Purdue clears police who detained student journalist

Journal & Courier | The Exponent

Police at Purdue University were within their rights to detain a student journalist and seize his camera, an investigation led by the school's police chief determined.

Hayleigh Colombo and Dave Bangert of the (Lafayette, Ind.) Journal & Courier say the report was released on Friday afternoon. Purdue Police Chief John Cox "found that police had reason to hold Hiraku 'Michael' Takeda as he attempted to take pictures and check the scene in and near the Electrical Engineering Building moments after the shooting," they report. "Cox also said he determined that Takeda’s complaints about harassment and rough treatment were unfounded."

“He was detained because of the apprehending officers’ reasonable suspicion, supported by articulable facts, that criminal activity may be afoot based on Mr. Takeda’s entering a building they had thought was secured, not heeding their verbal commands, and attempting to flee from them,” Cox wrote.

Cox’s recommendation is that the Purdue police in the incident — unnamed in the report — should be exonerated.

Takeda was reporting on a campus shooting last month for the independent Purdue University student paper The Exponent. He “was slammed to the ground by the Purdue Police," The Exponent reported at the time.

"Simply put, the police report whitewashes the factual nature of the complaint," Exponent Publisher Pat Kuhnle says in a statement.

Previously: Purdue police detain student journalist, seize his camera | Purdue student paper, NPPA request investigation after a photographer is detained by police | Purdue University will investigate police treatment of student reporter

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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