Purdue, newspaper resolve suit over police confrontation

(WISH photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University and the school’s student newspaper have resolved a lawsuit filed over a confrontation that campus police officers had with a student photographer shortly after a student was slain inside a classroom building.

The parties said in a joint statement that their agreement includes the dismissal of the lawsuit that the Purdue Exponent newspaper had filed seeking release of a video of the photographer’s detention by police.

Bill Kealey and Steve Badger, attorneys representing Purdue and the Purdue Student Publishing Foundation, said the parties “found common ground on their shared concerns and reached a forward-looking agreement on how to improve communications and procedures.”

Student photographer Michael Takeda was stopped by campus police Jan. 21, 2014, inside a campus building shortly after 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, was fatally shot and stabbed by fellow student Cody Cousins in a classroom in that building.

Cousins, of Warsaw, Indiana, was sentenced to 65 years in prison in September 2014 after pleading guilty to murder in Boldt’s killing. Cousins took his own life in a state prison the following month.

In a complaint filed with the university, Takeda said police pushed him after he complied with an order to fall to his knees, detained him for two hours, damaged and confiscated his camera and verbally threatened him, the Journal & Courier reported.

After an internal review, however, Purdue Police Chief John Cox found that Takeda’s detention was warranted and there was insufficient evidence to confirm or refute his allegations.

Purdue subsequently denied the Exponent’s request for video footage of the confrontation, stating that the material was protected under Indiana’s public records law because it was related to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Indiana’s Public Access Counselor issued an opinion in April supporting Purdue’s claim.

The Exponent’s publisher and general manager, Patrick Kuhnle, said the lawsuit’s “main objective” was the release of the video showing Takeda’s confrontation with the campus officers.

“With our dispute now behind us, we anticipate an ongoing, positive relationship between the Exponent and the University,” he said in a statement.

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