An art professor at Hunter College in New York City has been “relieved of her duties” after accosting students hosting a pro-life booth on the school campus, before waving a machete at New York Post reporters who approached her for a subsequent interview.
Until recently, Shellyne Rodriguez had been an adjunct assistant professor in Hunter College’s Art & Art History Department. Her departure from the university came after she was involved in an altercation with members of Students for Life, a pro-life organization that hosted a booth at the college.
Last week, Students for Life shared a video of Rodriguez confronting the students hosting the pro-life display.
“You’re not educating [expletive]. This is [expletive] propaganda,” she said to the students. “What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next? Is that what you’re going to do next?”
“I mean, no. We’re talking about abortion,” the male student replied.
“This is [expletive]. This is violent. You’re triggering my students,” she continued.
As the confrontation escalated, Rodriguez uttered more profanities as she vandalized the booth by flipping over some of the students’ materials before pushing some of the materials off a table the students were using.
Hunter College reprimanded Rodriguez after the initial incident.
“Hunter does not tolerate such conduct by faculty. The Provost has completed an investigation and the faculty member has been appropriately disciplined,” Hunter College’s Communications Department told Breitbart earlier this week. “In addition, the faculty member has been warned that if the behavior reoccurs, there will be further consequences.”
Armed Encounter With New York Post
After her altercation with the pro-life students, a New York Post news crew tracked Rodriguez down to her home for an interview. The publication reported that Rodriguez approached their reporters with a machete and held the blade to one reporter’s neck after the news team knocked on her door on Tuesday.
A video of the encounter indeed showed a woman holding a large blade to reporter Reuven Fenton’s neck and telling him “get the [expletive] away from my door,” before stepping back inside the apartment and shutting the door. Though the news crew left the apartment building after the encounter, Rodriguez appeared to follow the team onto the street before chasing a photographer while holding the knife.
Dashcam footage from the news crew’s vehicle showed a woman in a black hoodie holding a machete while chasing the photographer around the vehicle before eventually walking away.
“Hunter College strongly condemns the unacceptable actions of Shellyne Rodriguez, and has taken immediate action. Rodriguez has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately, and will not be returning to teach at the school,” the college’s communications department said in an emailed statement to NTD News on Wednesday.
Hunter College did not respond to additional questions about the incidents involving Rodriguez.
A New York City Police Department spokesperson said the encounter involving the machete is under ongoing investigation, but that the police department could offer no additional comments about the case.
Rodriguez’s Political Activism and NYPD Lawsuit
In addition to her work in the arts and academia, Rodriguez is a self-described “black Marxist,” a “community organizer,” and “an active member of radical grassroots collective Take Back the Bronx.”
Rodriguez was also involved in protests against police after George Floyd, a black man, died while being arrested by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020. Rodriguez is currently suing the NYPD in federal court, alleging police brutality at an “FTP4” protest event in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx on June 4.
According to her civil complaint (pdf), “‘FTP’ stands for many things, including ‘Free the People,’ ‘Feed the People,’ and, in the context of certain anti-police protests, ‘[expletive] the Police.'”
Rodriguez was arrested at the protest event and charged with violating a curfew. The curfew charges were dropped on Sept. 4, 2020.
The lawsuit identified Rodriguez as an artist who teaches at Hunter College. The complaint alleges that NYPD officers shoved her into a fence, pulled her hair, squeezed the back of her neck, flipped her around such that her back was against the gate, and then repeatedly punched her in the stomach. Her complaint states that officers also applied zip tie-style flex cuffs that were too tight, causing her nerve damage.
“The injuries to Ms. Rodriguez’s wrists continue to cause her pain. and to interfere with her ability to make art,” the lawsuit states.
Following the June 4 Mott Haven arrests, NYPD officials said some of the marchers were “screaming and yelling at officers, throwing plastic bottles with unknown liquids, and acting in a disorderly manner,” the New York Daily News reported. NYPD officials also claimed they recovered hammers, wrenches, gas masks, and “additional items that could be used to cause injuries” from among the protesters they arrested.
In a June 2020 interview with the Mott Haven Herald, Rodriguez acknowledged protesters also brought helmets and goggles because “we had seen the violence perpetrated against protesters.”
New York City recently settled with plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit stemming from the June 4, 2020 Mott Haven clash. Rodriguez’s lawsuit is set to continue in July.
NTD News reached out to lawyers for Rodriguez for additional comment after her employment with Hunter College was terminated. Her lawyers did not respond by the time this article was published.