A former New York City professor who is currently under police investigation after holding a machete to a reporter’s neck was arrested during a 2020 protest and founded an anti-cop organization, according to the New York Post.
Shellyne Rodriguez, a former Hunter College professor, is under investigation by the New York Police Department (NYPD) after she threatened New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton with a machete when he appeared at her apartment door following a viral video of her cursing at pro-life students. The Post reported on Tuesday that Rodriguez is currently involved in a lawsuit against the NYPD for alleged abuse suffered during her 2020 arrest, and later learned she is a part of several left-wing activist groups.
Rodriguez was arrested alongside 14 other protesters in the Bronx, New York, in a 2020 protest after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the Post reported. She alleges she was abused by officers and suffered nerve damage because of the zip ties that bound her hands, and that an officer “yanked on [her] zip ties hard and tightened them even further” when she complained that they were too tight.
She also alleges that officers pulled on her hair, shoved her face into a gate and punched her in the stomach, the Post reported. The zip ties were reportedly left on for at least two hours, allegedly causing swelling and injuries including bilateral thumb numbness.
The charges against Rodriguez were dropped in September 2020 and she is slated to appear again in court in July, according to the Post. The outlet later discovered that Rodriguez also founded “Decolonize This Place,” which participated in protests that vandalized and disrupted the city.
“Decolonize This Place (DTP) is an action-oriented, decolonial formation and a call to action,” its website reads. It “resists and unsettles settler colonial structures in our cities as it builds movement infrastructure of care and solidarity on the path of collective freedom and liberation.”
The organization urged its followers on social media in 2020 to “fuck shit up” during a 2020 protest that vandalized the city’s subway system and cost $100,000 in damages, the Post reported. Protesters used spray paint to write a series of slogans including “fuck cops,” “fuck MTA” and “cops out” on the walls, according to photos.
Rodriguez was not among the 13 protesters arrested and it is unclear whether she participated, according to the Post. She is also a member of “Take Back the Bronx,” a “radical grassroots collective organizing for community control of the hood since 2011,” the Post reported.
Hunter College confirmed to the DCNF on Tuesday that Rodriguez is no longer employed at the campus.
“Hunter College strongly condemns the unacceptable actions of Shellyne Rodriguez, and has taken immediate action,” Vince DiMiceli, Hunter College assistant VP of communications, wrote in a statement after the machete video was published. “Rodriguez has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately, and will not be returning to teach at the school.”
Decolonize This Place and Back The Bronx did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. Rodriguez could not be reached for comment.
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