Purdue University Says First Amendment's Important, But Safety First!

oh snapPurdueThe National Press Photographers Association has been pushing for Purdue University to investigate on an incident that occurred on campus during a shooting last month. The college newspaper’s photo editor, a junior at the school, was reportedly slammed to the ground by a campus cop while taking photos in a building that had not been closed to the public. Purdue has now responded, telling the NPPA they would investigate the matter. Legal counsel for Purdue wrote that the school agreed “in principle” with the press association about First Amendment rights, BUT:

At the same time, we hope there would be some understanding, from even the most ardent protectors of our civil liberties, of the extreme pressures and difficulties faced by first responders whose first duty in such critical moments is and must be the protection of students and other bystanders. Just as we share your commitment to the principles enshrined in the First Amendment, we are hesitant to second-guess the essential and often life-saving judgment calls made on the spot by brave men and women who risk their lives to ensure the safety of others in situations of high stress and potentially great danger.

Read the full letter, via Poynter, here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    EXIGENT CIRCS, FTW!

  • thoroughly annoyed||

    Perhaps these "so-called" brave men and women should find another line of work if they can't handle the high stress.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Whatever happened to "Hi! I'm Officer Friendly. Mind telling me what you're doing?" (For the record, there's a local cop here named Friendly. And he is.)

  • sarcasmic||

  • ||

    Whatever happened to "Hi! I'm Officer Friendly. Mind telling me what you're doing?"

    "Right. What's all this, then?"

  • tarran||

    we are hesitant to second-guess the essential and often life-saving judgment calls made on the spot by brave men and women who risk their lives to ensure the safety of others in situations of high stress and potentially great danger.

    Then you guys are derelict in your duties and should to quit your jobs so that people who aren't as squeamish and scared as you can take it over and start doing the jobs properly.

  • Herpes Trismegistus||

    It's just boilerplate, what else would you expect from Purdue?

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    What you did there....I see it.

  • Mr. Soul||

    they're just beating that tired old drum again.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    And you...you are on the list too!

    *clicks ballpoint pen and narrows gaze*

  • db||

    Quit your waterwalling. They're just trying to get a riser out of you.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    I learn so much from Reasonoids each and every day.

  • GILMORE||

    You'd think this story was just *made* for you libertoids to boil with self-righteousness over.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    It's not pancreatic cancer, but we work with what we're given. And "libertards" is the preferred nomenclature.

  • GILMORE||

    (sigh)

    dude. BOILER-MAKERS. puns. that is all.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Goddammit.

  • Herpes Trismegistus||

    It's a good thing it didn't happen at Ohio State, they'd have just said something nuts.

  • GILMORE||

    They'd have bucked up and dealt with the situation.

  • Sarg221||

    ...or just parked their fancy new MRAP in front of the complainer's car, and leave it there for a few days.

  • Ted S.||

    essential and often life-saving judgment calls

    Really, how often do campus cops have to do anything involving essentialness or life-saving? They're one step up from mall ninjas.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    "up"?

  • Adam330||

    Was this student threatening to bash other students or the police officer over the head with the camera? If not, what the heck is the context for claiming this was an "essential and often life-saving judgment calls made on the spot by brave men and women who risk their lives to ensure the safety of others in situations of high stress and potentially great danger."

  • Square||

    I think was it was for student's own safety - shooter on the loose.

  • Square||

    OK, didn't read the source article before I posted that. They actually confiscated the kid's camera and gave it back only begrudgingly. WTF?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Clearly, you are unfamiliar with the camera-gun.

  • Tonio||

    It will be interesting to see what the courts do with this.

  • playa manhattan||

    Get Down!

    *tackles Tonio*

    I just saved your life, bro.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Don't forget to tell him to stop resisting as you pound his head on the concrete floor.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't see why the First Amendment enters into this. Assault seems to be the appropriate charge. Are they saying this is only bad because the victim was a "journalist"?

