California Professor Triggers Controversy Over Anti-Police Comments Captured On Videotape

There are growing complaints about faculty using classes for raw advocacy or political diatribes. The most recent such complaint arose at Cypress College where an instructor slammed a student, Braden Ellis, after he called police “heroes.” The unnamed adjunct professor insisted that police were created in the South to track down runaway slaves and represent a danger to her and others.  What is particularly ironic is that the presentation was on cancel culture.

The Cypress College communications professorWhat is most striking about the video below is that the student seems more balanced and reasonable than the professor. He states that he believes some officers deserve to be punished but that most are good and honorable people — precisely what figures like President Joe Biden have said.

The professor’s comments not only seem strikingly intemperate but inaccurate. The professor insists (wrongly) that the police were created to track down runaway slaves. There may be places where the first official law enforcement bodies were created for such a purpose, but most police departments were obviously not created for such a purpose.

The discussion focused on the Nickelodeon show Paw Patrol, which faced criticism because it showed police in a positive light. In the video, one student agrees that maybe police should not be included as heroes in a children’s show — a view clearly favored by the professor who said that she would never call police if she were in trouble because “my life’s more in danger in their presence… I wouldn’t call anybody.”

This discussion shows why students feel increasingly uncomfortable in speaking freely on our campuses.  We previously discussed a Gallup poll showing ninety percent of Pomona students said that they did not feel free to speak openly or freely. It is an indictment of not just Pomona but many of our colleges. This is not a problem for many students but an increasingly small percentage of self-identified conservatives. One recent poll shows the already small population of conservative and Republican students has been cut by roughly half. The Crimson survey covered over 76 percent of the Harvard College Class of 2024 and found that the class contained 72.4 percent who self-identify as either “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” Only 7.4 percent self-identify as “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative.”  Another Harvard study showed that 35 percent of conservatives felt that they could share their views on campus.

The shame is that the professor could have made this discussion far more thought-provoking by discussing the counter view of police not as fact but an alternative perspective. Many do fear the police and we should be able to discuss the source of those feelings.  Conversely, Ellis was making a reasoned argument that abuses by some officers should not lead to sweeping condemnations of the entire profession.  The professor however did not want to discuss as much as correct the student as if her view was based on unassailable facts.

Cypress College released the following statement:

Cypress College takes great pride in fostering a learning environment for students where ideas and opinions are exchanged as a vital piece of the educational journey.

Our community fully embraces this culture; students often defend one another’s rights to express themselves freely, even when opinions differ.

Any efforts to suppress free and respectful expression on our campus will not be tolerated.

The adjunct professor will be taking a leave of absence for the duration of her assignment at Cypress College. This was her first course at Cypress and she had previously indicated her intention to not return in the fall.

We are reviewing the full recording of the exchange between the adjunct professor and the student and will address it fully in the coming days.

Here is the video.

 

108 thoughts on “California Professor Triggers Controversy Over Anti-Police Comments Captured On Videotape”

  1. Meyer,

    As I have said repeatedly, common sense informs that Trump is a chronic and habitual liar. It is not a matter of opinion. It is a FACT. I would no sooner waste my time debating that fact with you than I would be debating genocide with a Holocaust denier. You can believe whatever you like- you probably are a “person of faith”- that is your privilege. However, you and your fellow Trumpists will have to defend Trump’s lies in the face of more and more evidence to the contrary until you crawl into the grave. Not unlike those conservative die-hards who still contend that the demagogue Joe McCarthy was right in alleging that the State Department, the Army, Hollywood, etc., were riddled with Communists and Communist sympathizers. I wish you luck in pushing back the tide of truth. I would not want to be in your shoes!

    1. “As I have said repeatedly, common sense informs that Trump is a chronic and habitual liar. “

      Jeff, common sense tells us that if someone impugns the reputation of another they should have good evidence and if they don’t they are just blowing wind. Common decency tells us to hold one’s opinions on another’s character without good knowledge. One would think you had common sense and decency yet you are unable to make your errant case about Trump’s significant lies involving Presidential duties that depart from what we have seen from his predecessor or the one in office.

      Trump even filled or attempted to fill most of his important campaign promises, something not done by Obama or Biden. He was far more transparent than either of them, and also didn’t have the DOJ and IRS spying on his rivals.

      That you bring the Holocaust into the discussion as any sort of comparison only demonstrates poor taste and a lack of knowledge about the Holocaust and what Trump accomplished. I wonder what knowledge you have regarding both of these things. If you deeply recognized the horror of the Holocaust you wouldn’t have made the comparison. When you say we “defend Trump’s lies in the face of more and more evidence to the contrary“ you are further revealing the telling sign of a person reliant on the ignorant left’s talking points fabricated for those that wish to parrot what others say rather than think on their own.

      I will add I don’t like McCarthy but his underlying theme was correct and proven by releases from army intelligence held secret until sometime just before the turn of the century.

