Anna Hayward: Professor draws flak for calling Suffolk cops 'murderers' for killing man who stabbed them

Anna Hayward: Professor draws flak for calling Suffolk cops 'murderers' for killing man who stabbed them
Professor Anna Hayward of Stony Brook University faced criticism for her 'anti-cop' beliefs (YouTube Screenshot/CBS New York, Stony Brook University)

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK: Anna Hayward, a professor at Stony Brook University in New York, has come under fire for branding the Suffolk County police officers as "murderers" after they shot and killed a man who stabbed them while they were responding to a report. In an Instagram post from Stony Brook Hospital, Professor Hayward questioned why the man had to die and why the situation couldn't have been rectified.

On Wednesday, December 28, Suffolk County police were called to investigate claims that the man threatened his roommate with a fire extinguisher before the suspect suddenly flipped his knife toward the officers. Two police officers had severe injuries and one had neck injuries that could have been fatal. In the incident that occurred in Medford, Long Island, one of the policemen shot the suspect in self-defense. However, Professor Hayward expressed displeasure and questioned their conduct, stating, "This was a wellness check — why didn't they de-escalate the situation? Why did a man have to die? What about the man they murdered?"

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Hayward, who now seems to have deleted all of her social media accounts, wrote an update online about the conditions of the officers, accusing them of failing to de-escalate the situation. The New York Post reported that her remarks were eventually taken down from the Stony Brook Hospital's Instagram page. 

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The vice president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, Lou Civello, referred to Hayward's remarks as "beyond the pale" and demanded that the institution to condemn them in order to eliminate the "harmful anti-police bias" in their curriculum. Civello stated, "While a Suffolk County Police Officer fights for his life after being stabbed in the neck an anti-police Professor slanderously referred to him and his partner as murderers."

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He claimed that a "quick glance" at Hayward's now-deleted Twitter page revealed a large number of anti-law enforcement tweets including requests to "defund the police." Civello added, "Stony Brook University Professor Dr Anna Hayward displayed a stunning level of ignorance when she callously commented on Stony Brook's official page denouncing the police, and condemning the actions of these hero cops who stopped an armed criminal and saved others from harm."

In a statement released Monday, January 2, Stony Brook University officials said, "We appreciate the members of law enforcement who work to keep our community safe and we are proud of our doctors at Stony Brook Medicine for the quality medical care they provided the injured officers; we wish them a speedy recovery."

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"The comments made online were from what appears to be a faculty member's private account that is not affiliated with Stony Brook University," the statement concluded. Both the police officers received medical care at Stony Brook Hospital. The hospital also treated the minor injuries sustained by a third police officer. 

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