  • Tonio||

    Well, it is the National Press Photographers' Ass'n, after all. While I believe that there is no longer a meaningful difference between the press and the public, I'd rather establish this guys rights as a journalist first then worry about tearing down the barriers between press and everyone else.

  • croaker||

    SCOTUS has said there is no distinction between the first amendment rights of a journalist and the first amendment rights of any other individual.

  • ||

    Purdue University: Fellating authority since 1869.

  • sarcasmic||

    we are hesitant to second-guess the essential and often life-saving judgment calls

    And people wonder why cops act like they can get away with anything.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    It's essential and life-saving to stop photography?

  • sarcasmic||

    I doubt it was the photography specifically. Likely what happened is the cop issued a lawful command (defined as anything the cop says) like "Put down the camera." When that command was not immediately obeyed the cop viewed that as a threat and acted according to policy (initiate violence).

  • Pro Libertate||

    Just standing back from this and even the actual law, what legal authority does a cop have to order me to do anything, unless I'm committing or suspected of committing a crime? Even telling me not to walk in front of a guy with a gun who is shooting people?

  • tarran||

    BOSTON STRONG! BOSTON STRONG!!!!! BOSTON STRONG!!!!!

  • sarcasmic||

    Legal authority? There you go acting like we have rule of law or something silly like that. Whatever the cop says is the law, because noble first responders and all that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, cops are citizens who are tasked with preventing and investigating crimes. They have no more rights than we do.

    Yes, I know this is all false in practice, but if it doesn't start becoming true again, we are in major fucking trouble. It sucks that we're not only being oppressed by the federal government, the local governments have to try to screw us, too.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Look, cops are citizens who are tasked with preventing and investigating crimes.

    The pro authoritah crowd can easily bend this to legitimize anything police do.

    Look, cops are citizens who are tasked with preventing and investigating crimes.

    It is this part that must be stressed. The idea that police are not special people needs to become the norm in peoples minds. They have no more real rights than an engineer or plumber has.

  • JW||

    What if he got some kind of sword out of a lake? Doesn't that give him authority?

  • Tonio||

    Those slams on "first responders" bother me. No love for the cops, here, as my posting record will show. But I hate seeing EMTs and firefighters slammed for actions of police, particularly since many EMT's and firefighters are volunteers working for non-governmental organizations.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can respect that any of them can have crappy jobs or can sometimes be at risk, but that doesn't for one second give them more rights than I have. What does give them that is an usurpation of power that they never have legally had. And that's not just cops.

  • db||

    It is telling how cops feel the need to.piggyback on.the goodwill many EMTs and firefighters have.

    Notball of that goodwill is.deserved.however, espicially for.firefighters in it.for the.glory who complain about not.getting respected.

  • croaker||

    Well, it's seems to be established that California Highway Patrol has a hard-on for firefighters...

  • JEP||

    I read something on the Purdue subreddit (I was just using it to keep up with local events as Purdue's my alma mater) that said the cop also felt the need to add something about "and you're going to get kicked out of school for doing this! I hope your career's ruined!" after throwing the guy to the ground.

  • BardMetal||

    Well I guess afterward he could always become a cop.

  • ||

    I was just using it to keep up with local events as Purdue's my alma mater

    Were you there for the 'melee' when the Girls won the championship?

    I think policing on campus was forever changed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Bill of Rights was not set up to inconvenience agents of the state.

  • BardMetal||

    The Bill of Rights doesn't mean dick if nobody stands up for it.

  • ||

    Fucking Hoosiers.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fucking Hoosiers.

    Speaking of which, somebody told me yesterday Indianapolis has gotten nearly twice their average snowfall this year.

    Those fucking redneck flyover Hoosiers have been stealing California's snow!

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "...of the extreme pressures and difficulties faced by first responders whose first duty in such critical moments is and must be the protection of students and other bystanders."

    Who the fuck would attend a school with drivel like this rolling around the brains of its leadership? Evidently to these dim-witted dolts first-responding a dude taking pictures by dumping his ass into the concrete is a legitimate form of protecting students and bystanders.

  • Mr. Soul||

    i know right? College has defnitely jumped the shark.