      1. Meyer,

        Let’s face it, we are polar opposites. I just hope this country is big enough so we don’t run into each other. I’ll be wearing a tan baseball cap with no insignia. If you happen to spot me on the street, ignore me. Have a nice life.

        1. “Let’s face it, we are polar opposites. I just hope this country is big enough so we don’t run into each other.”

          Jeff, you say you like diversity but apparently you don’t. I on the other hand like diversity. That is how progress is made.

          What is wrong with the left that advocates diversity and then does everything it can to prevent it from being? That is rank hypocrisy.

          You say that if I spot you on the street to ignore you. What a load of BS.

          Common decency tells us to hold one’s opinions on another’s character without good knowledge. One would think you had common sense and decency. If you have those traits you don’t have to worry.

          Standing on your soap box engaging in character assassination is an invitation attracting diversity.

          1. I can’t seem to shake you. You have ahold of me and won’t let go. You say, “What is wrong with the left that advocates diversity and then does everything it can to prevent it from being.”

            Does the Right do ANYTHING wrong?

            1. “Does the Right do ANYTHING wrong?”

              Of course, Jeff. That is why I believe in discussing principles rather than politics, but in todays world the left seems to hold no principles. The left claims to love diversity but at the same time tries its hardest to prevent diversity. The left says it wants to educate black and hispanics, yet in NYC the successful charter schools are being held back by Democratic politicians despite the proof that such schools have increased proficiency in their schools tremendously. The left says they are for the working person yet the working person is told where he can go in lockdown states, and how he can transact business. Yet a Covid infected immigrant can travel all over the US at taxpayer’s expense. He can be educated, given money and free healthcare while the American citizen doesn’t get the same and is the one to pay for such give aways. On and on we go with leftist policies that are not based on principle.

              Jeff, you are an intelligent person so you should be anxious to espouse the principles you believe in and take issue with the left or right if they diverge from those principles. You say you can’t shake me but it isn’t I who force you to be on the blog. It isn’t I who is engaged in character assassination. You know better so shouldn’t you be held to a reasonably high standard?

              1. Jeff, you are an intelligent person so you should be anxious to espouse the principles you believe in and take issue with the left or right if they diverge from those principles.

                SM,
                That is an excellent response to Jeff’s question, Does the Right do ANYTHING wrong? My initial thought was to ask, compared to what? You nailed it. It’s why I’m an Independent.

                1. Thanks John Oliver. I was a Democrat for most of my life. However, for most of my life I voted for policy not the ball team. Today I will not vote for any Democrats but I am not a Republican. Neither party represents my thinking. However, today forces are pushing all Democrats to vote in one direction. That is too dangerous so one has to prevent Democrats from being elected until the present Woke Democrat Party becomes a rational party that represents the American people rather than the elites who have become intolerable.

    2. distracting comment from silverman. turley essay was about an obnoxious professor baiting a student over his legit opinion

      do you agree with the professor in the video silverman, ? say something relevant instead of going back to orange man bad

  2. Jonathan: I watched the video of the exchange between the Cyprus College adjunct professor and two students discussing policing. Brandon Ellis got his opinion across clearly. He subscribes to the theory that except for a “few bad apples” the vast majority of police are “heroes”. Ellis’ presence on the forum puts the lie to your claim that conservative students are marginalized on college campuses. You take particular umbrage at the professor’s claim that police were created in the South to track down slaves. You deem her claim “intemperate” and “inaccurate” because you say: “”most police departments were obviously not created for such a purpose”. When anyone says “obviously” I immediately consult other sources. As it turns out you may be a good criminal defense attorney but a lousy historian. In the Eastern Kentucky University’s “Police Studies Online” Dr. Victor E. Koppelier writes: “The institution of slavery and the control of minorities [Blacks and Native Americans] were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behavior of minorities”. Professor Koppelier points out that in the South the KKK was full of members of early police. And this practice was not just confined to the South. In New England and New York police departments were specifically created to to enforce fugitive slave laws. In St. Louis, Missouri police were founded to protect white residents from Native Americans. The same holds true in other then growing cities around the country. Professor Koppelier also quotes other scholars of early policing like K.B. Turner, D. Gacopassi and M. Vandiver in a 2006 study who wrote: “the slave patrol should be considered a forerunner of modern American law enforcement”. So the Cyprus College professor’s statement about the origins of policing was accurate. The only part of the professor’s dialogue I could disagree with is her refusal to ever call the police herself. Hey, if someone was breaking into my house the police are the first I would call! But I’m white so I have no fear the police might turn on me. But you think the Cypress College professor should have engaged in a “more thought-provoking” discussion by allowing an “alternative perspective” on history and policing. Student Ellis is certainly entitled to his own opinion but neither you nor he is entitled to your own “alternative” facts. Now modern police departments are there, in great part, to prevent “crime” in the inner cities and we all know what that means! Controlling Blacks and other minorities hasn’t changed much in policing since the early days of the republic. This is the side of the policing story you simply refuse to acknowledge and why most of what you say on race and policing should be totally disregarded.

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