This past Tuesday, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has made the choice to shift to using online classes in the wake of a former lecturer issuing threats against several faculty members of the philosophy department via a video sent to the school.
Various department heads started emailing students and faculty members on Monday attempting to issue warnings of the horrible security threat and putting forth an announcement stating that in-person classes would be shifted online. This threat spawned from a postdoctoral fellow and former lecturer who, as reported by the university this past Tuesday, is still “under observation” and is not located in California, as reported by The Los Angeles Times.
“Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, all classes will be held remotely tomorrow, Feb 1,” the warning stated. “We will keep you updated on developments.”
Steve Ritea, one spokesman for UCLA, stated to the Daily Bruin that the police department of the University of California was currently working alongside other law enforcement officials, including federal agencies, to investigate the threat.
“UCPD is aware of a concerning email and posting sent to some members of the UCLA community today,” Ritea stated to the Daily Bruin. “We will keep the community informed as we learn more.”
The email to students from one philosophy instructor stated that the threat targeting the school included “a video entitled ‘UCLA Philosophy Mass Shooting’ and an 800-page manifesto with specific threats towards some members of our department.”
“In light of this, we will continue to have discussion through Zoom until the authorities say that it is safe,” stated the email. “I will keep you updated on this situation. But I would avoid being anywhere near Dodd Hall or the philosophy department until further notice.”
The person who issued these threats against the university has reportedly also posted a video clip on mass shootings to his personal YouTube page, which has since been flagged and blocked on the site. As stated by The Times:
[The man’s] YouTube channel contained more than 300 videos, the majority of which were uploaded Monday. By midnight, the channel displayed a message saying that the account had been terminated.
A video titled “UCLA PHILOSOPHY (MASS SHOOTING)” was posted Sunday and contained disturbing imagery, including footage of the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival and clips from the 2003 movie “Zero Day,” which is loosely based on the Columbine High School mass shooting.
The Times also was able to get a hold off a portion of the suspect’s email that was sent to the university:
The Times obtained a partial copy of [the man’s] email to the UCLA philosophy department.
[The man] makes references to race and uses several profanities. He included links to his manifesto and videos, including the video that appeared to threaten a mass shooting.
“da war is comin,” he wrote. “forward dis [expletive] to our tha goldhead caucasoid princess.”
The former lecturer had previously scared students at other times with his behavior.
“I’ve been scared about this professor, this guy, for about a year since my girlfriend told me about the stories – how he treated their class, but also the threats he made after he got put on leave,” stated Nathan Robbins to ABC7.
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