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VIDEO: California prof. apologizes after wife used racial slur during couple's 'disturbing' confrontation with neighbors


A petition to fire professor Tim Ford has gained more than 700 signatures so far

Image source: Sacramento Bee video screenshot

A professor with California State University, Sacramento, apologized after his wife was caught on video using a racial slur during the couple's confrontation with neighbors, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The paper said video of associate economics professor Tim Ford and his wife was posted May 1 on Facebook by their neighbor, Mikaela Cobb, after which the clip circulated widely online.

What happened?

The video shows Ford's wife — who appears intoxicated — arguing with Cobb and a man. It appears Cobb shot the video from inside her apartment. Ford's wife uses a racial slur, calls Cobb a "bitch," and gives the finger to the camera.

Image source: Sacramento Bee video screenshot

Ford adds, "I'm a professor at Sac State, dude. I have a Ph.D. I don't need to be dealing with s**t like this" after which his wife says she has a master's degree and Ford appears to toss liquid from a can he was holding at the couple's window.

Ford's wife also was seen complaining about the smell from Cobb's apartment until Ford finally convinces her to leave with him.

Image source: Sacramento Bee video screenshot

Here's the clip. (Content warning: language and a racial slur):

In an article about the viral video from Sac State student paper, the State Hornet, Cobb said in her post accompanying her video that the Fords fight every day and have recently brought their arguments downstairs.

"This is what I have to deal with while in quarantine!" Cobb added, according to the State Hornet. "Racial slurs are being thrown around, I can't even [be] at peace in my own home."

In the post's comments, Cobb said the argument apparently started because Crystal Ford was mad about the smell of bacon grease: "Guys she was mad it smelled like bacon grease!? Like I can't eat!?"

School president 'deeply offended'

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen on Friday morning condemned the actions of Ford and his wife, the school said on Facebook.

"Sadly, I recently received a very disturbing video that is circulating on the internet. The video shows a self-identified Sacramento State professor and his wife involved in an ugly verbal dispute with their neighbors. While the neighbors are not Sacramento State students, this does not change the seriousness of this situation," Nelsen said in his statement. "I am deeply offended by the language in the video. Racial epithets are repulsive and unacceptable. Personally, I am incredibly upset by the contents of the video and the harmful impact that it is having on our campus community.

He added that the school is "investigating" the matter and "we will not address it again publicly."

What did the professor say?

The Bee said Ford's apology came Friday through his attorney Jonathan Stein following the school president's condemnation.

Calling it "a trying time" for him and his wife, Ford added that "while we've had difficulties with this neighbor, this particular confrontation got out of hand. My wife used some language that was unacceptable and does not represent my way of thinking," the paper reported.

Ford also apologized to everyone at Sac State, the couple's friends and family, the surrounding community, and he promised "that something like this will never happen again," the Bee said.

"She recognizes the hurt and anger that she has caused and regrets it," Ford said of his wife, according to the paper. "Today, she is seeking help and has checked herself into a hospital for alcohol and drug abuse."

Ford also apologized to Cobb and hopes she will accept his apology, the Bee noted.

"I'd be happy to sit down with her to help rectify the situation," he said.

Moving on

Given that Cobb moved into a new residence Thursday, that may not happen anytime soon.

"Officially moved into our new place," she wrote on Facebook. "I posted the video of my neighbors to show my friends and family what I have been going through for months in a moment of being fed up with the situation. This has gone on since they have moved in. I have countless videos, emails to my complex, and messages from other tenants that have had to deal with them. I will not be posting the other videos. I have made the viral video private, I am over the situation. I hope after all of this the Fords change there [sic] actions and get help if needed. Thank you everyone for the support and messages. I can finally relax in my own home!!!!!!!!!"

Anything else?

Sacramento State's Division of Inclusive Excellence announced that a virtual town hall on the matter will be held May 19 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., according to school paper, the State Hornet: "The President and his Cabinet understand that the Hornet community has many questions about what actions can and will be taken to respond to racial bias experienced by many in our community."

Also a petition from a Sac State student titled, #FireTimFord, has gained over 730 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

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