LeMoyne-Owen professor in hot water over social media post

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – A LeMoyne-Owen English professor is in hot water after a Facebook post that some say is offensive.

Some are calling for the man to be fired, and the college is distancing itself from the professor. One board member is even calling for an investigation.

The post had to do with last week’s U.S. Marshal-involved fatal shooting of a 20-year-old in Frayser.

Professor Tom Graves put the post on Facebook early Saturday morning. It was not a public post, only his Facebook friends were supposed to see it. But it was screen-grabbed by someone and now some are calling for the tenured professor to be fired.

Student Essence Freeman says she doesn’t like this post by Graves.

“He is entitled to his own opinion. I didn’t like for him what he said. I don’t think he should have said it, but he still said it anyway,” said Freeman.

In the post, Graves is critical of the incident last week involving U.S. Marshals and Webber.

Webber was shot to death last week. Marshals say Webber rammed their car, and got out of his car flashing a gun as they pulled him over. The marshals were trying to arrest him on a warrant for an incident the previous week, where police in DeSoto County, Mississippi say he shot a man five times and stole the man’s car.

In Graves’ post, he said things like “Defending this man is wrong. He should be condemned for what he was and represented and did. This is not one of the unarmed innocents wrongly taken down by police. This was a hardcore criminal who fought the law and the law won.”

Graves also wrote, “his Facebook posts attest to thuggery, with him holding up fistfuls of cash as if he were the king daddy pimp.”

After the post was passed around Facebook this weekend, there were calls for Professor Graves’ firing.

We showed the post to State Representative and LeMoyne-Owen board of trustee member Larry Miller.

“My initial thought, inappropriate, he should keep those kind of thoughts to himself,” said Miller. “At some point in time do I think the institution should investigate that? Of course they should, there is no question about that.”

Graves hired an attorney. His attorney said there is no comment.

On the college’s Facebook page, it says they are aware of the post and are working to resolve it.

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