INDIANAPOLIS - A college newspaper is suing Purdue University, seeking to force the school to release surveillance video its editors believe shows a staff photographer being roughed up by police after he entered a campus building where a student had been fatally shot and stabbed.
The Purdue Exponent and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana say the photographer's cameras were temporarily confiscated even though he was two floors away from the murder scene and the suspect had been removed at least 30 minutes earlier.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Tippecanoe Superior Court.
According to a news release from the ACLU, the video in question shows campus police pushing the photographer to the ground and shoving the photographer into a wall.
"The photographer, whose equipment was damaged during the confrontation, immediately identified himself as a member of the press after he gained access to the building's second floor, which was not sealed off by police," the ACLU release read.
The Associated Press left phone messages seeking comment from Purdue spokeswoman Liz Evans, who issued the University's statement:
"The complaint challenges the conclusion of the Indiana Public Access Counselor, whose April 4 determination in favor of Purdue is attached to the complaint and is linked here: http://www.in.gov/pac/advisory/files/14-FC-41.pdf. As confirmed by the Public Access Counselor, Purdue has followed the requirements of the Access to Public Records Act.”
Twenty-three-year-old Cody Cousins is charged with murder in the Jan. 21 death of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt inside a classroom filled with other Purdue students.