  • croaker||

    A large majority of Princeton students are there on alumni scholarships.

  • Raston Bot||

    File under: sea change

    From 24/7, Texas grand jury declined to indict man who shot/killed SWAT team cop.

    http://reason.com/24-7/2014/02.....an-who-sho

  • sarcasmic||

    Awesome!

  • Raston Bot||

    They'll still get him for possession of cannabis while armed which is a felony so he'll eventually lose his guns.. so the next SWAT raid will meet less resistance.

  • sarcasmic||

    He'll lose the guns that they know about. That doesn't mean he'll lose them all, nor will that stop him from purchasing guns from a friend with cash.

  • Raston Bot||

    I'm awaiting PoliceOne's apoplexy but they're taking their sweet time posting the latest development.

  • Tonio||

    That's going to be some delicious tears, there.

  • ||

    They've posted the AP writeup.

    Right, who does not go in on a warrant without announcing themselves! That DA is full of bull!

    Rest in peace SGT Sowders, we'll take it from here.

    Unsurprisingly, this idiot has poor reading comprehension:

    Julie Renken, the district attorney for Burleson County, said in a statement Thursday she thought the sheriff's office acted correctly during events that "occurred in a matter of seconds amongst chaos."

    "I believe the evidence also shows that an announcement was made," Renken said. "However, there is not enough evidence that Mr. Magee knew that day that Peace Officers were entering his home."
  • Ted S.||

    Of course she'd defend the police. She needs their support for her re-election campaign.

  • croaker||

    No video, presumption of innocence on the part of the citizen being attacked by law enforcement. Glad to see that people are waking up. It would have been even more awesome if the entire slate of charges had been no-billed.

  • Tonio||

    That is quite surprising. Any way the prosecutors can do an end-run around the Grand Jury?

  • Raston Bot||

    I'm sure they can think of something to keep the praetorians happy.

  • R C Dean||

    Texas actually has a statute that specifically authorizes (in the sense of, provides a legal defense for) shooting cops who exceed their authority, if in doing so they put you in reasonable fear of your life, etc.

    Basically, it just says you have the same right to defend yourself against a cop as you do against a real person. Amazing and sad that (a) this required its own law and (b) most states don't have such a law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Doesn't Illinois have a law that says you must submit to the cops when they are breaking the law and are only allowed contest it if you have enough money to take it to court?

  • ||

    Yeah, we keep it written down in the back, wanna see?

  • Square||

    A nice bit or Orwellianism from the University's "free speech code" from the University's letter:

    "Freedom of thought and expression are the lifeblood of our academic community and require an atmosphere of mutual respect among diverse persons, groups and ideas. The maintenance of mutually respectful behavior is a precondition for the vigorous exchange of ideas, and it is the policy of the University to promote such behavior in all forms of expression and conduct. The University reaffirms its commitment to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United State Constitution."

    We restrain your speech in order to free it.

  • croaker||

    FIRE gives them a yellow rating on free speech.

    http://www.thefire.org/spotlig.....&submit=GO

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    OT: Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the NRC for you.

    Rod Adams
    February 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM
    @Daniel

    The leadership at the NRC loves the “quality of the paperwork” issue as an excuse for its inability to move promptly. Recently, Kepco submitted a design certification application for the APR-1400. Insiders at the NRC have informed me that it was the best initial application they have seen. It met nearly everyone’s definition of a “high quality application.”

    However, managers, perhaps influenced by commissioners, spread the word that they did not want to accept the application. Doing so would put them on the hook for trying to complete the review in the 30 month period that has been implicitly promised as the standard for a high quality application.

    The application has thus been rejected with comments for how it can be improved. Scuttlebutt says that the review has been quietly started while the applicant works on the “improvements”. Once the application is resubmitted, the NRC will then be in a position of being able to review the new application in what looks like a shorter period of time.

    In the meantime, the blame for the performance failure gets shifted to the applicant.

    Just one piece of the regulatory pie that has caused nuclear power in the United States to become borderline uncompetitive.

