Cal Poly professor warns students to be wary of police officers

May 21, 2021

Detective Luca Benedetti


When several thousand police gathered on the Cal Poly campus to honor a murdered San Luis Obispo police officer and university alum, Cal Poly students got a warning to be careful.

The widely shared on social media notice from either ethnic studies Chair Jenell Navarro or her husband professor Jose Navarro, a member of the department faculty, told students that officers would be in SLO. It’s not clear who authored the email. Neither responded to emailed questions about the notice.

“I have learned that there will be anywhere from 2,000-3,000 police officers on campus in attendance of this service,” the warning to students says. “It is likely they will be downtown or in other spaces in SLO throughout the day.”

The couple has been outspoken on racial justice issues and published “Braided Together: Native and Black Hip Hop Against Police Violence” in thinking about hip hop: blackness, indigeneity, and identity published by Do It Ourselves Press (DIO) in 2019. DIO describes itself as a, “socially-conscious peer reviewed publishing company.”

“I am letting you know so you can take proper precautions for your well-being and safety,” the warning adds.

The warning, which BLM leader Tianna Arata shared in an Instagram story, was quickly criticized as inflammatory on social media and by SLO resident David Sparcmann.

“Why on earth would you send out such a horribly bigoted and inflammatory, not to mention inaccurate email?” Sparcman said in an email to Dr. Jenell Navarro. “Are you intentionally trying to trigger unrest on campus and in our local community? Or is your email simply an exercise to inculcate young minds into fearing and hating law enforcement?

“Either way your reckless actions are reprehensible,” Sparcman added. “You require serious discipline.”

Cal Poly declined to comment about the post other than to say the university supports free speech and recognizing the death of an alum.

“As a state institution, Cal Poly supports the right of all its campus community members and visitors to express their individual opinions, regardless of their positions,” Matt Lazier, Cal Poly media relations director, said. “Cal Poly was honored to support a service to recognize and memorialize an individual, and Cal Poly alum, who lost his life while serving San Luis Obispo.”

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The Navarro’s should get a letter of warning from president Armstrong that goes into their personnel file,

Completely inappropriate on their part. Despicable really, that man leaves a wife and two daughters, daddy is never coming home…

Man, “Dr.” Navarro, shame on you!


Some people of the narcissists erectus species just don’t know when to shut up. Have an ounce of dignity and perhaps a shred of self awareness please…

Oh those oh so cool tenured professors…tweed jackets, no socks… Police departments should’ve put out a broadcast warning students of college professors….


Consider for a moment if a Cal Poly instructor of say agriculture or engineering sent out a similar cautionary email prior to a campus visit from say the BLM co-founders or her highness (no pun), VP Harris?

Said instructor would be severely punished if not released altogether from employment. The double standard is infuriating! Poly mouthpiece Matt Lazier’s weasel words are disappointing but not unexpected.

It’s becoming an embarrassment to be a Poly alumnus.


Lazier, you should be ashamed!


Exactly! Well said


You erroneously referred to Tianna Arata as a “BLM leader.” That should have been, “BLM terrorist.”

Jon Tatro

With a degree in ethnic studies you too will be able to say “would you like fries with your burger”. Worthless people teaching useless lessons have very little credibility in the real world.


Well put!


I’d say the Cal Poly campus and the city of SLO will be the safest it’s ever been with 2,000-3,000 officers in town, but what do I know?


This is absolutely disgusting, not to mention potentially dangerous. A woke university instructor spreading bigotry, hate, fear and ignorance. Inculcating young malleable minds to fear/hate law enforcement. Absolutely unacceptable.

Serious corrective action and discipline needs to be taken by the Poly Dean of Liberal Studies and by the Poly Office of the President.


Of course in a rational common sense world…Too afraid of the lawsuit that would follow…. Then the mob outside their home


Wow. Just wow.

How incredibly tone deaf can some people be? The officers that were here had come to memorialize a fellow officer that had fallen in the line of duty, not to be subjected to the bigotry of some “woke” Cal Poly faculty. To me, this feels a bit of the college speaking from both sides of its mouth. The officers in SLO had nothing to do with anything that triggered the BLM protests and regardless of their feelings about what BLM stands for, they actually supported their constitutional rights to protest and make their voices heard up until the time that they committed illegal acts.


Group who fears police, continues to fear police.

Group who doesn’t fear police, doesn’t understand fear of police.

Fingers are pointed. Media stokes division.

Nothing changes.



Roger that, good copy FoxtrotYankee.

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