The effects of the horrendous murder on Purdue’s campus on Jan. 21 are still being felt by the community two weeks later. I, as a Purdue Exponent employee, am at the epicenter of a legal battle still underway in regards to the shooting. There are many differing views on the subject, and it isn’t an easy case to pick a side.
The Electrical Engineering building, where the incident occurred, is situated almost directly across the street from The Exponent building. Our staff were among the first on the scene and because of this, one of our own was caught up in the mayhem that ensued.
We reported on exactly what happened next.
According to personal testimony, Michael Takeda, our chief photographer, was in the walkway that connects the EE building with MSEE when police confronted him. This was before the emergency alert system sent out the text informing students of the danger and to stay out of the area.
After being assaulted by the police, Takeda was then detained and verbally abused at the police station with a police officer saying, “You are lucky you didn’t get double-tapped in the chest. I hope you get charged and thrown out of school.”
Truthfully, Takeda should have known better than to try to enter the building. It was a high-stress situation and the police had every right to discontinue his progress into the building. He was attempting to do his job, and putting himself in harm’s way to do so.
However, you can clearly see the amount of photos he was able to capture in this slideshow and none of them have any evidence in them. It was also unnecessary to verbally abuse Takeda in the aftermath of the shooting. His rights were infringed when they seized his camera. They would not be able to get away with that with a New York Times journalist, and they shouldn’t feel they have the right with a student journalist either.
So who is in the wrong? It is a case that is ongoing, and definitely the talk of the newsroom right now.