Alex Degman (@AlexDegmanKMOX)By Alex Degman

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A St. Louis Community College adjunct professor was slammed to the ground by a police officer last night during an STLCC board meeting, he says, for trying to speak his mind.

Steve Taylor says the audience was told not to applaud after each speaker during the public comment portion of the meeting. When he rose and walked toward the front of the room to protest what he perceived as a violation of free speech rights, he was yanked from behind by an STLCC police officer.

“A foot came out in front of me and my feet were pulled out from under me,” Taylor tells KMOX. “The officer rode me down in a full body slam, slamming my head onto the concrete floor of the Cosand Center.”

Taylor says police told him he was taken to the ground because he was trying to get out of his suit jacket after they attempted to restrain him. Taylor says his arms only went back, and may have slipped from the sleeves, because of how forcefully he was pulled from behind.

Taylor’s account of what he was told matches what STLCC spokeswoman Kedra Thomas says. She says Taylor was warned several times not to disrupt. He was then asked to leave the meeting five times.

“As we’re conducting a public meeting, which is a business meeting, we also reserve the right to limit the time allotted for remarks and, you know, ask people to be civil, to not be disruptive,” Thomas tells KMOX. “Everyone will get a turn, but we do have the right to conduct our meetings in a civil and professional manner.

Thomas says the officer’s actions were appropriate.

Taylor was taken to St. Louis University Hospital by ambulance, he’s concerned about a concussion.

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