Purdue University officer placed on leave after viral video of Black student’s arrest

Purdue Police Chief John Cox said the involved officer has been placed on indefinite leave while an internal investigation into the incident takes place

The Purdue University police officer seen violently pinning a Black college student to the snow-covered ground — in a cell phone video that went viral on social media earlier this week — has been placed on leave after receiving death threats, school officials said.

Purdue Police haven’t identified the white officer seen shoving his forearm into the neck and face of the student later identified as Adonis Tuggle, 24, during the Feb. 4 encounter.

Tuggle, who is Black, and the Purdue Exponent have said the name of the officer seen in the video is Jon Selke.

University Police Chief John Cox said the involved officer has been placed on indefinite leave while an internal investigation into the incident takes place.

“Cox initiated the leave of absence after the officer and department received death threats,” Purdue University said in statement released Thursday. “[Purdue University Police Department] is investigating the threats.”

Indiana State Police will conduct their own investigation into the Feb. 4 incident once the school police department’s internal review is complete, the university said.

Purdue police responded around 8 p.m. on Feb. 4 to a bystander’s call about a “domestic disturbance” involving a “couple arguing during a breakup” outside of the school’s veterinary hospital on the south side of campus, police Capt. Song Kang previously told the Exponent.

Purdue’s campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, a city located about 64 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

A photo from the video Adonis Tuggle shared captures his struggle Friday night with a Purdue University officer. “I NEED HELP!!!” Tuggle wrote on Instagram. “Please share this to as many ppl as possible and spread the news.” (Photo: Screenshot/Instagram)

It was there that police encountered Tuggle and a woman Tuggle identified as his girlfriend. The Exponent said the woman has since asked not to be identified.

Exactly what took place before and after the video remains unclear. The footage shows the involved officer laying on Tuggle with his elbow in the 24-year-old’s neck. The woman Tuggle identified as his girlfriend is heard pleading with the officer to “Get off of him!”

“Touch me again and I will tase you,” the officer tells the woman filming at one point during the video.

Tuggle is a junior majoring in psychology at Purdue, according to NBC News. He was arrested and charged with resisting arrest after the incident unfolded.

His attorney Andrew M. Stroth told the news outlet that the video speaks for itself.

“We are demanding a full and transparent investigation into the excessive and unjustified attack on Adonis by the Purdue University police officer,” Stroth told NBC News on Friday. “We are demanding the immediate release of all the video evidence. There is body camera police video that police have, that has not been shared with the family or shared publicly.”

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said on Thursday that body cam footage of the incident will eventually be released “in the spirit of transparency.”

“Once the Purdue Police and Indiana State Police reviews are complete, all findings and evidence, including all video evidence from body-worn cameras, in-car camera footage, dispatch calls and witness interviews, will be made available,” Daniels said in a statement.

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