During Saturday’s protests about the lack of indictments in the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, CUNY adjunct professor and creator of erotic poetry Eric Linsker picked up a trashcan and tried to throw it at police officers. Two police lieutenants were attacked by the crowd when the officers tried to arrest Linsker.
They were on the roadway of the [Brooklyn] bridge about 8 p.m. when they heard reports of “debris being thrown on the walkway” at police officers who were walking alongside demonstrators involved in Saturday’s New York City rally against police shootings of unarmed black men, said NYPD Chief of Department James P. O’Neill.
The lieutenants, assigned to the Legal Bureau, saw “a male attempting to throw a garbage can at the cops on the roadway,” he said. They tried to arrest the man, but “numerous protesters intervened and prevented the arrest.”
Several people then assaulted the officers, said Deputy Commissioner John Miller. They were “knocked to the ground, kicked by various people, kicked in the face and in the head, while the group attempted to steal their portable radios and tear away their jackets.”
Linsker was eventually arrested at his Crown Heights home.
Both police officers were sent to the hospital but the most serious injury was a broken nose suffered by one of the two lieutenants.
Based on the evidence found at the scene it could have been much worse. According to ABC News and other sources, “bag of hammers and a mask were found nearby, and are believed to be his.” The police believe the bag was Linsker’s because his Baruch College ID was found in the bag as well.
NY’s WPIX TV spoke to Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, who confirmed that Linsker teaches one class composition course.
“Working with The City University of New York, Baruch will cooperate fully, as called upon, in any criminal investigation. While we believe firmly in the exercise of free speech, we deplore violence of any kind and will support the official investigation of this matter,” Wallerstein said.
The New York Daily News provided some background on Linsker:
Before his run-in with the law, Linsker was scribbling stanzas about psychedelic sex and disdain for the cops.
“F— the police/To rise as you/Disappear below current/Interpretations of observations/F— the police,” he wrote for Adult-Mag, an online publication.
Linsker’s roommate Chris Balmer said the poet’s writing often wrestles with the issues that galvanized some 30,000 protesters Saturday in the wake of decisions by grand juries not to indict the cops who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“Police brutality is a big theme,” Balmer said. “He’s frequented these protests. He was extremely upset (but) he’s not a violent person.”
Linsker was a lauded graduate student in the prestigious writing program at the University of Iowa. He also attended Harvard, and now teaches at Queens College and Baruch College, according to his Facebook profile.
One review on Rate My Professors said Linsker pursues carnal subject matter.
“The readings are pretty weird. . . . I mean, if you love reading about sex in the most poetically disturbing way possible, go for it,” a student wrote last month.
Linsker was charged with assault, weapons and marijuana possession, resisting arrest and rioting.
The state of New York is the primary funder of CUNY.