WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Purdue University posted online Thursday a surveillance video that college newspaper editors say shows a staff photographer being pushed against a wall by police as he was trying to cover the story of a student fatally shot and stabbed nearby.
Purdue posted the video on YouTube after the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office gave its approval. Purdue received court authorization Wednesday to make the video publicly available if prosecutors approved, the university said in a news release.
The video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwb0zxNOFGc .
Police have said photographer Michael Takeda ignored officers' commands and attempted to flee. The video appears to show him surrendering and being taken into custody.
"I'm sorry it took seven months for the public to be able to see what happened that day, but I'm glad to see we're moving in that direction," said Pat Kuhnle, publisher of the Purdue independent student newspaper, The Exponent. He spoke before Purdue released the video.
The incident occurred Jan. 21, after Cody Cousins, 23, of Warsaw, Indiana, entered a basement classroom filled with electrical engineering students and allegedly stabbed and shot 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin. Cousins pleaded guilty to murder Thursday.
According to an Aug. 12 complaint filed by the newspaper, the photographer entered the building from a second-floor skywalk that was not sealed off by police. He quickly encountered police officers and identified himself as an Exponent photographer, then raised both hands, each containing a camera, and got down on his knees. The complaint contends he was pushed to the ground, then pulled to his feet, shoved against a wall and detained for several hours. His cameras, which were damaged in the process, were confiscated but eventually returned.
The Exponent says the university erroneously labeled the video recordings as crime scene evidence. They say Purdue failed to release the recordings as required by Indiana's public records access laws.
Police said in February that an internal review found that Takeda's "detention was not unwarranted." After Purdue initially declined to release the video, the Exponent sought an advisory opinion from Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt, who sided with Purdue but scolded the university for taking such a wide view of what constitutes investigatory records.