NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (AP) – A Rutgers University professor was taken to a New York City hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after university police claimed he made threats to kill white people, authorities said Wednesday.
But Kevin Allred said the comments he made in class and on Twitter in the days after Donald Trump won the presidential election were just rhetorical political statements. He claims school officials were trying to intimidate him for exercising his free speech rights.
New York police said they were contacted by Rutgers police about the alleged threats. Allred, who is white, was taken to the hospital Tuesday night and released later that night. Allred said he wasn’t arrested or handcuffed, but was told he didn’t have a choice about going to the hospital.
In postings on Twitter, Allred said the dispute stems from comments he made about whether conservatives would care as much about gun rights if guns were used to kill more white people. He also cited another tweet that showed an American flag being ignited.
Allred also sent a tweet questioning the school’s response to Trump’s election last week: “hey Rutgers, did you send out an email addressing the fears of MANY RU students for their safety in Trump’s amerika yet? did i miss it?”
Allred did not immediately respond to a request for comments sent through Twitter on Wednesday. But he told the New York Daily News that he spent two hours at the hospital before doctors agreed he had no psychological issues.
“The doctors were like ‘This is ridiculous, why did they bring you here?’” Allred told the newspaper. “And I said, ‘That’s what I thought but they told me they had to do it.’”
Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said Wednesday the university’s police department “responded to a complaint from a student and took all appropriate action.” He said the school would have no further comment on the matter.
Allred has drawn attention in the past for teaching a women’s and gender study class titled “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce.”