Protesters conduct a peaceful demonstration while a Utah National Guardsman watches Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Salt Lake City. A peaceful protest over George Floyd’s death made its way through downtown after the mayor announced a new weeklong curfew. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah criminal justice professor who wrote an inflammatory series of tweets during nationwide protests against police brutality said Wednesday that he has resigned.
Scott Senjo told The Associated Press in an email that he agrees his tweets were “simply wrong” and his resignation from Weber State University would be effective immediately.
Over the weekend, he tweeted at a black reporter who said he had been hit by New York City police: “Excellent. If I was the cop, you wouldn’t be able to tweet.” He also expressed support for damage done to CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
In response to another tweet showing a New York City police car driving into people, Senjo commented: “That’s not how I would have driven the car into the crowd.”
Senjo said his posts were part of the “oftentimes vulgar, extreme back-and-forth that can occur on Twitter,” but he now realizes they were “far beyond the realm of acceptable university policy as well as acceptable social norms.”
Weber State University has condemned the messages as “abhorrent” and opened an investigation to determine if other measures would be taken to ensure campus safety. The school had placed him on paid leave Tuesday to conduct a review and did not ask him to resign, officials said in a statement.
Senjo had been a professor at the college in Ogden since 2000.
Protesters have been demonstrating for days across the U.S. and Europe following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis. A white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.