Video Shows Winston-Salem State University Student Arrested in Classroom Following Argument With Professor

A 20-year-old Winston-Salem State University student was arrested following a disagreement with a professor, and the whole thing was caught on video.

Emergency lights on a us police car stock photo

Image via Getty/Oliver Helbig

Emergency lights on a us police car stock photo

A 20-year-old Winston-Salem State University student was arrested following a disagreement with a professor, WXII12 reports.

Video of the student’s arrest has started to circulate online after it was first posted on TikTok by a fellow student. In the clip, the Black student can be seen telling officers to stop hurting her during the forceful arrest, which she said was the result of an argument with her white teacher. Per the university, a staff member who was not involved in the situation called police after unsuccessful attempts to de-escalate the situation.

The TikTok user who posted the arrest identified the student as Leila, who later shared her side of the situation during an Instagram Live stream. The professor has been identified as Cynthia Villagomez, while the arresting officer is named Michael Rau.


A ✋🏻 professor at Winston Salem State University, Had a student arrested this morning for not apologizing to her after she raised her voice at her in response to the professor for raising her voice first. The ✋🏻 cop is also just as problematic because he threatens to arrest students on numerous occasions. There needs to be justice for Leila right now and I will not stop until the professor and the Officer are fired.

♬ original sound - Okayybriaa

She is facing a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct and is scheduled to appear in court in January. According to one leader at the school, the disagreement between the faculty and the 20-year-old stemmed from an assignment.

According to documents from the Forsyth County Magistrate’s Office, the 20-year-old student is facing a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. Her court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2023 at 9 a.m. A WSSU leader tells me police followed campus, police & public safety policies.

— Louie Tran (@louie_tran) December 15, 2022

In an Instagram Live stream, Leila said that she submitted an essay as part of a group project only for the professor to tell her the work was “completely wrong” and she revised the essay just six hours ahead of the deadline. When she turned up for class the next day, Villagomez approached her about the essay and when she said she wasn’t going to redo it they got into an argument.

“She starts yelling at me, telling me this is her class so it doesn’t matter what I think,” she continued. “I got loud back, I’m raising my voice too. … You’re yelling at me, I’m not gonna redo it, I’m here to present with my group.” At that point, she was told to leave the classroom, but she refused because she was adamant about completing the group project. Villagomez then left the classroom, spoke with another member of the faculty and the police showed up shortly after.

Leila alleged that the professor told campus security that she told officers to remove her from the classroom. Villagomez demanded an apology, but she didn’t because she believes she didn’t do anything wrong. 


Replying to @okayybriaa 1. Leila is okay. 2. The professors name is Cynthia Villagomez. The officers name is Michael Rau. 3. Leila is the sweetest person ever. 4. It was exam day. She did not want to to fail nor did she want her group to fail either. Dont try to twist this as if she was wrong. She was not.

♬ original sound - Okayybriaa

Winston-Salem State University released a statement addressing the situation after the video of her arrest started to circulate online.

“We received a report that there was a significant commotion in Carolina Hall this morning, and as such, a WSSU employee nearby called for the assistance of law enforcement after they tried to de-escalate the situation,” reads the statement. “We understand that the weaponization of police is a prevalent problem in our community; however, that is not what happened in this incident. We strive for a safe, inclusive, thriving, and intellectual community where all our faculty, staff, and students feel respected and supported. To that end, we will take swift and appropriate measures against any situation that contradicts those ideals.”

#NEW: Leaders of Winston-Salem State University released a statement following an incident involving police that happened inside Carolina Hall Wednesday morning. It reads in part:

I’ll have a full report on @WXII at 11 p.m.

— Louie Tran (@louie_tran) December 14, 2022

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