New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an adjunct instructor of English at Baruch College of the City University of New York to be suspended, following the instructor’s arrest this weekend for allegedly assaulting two police officers during an anti-policy brutality protest on the Brooklyn Bridge, the New York Observer reported. De Blasio also reportedly said that Eric Linsker, the instructor, should be “removed from his position” if found guilty. Linsker was charged with assault in the second degree, rioting in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to the Observer. He allegedly tried to throw a metal garbage can at officers, who tried to arrest him before protesters intervened and injured the officers. Linsker did not return a request for comment.
Via email, a Baruch spokeswoman said that the college supports the “exercise of freedom of speech while deploring violence of any kind.” She said the investigation into Linsker’s actions is ongoing, but as of right now Linsker is scheduled to teach next semester (the fall term already is over). “The college will review all of the facts as they become available in order to decide if any additional action is warranted,” the spokeswoman said.
The Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s faculty union, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of University Professors, and other labor groups, said in a statement that it “vigorously defends” its members rights to due process under the union contract. “While we recognize that Mr. Linsker has been arrested and charged with serious unlawful acts, he has not yet been tried or found guilty of any crime,” the union said. “It would be premature and inappropriate for CUNY to take disciplinary action against him at this time.”
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