St. Louis, MO – A St. Louis professor was tackled by a police officer at a community college board meeting Thursday night, and the incident was captured on video (video below.)
Now, that professor, Steven Taylor, 53, is going to the media to complain about his treatment.
“I was driven into the concrete floor… my feet were brushed out from underneath me. I was rammed. His full body went on top of me into the cement floor,” Taylor told KMOV.
The incident started at the board meeting Thursday night during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Taylor says that he was “voicing his displeasure with ground rules laid out at the meeting,” including the rule which prohibited applause, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The math professor loudly voiced his displeasure and refused to leave when he was repeatedly told to.
A police officer finally approached to escort Taylor out, but instead of leaving, Taylor pulled away from the officer and started charging toward the board members.
The officer tackled Taylor just before he got to the board.
Taylor is being charged with general peace disturbance and resisting arrest.
The college released a statement saying that “disruptive outbursts undermine the process of conducting business in a transparent and respectful manner.”
The Taylor later received a letter from the college informing him that he was prohibited from returning to campus, the equivalent of a termination letter, he says.
“Did I speak out of turn? Yes. But I just felt something was really wrong,” he told the Post Dispatch.
Taylor says that be blames the board, not the police officer, for “restricting free speech.”
He says that the board tamping down free speech is an ongoing issue along with staff pay.
“There’s less transparency, no shared governance,” he said to the Post Dispatch. “There’s a perception that you will be penalized for sharing contrarian opinions.”
You can see the video of the incident below: