A private charter school in New York City let go one of its math teachers when he posted anti-police rhetoric on his social media account. Christopher Flanagan, who taught at Coney Island Prep in Brooklyn, posted rhetoric that encouraged violence against police officers on his Instagram page.
According to the New York Post, Flanagan posted a photo of thousands of police officers lined up to pay their respects for Rivera’s funeral and the following caption: “5/30/20: NYPD SUV drives into a crowd of protestors. Ideal conditions for reciprocity.” He was referring to an instance where, in 2020, a NYPD vehicle drove through a group of George Floyd protesters but did not incur any injuries.
The Post reported that when it reached out to Flanagan, he “abruptly hung up before he could be asked about the content on his private Instagram account.” The Instagram post was shared with police officers by a “concerned follower,” as the newspaper stated.
Flanagan’s comments came after the New York City Police Department mourned the death of detective Jason Rivera. Rivera’s police partner, Wilbert Mora, later passed away from his injuries from the same violent encounter.
Flanagan claimed that his comments were “misconstrued,” which the charter school disagreed with. The Daily Mail reported that the school’s CEO Leslie-Bernard Joseph said, “We do not condone or promote violence of any sort.” Joseph added, “The teachers and staff of Coney Island Prep are public servants; and like all public servants we hold ourselves to a much higher standard.”
The former teacher went back to the Post to clarify his social media post. He claimed that he has since received death threats and demands that he be fired since posting the controversial social media post. Flanagan also said that he did not approve of violence and nor did he intend to encourage violence against police officers.