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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Senators Palumbo, Murray Weigh in on Medford Attack


Senators Anthony Palumbo (R, C – New Suffolk) and Dean Murray (R, C – Patchogue) shared their thoughts on anti-police comments made by a Stony Brook University professor in response to last month’s Medford Blue Ridge Condominium attack.

“My primary concern is for our injured police officers. My thoughts are with them, their families and their colleagues as we are all praying for their full and speedy recovery,” Senator Palumbo said in a statement last week. “However, I am also concerned that Professor Hayward is using her platform at the college to promote anti-law enforcement rhetoric. Our public tax dollars shouldn’t be used to fuel hate speech against any group of New Yorkers— especially our men and women in uniform.”

Suffolk County Police officers responded to a December 28 9-1-1 call stating that the suspect, Enrique Lopez, was threatening to attack his roommate with a fire extinguisher.

When police arrived at the scene, Lopez stabbed officers Raymond Stock and Brendon Gallagher, a pair of Army Veterans who served in Afghanistan. Stock, 26, suffered serious neck wounds as a result of the attack, and was later released from the hospital on Friday, January 6 to a standing ovation.

Gallagher, 28, received minor injuries. One of the cops shot and killed Lopez in self-defense, police say.

Lopez was out on parole for assaulting a Suffolk Police Officer in 2011. He served two years in prison.

Stock and Gallagher were subsequently taken to Stony Brook University Hospital.

“These officers are absolute heroes, angels in blue,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.

Anna Hayward is an associate professor of Health Science in the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University. Her Twitter account displays significant antipolice rhetoric. In a Stony Brook Medicine Instagram update, she shared the following since-deleted post:

“This was a wellness check – why didn’t they deescalate the situation?” Hayward wrote, regarding the condition of the injured officers and police commissioner Rodney Harrison’s response.

“Why did a man have to die? What about the man they murdered?” Hayward personally wrote, using her social media handle “hayanna72.”

Lou Civello, vice president of the Suffolk County PBA, spoke out against the outrageous accusation of “murder.”

“When 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,” Civello told the New York Post last week. “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,” Civello added.

Senator Murray said, “Professor Hayward has every right to express her opinions on her personal social media outlets, however as an employee of a state, taxpayer funded university, she should not be using her position of authority to spread her dangerous, anti-police rhetoric to her students. “ 

“The classroom is no place for her personal, misguided agenda and verbal attacks on our law enforcement officials,” he added. “Stony Brook University needs to review Professor Hayward’s conduct both in the classroom and on campus to ensure that the students are receiving an education and not an indoctrination.”

Stony Brook students say Hayward tainted the reputation of the institution and its Medical Center with her sentiment. 

Stony Brook University released a statement in light of Hayward’s controversial comments, and without stating her name, they restated the University’s view on law enforcement.

“Stony Brook University will continue its efforts to drive positive change in police encounters in our communities. However, the incendiary language used by this faculty member was inappropriate and does not correspond to the reported facts of the incident,” the post said.

“We hope for the speedy recovery of the three injured officers and are grateful to them and to the professionals at Stony Brook University Hospital who treated them,” the post concluded.

Students and alumni filled the comment section with their opinions.

“Fire her!” one user wrote. “#fireannahayward,” another wrote.

The University has not stated whether or not Hayward will continue teaching.