  • tarran||

    Gosh! I see the civilian nuke regulators are hiring guys from Naval Reactors! ... or at least adopting their practices!

  • ||

    uncompetitive

    Compete?! But, what...what if someone loses?!?

  • db||

    Same shit happens with EPA air permit.submittals. meanwhile they all bitch and whine about.being.understaffed as.the reason.why they can't fucking fo.their jobs.withing the statutory mimits (which are unreasonably long.anyway).

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    It is amazing when not completing anything on time is never punished but is used as a reason to increase funding. Government at work!

  • R C Dean||

    On more than one occasion when commenting on regulations, I have proposed that an application be deemed accepted if it is not processed within a given time period.

    Apoplexy did, indeed, ensue.

  • ||

    SJF, you might be interested in this. My non-expert opinion from skimming it is that it's wrong.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    A bunch of assertions with no citation. All I have to say is look at Germany. They have been pushing the renewable thing now hard and the result: Increase CO2 levels, increase in coal use and coal plant builds. Energy prices are jumping, and taxes to continue to provide the huge subsidies for the windmills and PV panels. Countries around Germany are threatening to cut off connection to their grid because of the huge power surges they regularly will receive from Germany when the wind and sun pick up.

    The free market won't touch wind or solar. Huge government subsidies and "advantages" are required to get these things built.

  • ||

    Honest question: will the free market touch nuclear? I hear a lot of claims that it won't, without government-backed loans.

  • R C Dean||

    One of the reasons they need the loans is because of the gargantuan regulatory costs. Get rid of the latter, and you'd probably be able to get rid of the former.

  • Tonio||

    And the government-backed loans would seem to be a way to lever the regulatory process. If a politician votes for a loan for a nuke plant, then the plant doesn't get built because of regulation, the politicians end up looking bad. So getting the loan motivates the politicians to lean on the regulators, which they wouldn't otherwise do.

    Shorter: What RC said.

  • db||

    Both nuclear and coal plants are inflexible. They cannot respond to variability in power generation quickly enough.

    This is demonstrably false. SMRs carry promise.for load-following.operation (they're basically land-based naval reactors, which require the.ability for.rapid.power changes). Coal plants, while less flexible, are.mainly so.because.they are largely older units saddled with retrofit environmental controls that reduce.their ramp rates. Newer coal.units can have better.ramp rates.if.they are designed.with the.limitations of the pollution.controls.

  • db||

    ...pollution controls in mind.

  • ||

    I propose an IndieGoGo campaign to buy db a new phone.

    Or thumbs.

  • db||

    You try posting from any phone while captaining a cruise ship this close to the Italian coastline.

  • perlhaqr||

    Ok, I laughed. :D

  • Ted S.||

    I post while captaining a cruise ship and getting blowjobs from Charo at the same time, coochie coochie.

  • croaker||

    Charo? Show some class. Claudia Christian.

  • db||

    For.instance, old coal fire units had ramp.rates upward of 100 MW/min, easily.competitive.with gas fired peakers. Retrofit units that I have worked with (big baseload supercritical units) started off at 60-70 MW/min and have been reduced as low as 4 MW/min due.to limitations of their environmental controls.
    Gas fired simple.cycle peaking units are typically terribly.inefficient because they are designed for ramp rate, not efficiency. Highly efficient combined.cycle gas turbines are fast, but.still only as fast.as newer coal plant, because they are extracting every last.possible erg versus being.flexible.

  • JG43||

    +1 for erg /takes of dork hat

  • Raston Bot||

    Always ignore everything said before the word "but."

  • ||

    The sophisticates always remember to avoid "but" in favor of "however".

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    You know, my brother taught me the same thing. Small world.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

  • Ted S.||

    I presume Canada's response would be, "America does it too"?

  • ||

    Why do they hide their faces? Between this and Google's Rainbow "Olympics" logo, the backhanded support is getting really convoluted.

    I'm Anti-LGBT confused. Or is it curious?

  • ||

    Speaking of constitutional compliance, here is one to make your head spin.

