Student says officer ‘punched me repeatedly, elbowed me in the face, smothered my face into the snow, and choked me with his elbow’
Purdue University Police is conducting an internal investigation after a white officer was filmed pinning a Black student to the ground by putting his elbow and forearm against the student’s neck as he pushed him into the snow at the Indiana skole.
The officer approached student Adonis Tuggle, 24, on campus at 8.22pm on Friday, 4 februar, after receiving a call that a woman was being held involuntarily.
Mr Tuggle identified the officer as Jon Selke on social media. The student was pushed into the snow, with the officer applying pressure to his neck with his arm, video of the incident shows.
“You’re choking me,” Mr Tuggle said. The woman filming the altercation, who referred to Mr Tuggle as her boyfriend, tapped Mr Selke on his shoulder and said, “Can you take your elbow off his f***ing neck?”
“Touch me again and I will tase you. Stop,” the officer replied. Mr Tuggle was arrested and charged with resisting arrest. De Lafayette Journal & Courier rapporterte that he was released on a $250 kausjon.
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said on Thursday that the investigation into the incident will be “swift and thorough”.
In a message posted on the school’s website, Mr Daniels wrote that “immediately upon learning of the use of force during our police officer’s response, we ordered an investigation, including not only the required review of the officer’s actions as is standard procedure under Purdue University Police policies, but also witness interviews and a release of all video evidence, including body-worn and in-car camera footage”.
“Stop. Get off of him. You’re on video, you are on video. You’re hurting him. You are hurting him,” the woman filming the struggle can be heard saying. “Adonis, I can’t do anything. He’s huge.”
“Call 911,” Mr Tuggle said. “You’ve been disrespectful this whole time, bro,” he told the officer.
When a second police officer came to the scene, the woman said, “Help. He’s on his neck. Please help. This officer won’t get off his neck. He’s taking it too far”.
Posting the video on his Instagram on Wednesday, Mr Tuggle wrote: “I need help! Please share this to as many [mennesker] as possible and spread the news.”
“Officer Jon Selke of Purdue Police punched me repeatedly, elbowed me in the face, smothered my face into the snow, and choked me with his elbow while having me pinned to the ground the entire time,” he alleged in the Instagram post. “Purdue police refuse to give me bodycam footage and have concluded Officer Selke ‘did no wrong’. Help me get justice and hold this man accountable.”
Civil rights lawyer Andrew Stroth, who is representing Mr Tuggle, told the Associated Press on Thursday that all charges against the student should be dropped.
Mr Tuggle’s mother Cornelia Dawson wrote in a letter to Mr Daniels on Thursday that she’s “very disturbed, disappointed and more fearful for” her son’s wellbeing at the school.
“I have seen [de] video repeatedly, and spoken to several people since this incident, and as I write this letter to you, I am still feeling overwhelmed with emotions that lead to tears running down my face, one week afterwards,”La hun til.
Ms Dawson asked Mr Daniels to “do everything within your power to hold the Purdue University police officer accountable for hurting my son and creating an unsafe and uncomfortable educational experience for him, as well as other students who are now concerned and disturbed about this matter”.
“As an additional step, following the internal review, the Indiana State Police will immediately commence an independent review of the PUPD investigation and video evidence,” Mr Daniels said.
“Should there be a finding of misconduct by the officer, appropriate action will be taken promptly," han la til.