SIUE professor ‘body slammed and crushed’ by cops during anti-Israel protest at Wash U, hospitalised with ‘broken ribs’


A professor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville appeared to be beaten and wounded by police during a pro-Palestinian demonstration at Washington University in St. Louis. On Saturday, April 27, demonstrators gathered at a park in St. Louis. They later moved to the Washington University campus, the St. Louis Police Department (SLMPD) told HuffPost.

Professor Steve Tamari ‘body slammed and crushed’ by cops during anti-Israel protest at Wash U (psl_st.louis/Instagram)

A video shows how police gathered around protesters and tried to restrain them.

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History professor Steve Tamari was recording a video of the activists when at least four officers grabbed and wrestled him to the ground. Three other cops stood as they tried to zip tie his hands.

The activist group Resist Wash U called a press conference in Forest Park on Tuesday, April 30, where activist Nawal Abuhamdeh read a statement by Steve, adding that he could not attend the event as he was hospitalised.

‘I am now in the hospital with multiple broken ribs’

“Over the last seven months. I’ve been in agony watching my people in Palestine be slaughtered with U.S. bombs and funding. I joined the student led protests on Saturday to stop the genocide and support and protect the students,” Tamari’s statement said, according to Riverfronttimes.

Steve said he was “body slammed and crushed by the weight of several St. Louis County Police officers and then dragged across campus by the police. As a result of police brutality, I am now in the hospital with multiple broken ribs and a broken hand.”

Steve added that a doctor said he was lucky to be alive. “My lungs could have been punctured and I could have died on the ground as they abused me,” he said.

Steve went on to say that students had invited Wash U to engage in dialogue about divestment from Israel and Boeing, but their invitations were rejected. “Washington University administrators called in the police armed with batons and wielding bicycles like battering rams,” he wrote. “Police forces from around the metro area crushed a gathering of students and concerned citizens pressing for an end to American complicity in the genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza.”

‘There was a festival atmosphere on the lawn’

Steve’s wife, Sandra Tamari, shared on X that she too was arrested. “I was arrested at the Gaza encampment at Washington University in St. Louis on Sat. My husband, a 65-year old full professor at S Illinois Univ Edwardsville, was brutally beaten by police. Here is the video of his arrest. He’s wearing the yellow jacket,” she wrote.

Sandra added in the thread that there was “no violence/property damage instigated by the protestors. When police from 5 municipalities attacked us, there was a festival atmosphere on the lawn.”

“When the police moved into the encampment, there were young children present. In some of the videos of the arrests, I can hear the voice of the 10-yr old daughter of a friend yelling, “Don’t hurt him! Leave him alone!”” she added.

“@WUSTL used violence against its own students, faculty, staff and the community to maintain its complicity in genocide. We are undeterred and St Louis will continue to rise up for Palestine,” she further said.

The following the video in question:

At least 100 people were arrested on the campus on Saturday alone. Among the arrested were 23 Wash U students and at least four employees, according to Chancellor Andrew Martin.

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