    Warning; if you value your intellect or use it to make a living, do not watch the video. Repeat, DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....a-to-sign/

  • SusanM||

    From the comments:

    I know the woman’s district is in Houston, but don’t you think the good people of Texas could have chosen a better grade of village idiot than this one?

  • Aloysious||

    I watched it. I notice you failed to mention the name 'Sheila Jackson Lee'. I must now go pluck my own eyes out of my skull.

  • Tonio||

    Don't forget to scrape the sockets out nice and clean.

  • Ted S.||

    I figured that out from Susie's comment above.

  • croaker||

    I'm surprised this cunt doesn't have a coach to remind her to breathe.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    I lost a few IQ points just reading the link.

  • GILMORE||

    I did it.

    I think I'm immune to stuff like this. I've lived my live in NYC. No dumb is too dumb.

    tho =

    "make jobs"
    "Full employment"

    ... who do these people think they're fooling? Every 'job' these scumbags make is simply funds jacked from someone else's gig, and spent on their constituents. its just legitimized theft and bribery, and they KNOW it. its just that no one bothers to say it to their faces in D.C. because everyone's in on it. Its sort of like Courtesy Among Criminals.

  • ||

    I was taken aback by that at first, not sure what to make of it.

    Watching it again and noting her excitement at the prospect of ruling by decree, it is obvious that she relishes the idea of dictatorship. In her mind, as usual with craven sycophants, she believes shitweasel's last SOTU speech was his declaration of claiming ultimate power and she will now be raised to her rightful place.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Freedom of thought and expression are the lifeblood of our academic community

    Lies.

  • Andrew S.||

    Again with the "Our officers did nothing wrong, but we'll investigate" response. Do they think anyone ever falls for their "investigation" wording? Or do they not care?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    what legal authority does a cop have to order me to do anything, unless I'm committing or suspected of committing a crime? Even telling me not to walk in front of a guy with a gun who is shooting people?

    Whatever happened to, "I wouldn't do that if I were you"?

    Possibly followed by, "Toldjaso!"

  • Pro Libertate||

    Exactly. It's like refusing to evacuate when a volcano is erupting. It may be bad for you, but it used to be that you'd be allowed to die, even if your name was Harry Truman. Is that true today?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It may be bad for you, but it used to be that you'd be allowed to die, even if your name was Harry Truman. Is that true today?

    Yes. In fact, "Officer Friendly" would, more likely than not, accelerate the process.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sir, you must evacuate or die. Either from lava or this pistol.

  • db||

    "No problem, officer. Lead the way."

  • Citizen Nothing||

    First responder vs. first responder

  • SRVolunteer||

    Funny story... I am in the middle of a class that covers some of this. Though I don't drive emergency vehicles, most of the other folks in the class are firefighters. We were instructed that if a scene is in the road, we're supposed to block traffic to protect ourselves and our patients even if we're responding in our personal vehicles.

    The CHP in question had to know this...

  • Ted S.||

    Respeck mah authorituh!!!!!

  • sarcasmic||

    Better for those the cop is sworn to serve and protect die from lack of medical attention while a fireman sits in the back of his car than a cop not be obeyed.

  • Pulseguy||

    I think everyone is being hard on the campus cop. Think about it....you have a nut with a high-powered gun running around, and you have a kid with a camera. Who would you take down violently? Much safer to take the kid down, and you have a shield if the gun guy actually shows up in your vicinity.

  • MoreFreedom||

    "we are hesitant to second guess the judgement calls"

    They are hesitant to judge whether campus policemen using force against others is OK or not. Then they shouldn't have them, becaue they aren't being policed, and probably should be "slammed to the ground" and jailed for disregarding the rights of who are acting legally and are harmed because of their lack of judgement.

    And while we're at it, we can eliminate those who are supposed to watch over the police, and shouldn't be hesitating to judge them. I hope Purdue gets sued for maybe $10 million, to provide them an incentive to make sure thier campus kangaroo cops behave properly rather than harming innocents.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement