officers for their work during recent protests and rioting was called a "salute to white supremacy" during an aldermen committee meeting.
The resolution was proposed by Alderman Joe Vaccaro and was immediately met with opposition.
Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard said, "Really, we need to get down to doing business and not get caught up in this tit for tat. It does not benefit anyone."
Her comments refer to a recent resolution from Alderman John Collins-Muhammed to honor Anthony Lamar Smith, who was fatally shot by former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley.
That resolution, which was introduced in September, was passed unanimously.
Stockley was charged with Smith's murder but was acquitted after a trial.
The Smith resolution prompted an immediate outcry from law enforcement and others, who said the the city shouldn't give their highest honor to a drug dealer. The committee said that the Smith resolution was passed to honor Smith's mother.
Vaccaro said that he proposed his resolution "...in light of that, but not because of that. I do believe there are two sides to every coin."
The vote for Vaccaro's resolution was 5-3 and was evenly split between racial lines.
Some committee members said that a resolution to honor police would create a "firestorm."
Collins-Muhammed called both the resolution and Alderman Vaccaro "ignorant". He said “This resolution is 'BS,' and a slap in the face to black progress and a salute to white supremacy!"
In response, Vaccaro said “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."
He said that the failure of his proposal was "a punch in the gut for law enforcement officers."
Vaccaro said, “I think the police during all of this have done a pretty good job. I know that some people would disagree on some points. But I also think they’ve shown a lot of restraint considering some of the protesters have thrown things at them."
He said, “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."
Smith's mother later said that the proposed resolution was "very disrespectful" to her family, and claimed that her son was murdered.