Purdue’s independent student newspaper has sued the university over an incident between a photographer and police. The ACLU of Indiana filed the lawsuit on press freedom grounds in Tippecanoe Superior Court.
The Exponent is seeking to obtain surveillance video of the encounter. It says photographer Michael Takeda was taken to the ground by a Tippecanoe County Sheriff‘s Deputy and later slammed against a wall by a Purdue University police officer.
“We want the release of the video so the public can see exactly what happened. What happens after that is still up for discussion,” said Pat Kuhnle, publisher and general manager of The Exponent.
Takeda was confronted by the deputy when he went to an overwalk between Purdue‘s Electrical Engineering Building and the Materials and Electrical Engineering Building to take photographs on January 21. It was shortly after Purdue student Andrew Boldt was stabbed and shot in the basement of the Electrical Engineering Building.
The area Takeda entered was not sealed off with police tape at the time, when Kuhnle says the deputy took Takeda down, breaking both his cameras.
“Then he was assisted up, and as he was being escorted out of the building, a Purdue police officer slammed him against a wall, and another came up and barked commands at him,” Kuhnle said.
No one at Purdue would comment since the lawsuit is pending, but Purdue released a statement saying they don‘t have to do so under the law.
“The complaint challenges the conclusion of the Indiana Public Access Counselor,” the release states. “Purdue has followed the requirements of the Access to Public Records Act.”
Purdue claims the tape is part of a police investigation, which gives the university the discretion not to release it. Purdue did allow The Exponent to view the surveillance video.