Cypress, CA – An adjunct professor at Cypress College repeatedly interrupted and accosted a student during a Zoom class after the student referred to law enforcement officers as heroes during a presentation he was making.
Video footage showing the moment the unidentified first-year professor interrupted 19-year-old freshman Braden Ellis’ speech on the term “cancel culture” for his Communications 100C class on April 28 quickly went viral, The Orange County Register reported.
“I think cops are heroes,” Ellis said at one point before the professor cut him off.
“All of them?” she interjected.
“I mean, I’d say a good majority of them,” the student calmly continued. “We have bad people in every business, in every – “
The professor interrupted him yet again and spoke over the top of him as Ellis asked for her to wait for him to finish his response.
“A lot of police officers have committed atrocious crimes and have gotten away with it and have never been convicted of any of it,” she argued.
Ellis began speaking again when his professor concluded her remarks, only for her to cut him off once more, the video showed.
“And I say this as a person who has family members who are police officers,” she ranted.
Ellis said he understood her position, but that he remained steady in his own viewpoints.
“This is not popular to say, but I do support our police,” the student explained. “We have bad people and the people who do bad things should be brought to justice. I agree with that. But I think – “
“They haven’t,” the professor retorted. “Okay, so what is your bottom-line point? You’re saying police officers should be revered? Viewed as heroes? They belong on TV shows with children?”
Ellis said he does believe most officers are heroes “because they come to your need and they come and help you.”
“Who do we call when we’re in trouble and someone has a knife or a gun?” he asked.
The professor declared she would not call the police for those matters.
“I don’t trust them,” she said emphatically. “My life’s in more danger in their presence.”
“Professor, who would you call?” Ellis calmly asked.
“I wouldn’t call anybody,” she claimed.
Ellis asked his professor if she would be armed so she could handle such a situation herself, at which point the instructor said she was ending the conversation.
The student further noted that it is important to “fight for the right for people to say things we don’t even like,” which another student who disagreed with his stance on law enforcement also endorsed.
“I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll fight for your right to say it,” the other student told Ellis in the Zoom exchange.
Cypress College released a statement on April 30 after the footage went viral.
“The adjunct professor will be taking a leave of absence for the duration of her assignment at Cypress College,” the statement read. “This was her first course at Cypress and she had previously indicated her intention to not return in the fall.”
School officials said they will speak more about the incident “in the coming days” after they’ve had a chance to review the full recording.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
Ellis has refused to disclose the professor’s name, and said he does not support those who have threatened her or called for her to be fired, The Orange County Register reported.
“I’m a student, that means I’m not going to bag on her,” Ellis told the paper. “She has authority, and that means I give her respect. But it would be nice to get it back, and I would always hear her out.”
He said the professor had been “a little rude” with other students in the past, to include cutting them off on a frequent basis.
“I don’t think she had anything against me personally, just against my argument for police,” he told The Orange County Register.
But Ellis said he is concerned about the growing trend of indoctrinating students with progressive values.
The issues that were repeatedly brought up in class – such as race, politics, and gender – seemed to override the basic premise of the entry-level course, he told The Orange County Register.
“Why does she have to bring in biased liberal ideology and stick that down our throats?” Ellis asked. “We’re learning about white privilege, and what does that have to do with anything? I was supposed to take this class to learn how to speak better.”
Ellis, a business major, said he wants Cypress College to be successful, but that “we need to root out this liberal ideology that’s tearing our country apart,” FOX News reported.
“Liberal ideology is bad right now and people need to expose it and fight back — with gentleness and respect. Imagine if we don’t fight back now? What will they teach us in 10 years? It would be pure hatred,” Ellis told the New York Post. “I have another [instructor] who is just as bad. These teachers just spew divisiveness and hatred toward our country.”
The student told KTLA his exchange with his communications professor left him feeling both shocked and saddened.
“I didn’t really expect an answer like that. I was assuming that she would just play devil’s advocate,” he said. “But she put her bias in there and she gave me what she thought of the police, and it was a little bit sad, to be honest with you.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below.