Widely-circulated video of the arrest shows WSSU student Leilla Marie being handcuffed in class and led out by campus police officers after an alleged disagreement with her professor, identified as Dr. Cynthia Villagomez, over an assignment.
After she was released from police custody, Marie took to Instagram Live to detail the events leading up to the arrest. The WSSU student said Villagomez informed her that a group assignment she completed was done incorrectly and needed revising just “six hours before” she was set to present it in front of the class.
Marie refused to revise the project in the short time frame, she said. She came to class "frustrated," but ready to present the project as is. Villagomez said presenting the unrevised project would "greatly impact" her grade, which prompted a shouting match between the two, according to Marie.
Villagomez allegedly called the police after she told Marie to "either apologize or you need to leave" the classroom and the student refused.
On Instagram Live, Marie said she suffered minor injuries while being detained by police all “because I refused to apologize to my teacher.” She said she was released from custody “with bruises and a second-degree misdemeanor.”
Marie also shared that she was "heartbroken" that the incident occurred at an HBCU.
“I came here for a really different experience from the one I got” and “really 100% thought I would have gotten arrested at a PWI before getting arrested at my HBCU.”
WSSU issued a statement, saying the school was aware of the incident and conducting an investigation.
"We are aware of the video circulating on social media involving a student in a classroom. The incident is under investigation. Our highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Currently, there is no immediate threat to campus," WSSU said Wednesday.