Issues

Taxpayer Funded Poet Accused of Assaulting Cops, Inciting Riot

Protesters march across the Brooklyn Bridge / AP

A poet working as a professor at CUNY colleges was arrested on Sunday for allegedly assaulting two cops who were trying to stop him from hurling a garbage can at police on the Brooklyn Bridge during New York City's massive anti-cop march this weekend, the New York Post reports.

Eric Linsker, who police say brought three hammers and a black ski mask to the march, pleaded not guilty to charges that he was involved in an attack on two cops that left one with a broken nose.

Linsker and the other protesters ran away after kicking and punching the two cops—one of whom suffered a broken nose—but he was tracked down through evidence found in his bag, which had been left behind, sources said. […]

Linsker, a Harvard grad and award-winning poet who currently teaches English at Baruch College and Queens College, faces charges including assault, riot, attempted robbery and pot possession.

The Post also reports that Linkster's poetry has grown increasingly violent and that "police brutality has been a big topic he’s written about recently."

At Linsker’s Crown Heights apartment, roommate Chris Balmer, a friend since childhood, said Linsker was "pretty outraged" when a grand jury recently cleared an NYPD cop of criminal wrongdoing in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Balmer also said Linsker’s recent poetry "has become more political. Police brutality has been a big topic he’s written about recently."

"He’s not a violent person but he has very strong beliefs that there are problems with our current system and police, and he wants to do something about it," Balmer added.

In a rambling, profanity-laced poem published online by adult-mag.com, Linsker wrote: "F–k the police/To rise as you/Disappear below current/Interpretations of observations/F–k the police."

Linsker teaches poetry at Baruch College and Queens College, both part of CUNY, New York City's public university system.