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US professor fired after machete threat to New York Post reporter

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A Hunter College professor has been fired after threatening a New York Post reporter and a photographer with a machete.

The journalists were trying to speak to Shellyne Rodriguez about an incident in which she criticised anti-abortion activists on campus, the Post said.

Ms Rodriguez followed them onto the street with the machete, video showed.

Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, confirmed she had been “relieved of her duties”.

According to the Post, she shouted: “Get… away from my door, or I’m going chop you up with this machete.”

The Post’s article on the incident says “she held the machete to the reporter’s neck” after opening the door.

The reporters said they left immediately but were followed by Ms Rodriguez onto the street – with the subsequent interaction caught on a car dashcam and published by the Post.

Hunter College spokesperson Vince Dimiceli told BBC News: “Hunter College strongly condemns the unacceptable actions of Shellyne Rodriguez and has taken immediate action.

“Rodriguez has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately, and will not be returning to teach at the school.”

The New York Post, meanwhile, told the BBC it was “glad the reporter is safe”.

In the initial viral video that the Post was seeking comment on, Ms Rodriguez approaches an information stall run by Students for Life, a group of more than 120,000 young anti-abortion Americans who want to end access to abortion.

“You’re not educating… This is… propaganda,” she tells the students present. “This is violent. You’re triggering my students.”
In an expletive-filled rant, she then demands their removal and shoves pamphlets off the table before walking away, the viral video showed.

“When professors don’t respect their students and their rights, schools become unsafe,” said Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins in a statement. “Students should be taught how to peacefully exchange ideas with each other and professional staff.”

A New York Police Department spokesperson confirmed an incident took place, but said it was still under investigation.

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