Sunday, May 19

Fired UT-Austin lecturer with ‘Marxism’ interest facing criminal charge over anti-Israel protest police clash

A University of Texas-Austin lecturer not only lost his job but is now facing a criminal charge after he was arrested for his alleged involvement in an anti-Israel protest on the campus earlier this month.

FOX 7 in Austin reported that 57-year-old Richard Heyman had been employed by the University of Texas for nearly 18 years. His most recent position at the school was as a lecturer.

According to the university’s website, Heyman has taught courses in subjects like urban studies and contemporary cultural geography, and his interests include urban geography, critical theory and Marxism.

Heyman was arrested after the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) accused him of interfering with public duties during a pro-Palestinian protest at the Austin, Texas campus on May 2.

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Gerry Morris, an attorney representing Heyman, told the station his client was fired, adding that the university should have investigated what happened before taking any action.

Morris did not respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital on the matter.

“This incident was videotaped by a bystander, and the bystander got in touch with us and gave us the video, and it shows a bit of a different scenario than what’s set out in the arrest affidavit,” Morris told FOX 7.

Texas DPS claimed in the affidavit that Heyman yelled expletives in their faces, which Morris did not dispute.

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Despite his client shouting at police, Morris accused police of initiating physical contact with Heyman.

The affidavit suggests Heyman attempted to cross a barrier made out of bicycles and put in place by troopers. Heyman allegedly put his fingers in a trooper’s face before acting like he was going to swing a water bottle at the law enforcement official.

Police also accused Heyman of grabbing one of the bicycles and trying to pull it away from the fence, though he broke the bell on the bike in the process.

Morris told the station his client was pushed and stumbled backwards. As he fell, Heyman grabbed onto the handlebars of the bicycle, the attorney said.

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Heyman was not arrested until days later, which Morris said he did not believe would have happened if not for the political pressure on police.

“There’s so much political pressure on them, if they hadn’t taken some action, I’m sure the governor’s office would have been issuing statements criticizing them and other state officials,” Morris said. “If this case did not have the political implications that it does, if it was not something that had happened in the middle of a politically charged environment, I don’t think it would go forward another day. It’s just going to depend on getting to the decision maker that has the courage to look at the facts and judge the case based on those facts.”

The University of Texas did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Court records show Heyman was charged with interfering with public duties, a misdemeanor in the state of Texas.

A warrant was issued for his arrest on May 6, and two days later, he appeared in front of a judge who set his bond at $1,000. Heyman later posted bond and was released.

Heyman is due back in court on May 29.

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