Hunter College Professor Fired for Threatening Reporter With a Machete

The incident is being investigated by the New York Police Department.

Via Wikimedia Commons
Thomas Hunter Hall at Hunter College. Via Wikimedia Commons

A New York City academic has been fired after she brandished a machete and held it to a New York Post reporter’s neck on Tuesday. The Post had contacted her at her apartment in the Bronx to ask about a viral video in which she appears to harass two opponents of abortion rights on her school’s campus. 

Shellyne Rodriguez was employed as an adjunct professor of art at the City University of New York’s Hunter College before the incident. On Tuesday, a reporter for the Post, accompanied by a photographer, knocked on Ms. Rodriguez’s door in the Bronx, seeking comment about her actions directed at students in the weeks before. 

“Get the f— away from my door or I’m gonna chop you up with this machete,” she told the two men. Shortly after, she opened her door and held the weapon close to the reporter’s neck. The photographer can be seen on video telling his colleague to “get out of here” for his own safety. 

Ms. Rodriguez then follows the two men out of her building, still brandishing the machete. On camera, she is shown chasing the two men down the sidewalk, leading the photographer to run into a busy street to escape her. 

Hunter College confirmed it had terminated her employment after the video emerged on Tuesday. “Hunter College strongly condemns the unacceptable actions of Shellyne Rodriguez, and has taken immediate action,” the school wrote. “Rodriguez has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately, and will not be returning to teach at the school.”

Previously, Ms. Rodriguez had vandalized a table where opponents of legalized abortion were promoting alternatives to abortion. “This is f—ing propaganda,” she told the students who were working at the table. “This is violent. You’re triggering my students,” she said before taking the materials on the table and throwing them at the students. 

The reporter who was threatened, Reuven Fenton, told Fox News that he just wanted to speak with her about what happened with those students. “I thought this might work out but I got a bit of a surprise,” he told Sean Hannity of Fox News. When asked if he would press charges against her, Mr. Fenton said he has “yet to figure that out.”

The incident is being investigated by New York City police. 

It has also been disclosed that Ms. Rodriguez — who has described herself as a Black Marxist in the past — is party to an ongoing civil lawsuit against the New York City police department. 

The lawsuit stems from a June 2020 incident during which Ms. Rodriguez and a large cohort of Black Lives Matter protesters were marching through the Bronx. At the time, Mayor de Blasio had instituted an 8 p.m. curfew for all New Yorkers. Ms. Rodriguez alleges that the NYPD purposefully trapped protesters in an area at about 7:45 p.m., thus forcing them to be out after curfew. 

“At around 8 PM, the police then began a brutal physical assault on the protesters, beating them with fists, batons and bicycles; deploying pepper spray; and employing similar violence,” the lawsuit says. 

She also claims that about 250 protesters were arrested that night after being attacked and were forced into close quarters in jail despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The New York Sun

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