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November 17, 2016

Rutgers professor forced into psych evaluation over Second Amendment tweets

Odd News Politics
111616_AllredRutgers Kevin Allred/Facebook

Rutgers University adjunct professor Kevin Allred.

An adjunct professor at Rutgers University is under scrutiny after he received a visit Tuesday night from the New York City Police Department in regards to a barrage of tweets critical of President-elect Donald Trump and  one hypothetically posing a question about a shooting spree. 

Kevin Allred, a lecturer specializing in pop culture and politics, had been posting dozens of tweets about the perceived hypocrisy of Trump supporters in the run-up to Tuesday's knock on the door. One of those tweets, since deleted, offered a controversial viewpoint on the Second Amendment. Another depicted a man burning the American flag. 

A screenshot of Allred's deleted tweet offers a better understanding of why his social media activity was considered potentially threatening. 

Kevin Allred/Twitter

Deleted tweet by Kevin Allred.

Allred said Twitter suspended his account and would only let him restore it on condition that he consent to the removal of this tweet. 

At around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, Allred tweeted that he'd been brought in by the NYPD and taken to a local hospital to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Allred could not immediately be reached for comment. Best known for his popular "Politicizing Beyoncé" course, he has written for The Huffington Post, Salon and The Washington Post.

At his personal website, Allred describes himself as an incendiary thinker with "no shame" and five core values: 

• Disruptive Creativity

• Critical Kindness

• Radical Honesty

• Relentless Vulnerability

• Empathic Collaboration

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Allred said doctors at Bellevue Hospital were confused by police insisting on a "ridiculous" evaluation. Police told him that while he was not under arrest, he would be taken by force to the hospital if he refused to comply. 

Contacted Wednesday afternoon, Rutgers issued a brief statement about the incident. 

"The Rutgers University Police Department responded to a complaint from a student and took all appropriate action," a spokesperson said. "We have no further comment."  

Allred has questioned the university's account of the procedure it followed before contacting NYPD. 

Thankful for the support he's received, Allred sent out several more tweets Wednesday, urging civic activism and putting the negative impact of his experience in perspective.