A teacher has been forced to leave her post at a college in California after she was filmed berating a student for calling police officers “heroes”.

In the clip, the unnamed professor from Cypress College can be seen telling the student – reported to be a 19-year-old called Braden Ellis – that “the whole reason we have police departments in the first place” stems from “people in the south wanting to capture runaway slaves”.

Ellis had been delivering a Zoom presentation on cancel culture in the US – and how people were even threatening to boycott shows such as Paw Patrol for featuring animated cops when his teacher interjected.

“So what is your bottom line,” she asked him. “You’re saying police officers should be revered, viewed as heroes? They belong on TV shows with children?”

The 19-year-old responded: “I think cops are heroes and they have to have a difficult job.”

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Elsewhere in the clip, which swiftly went viral online, the professor told her student: “A lot of police officers have committed an atrocious crime and have gotten away with it and have never been convicted of any of it.”

He calmly replied: “We have bad people, and the people that do bad things should be brought to justice. I agree with that.”

When Ellis asked the educator, who had just begun teaching her first ever course at the college, if she would call the police if she were in trouble, she confirmed that she certainly wouldn’t.

“I don’t trust them. My life is in more danger in their presence,” she said, ending the discussion.

On Friday, a day after the video surfaced online, Cypress College issued a statement announcing that the teacher would be taking a “leave of absense for the duration of her assignment”.

It said: “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.

“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.”

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