September 19, 2017

John Jay Instructor’s Suspended for Tweet Mocking ‘Dead Cops’


After protests from police unions, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice placed on administrative leave a part-time instructor who tweeted: “Some of y’all might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teaching at John Jay College but I think it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops.”

The adjunct, Michael Isaac­son of the Department of Economics, posted the tweet Aug. 27 under the handle @VulgarEconomics. On Sept. 15, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association demanded his immediate firing.

‘Outrageous’ and ‘Ignorant’

“It is absolutely outrageous that an individual who holds and expresses these views could be employed by any academic institution, much less by one that counts an overwhelming number of New York City police officers among its students, alumni and faculty members,” said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch.

“I don’t know the professor, but based on his tweet, he strikes me as a man of ignorance and arrogance with hate in his heart,” said Mi­chael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association.

“This message is an abdication of the professor’s responsibility as a civilized human being and disgusting coming from a representative of the teaching profession,” said Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association.

Karol Mason, who took over as President of John Jay six weeks ago, called Mr. Isaacson’s statements “abhorrent.”

Cites Threats to Faculty

“Today, members of the John Jay faculty received threats, and our students expressed concerns for their safety in the classroom,” she said on the evening of the 15th. “Out of concern for the safety of our students, faculty and staff, we are immediately placing the adjunct on administrative leave as we continue to review this matter.”

Mr. Isaacson, 29, said before his suspension, “I don’t have a problem with individual police officers—I mean, I teach them—but I don’t like policing as an institution.”

He said he encourages students to change their aspirations, but “unfortunately, most of my students don’t have the luxury of a wide variety of career options. They are from low-income backgrounds and are mainly people of color. Most of them are just looking to get a job with a salary.”