Brooklyn, NY – A Brooklyn math teacher is without a job after making an Instagram post which appeared to suggest an attack against the law enforcement officers who gathered for the funeral of slain New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Jason Rivera.
Officer Rivera, 22, was gunned down in the line of duty on Jan. 21 by a career criminal who was on probation at the time.
His partner, New York Police Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, was also shot in the attack and died of his wounds on Jan. 25.
Christopher Flanigan, a math teacher at Coney Island Prep in Brooklyn, posted an overhead photo to Instagram on Saturday showing Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral lined with thousands of officers for Officer Rivera’s funeral on Jan. 28, the New York Post reported.
“5/30/20: NYPD SUV drives into a crowd of protestors. Ideal conditions for reciprocity,” Flanigan captioned the image.
The schoolteacher was allegedly referencing an incident that occurred in the wake of the in-custody death of George Floyd, when an NYPD patrol unit drove through a group of protesters who were staging a demonstration, the New York Post reported.
Shortly after the incident, now-former NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the officers were not using the patrol vehicle in a forceful manner against the protesters.
Video footage showed rioters hitting and throwing objects at the vehicle before it pushed through the mob, The Post Millennial reported.
Other police vehicles were set ablaze with Molotov cocktails thrown by rioters in other areas of the city that night.
Then-New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the time that the footage of the incident was “troubling,” but that protesters should have moved out of the way of the emergency police vehicle, the New York Post reported.
No one was injured.
NYPD officers were outraged when they learned of Flanigan’s post and accused him of advocating for people to attack police as they were mourning a fellow officer who was killed in an ambush, the New York Post reported.
“You have a city worker wishing physical harm or worse to fellow city workers during a solemn service,” one NYPD officer told the paper. “It is the ultimate act of cowardice.”
“For a school teacher to condone an act of terrorism is reprehensible,” another officer said. “I wouldn’t want him giving my own children instruction of any kind.”
Flanigan immediately hung up when a reporter contacted him for a comment on the situation Saturday night, according to the New York Post.
He has since deleted the post.
On Sunday, Flanigan said he received death threats due to his comment, which he claimed was “misconstrued,” the New York Post reported.
“I was really just trying to show the vulnerability of all of these police officers being in the same place at the same time which seems like a dangerous situation for anyone that would be that gathered together,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
“I respect the NYPD. I do not condone violence,” Flanigan told the New York Post. “A 22-year-old police officer murdered in the line of duty is reprehensible. I’m devastated by that.”
Coney Island Prep CEO Leslie-Bernard Joseph released a statement Sunday saying Flanigan is no longer employed by the school.
“We do not condone or promote violence of any sort,” Joseph said, according to the New York Post. “As of this afternoon, Mr. Flanigan is no longer employed at Coney Island Prep.”
“The teachers and staff of Coney Island Prep are public servants; and like all public servants we hold ourselves to a much higher standard,” Joseph added. “We work hard to serve the young people in our community, and we know our police officers do as well, taking innumerable risks, to keep our city safe.”