Purdue U. Cop Harasses Student Journalist

He may be at the beginning of his journalism career, but Michael Carney got a crash course in police intimidation tactics this past October. Carney, who is the multimedia editor for the Exponent, Purdue University’s newspaper, was intimidated, harassed and blocked by a campus police officer while trying to film in the student center. Carney was there to cover early voting, but when a woman collapsed he switched gears to film as the emergency medical team arrived.

Officer Jeff Hegg ordered Carney to shut the camera off (reason? “medical emergency”), threw out the “invasion of privacy” card, told him he wasn’t “understanding nothing” and was “disobeying a police officer,” questioned why he was shaking, accused him of “making a scene,” called his ID into the station, picked up and moved his tripod, and finally, threatened to put him “in the backseat of my car for not obeying a police officer’s command.”

And though Officer Hegg claimed he was asking him “to turn it off nicely,” he actually wasn’t. He was using classic intimidation tactics to bully Carney and prevent him from exercising his rights in a public place. His only excuse seems to be that he’s unfortunately so ignorant, he didn’t even know he was enforcing non-existent laws.

“There seemed to be a lack of understanding among both the officer involved and the paramedics or people at the voting booth who were trying to block the reporter’s view,” [Hoosier State Press Association’s Steve] Key said. “They fail to understand the rights of someone to take pictures in a public place or the policy, why you have that ability to have pictures of public official doing their jobs, whether it’s a police officer or someone helping someone with a medical emergency … ”

The Exponent has filed a complaint with the Purdue police department and fire department and are awaiting the outcome of their investigations.

Source: Exponent

5 Responses to “Purdue U. Cop Harasses Student Journalist”

  1. 1 Chris November 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    And guaranteed the cop will skate. Any bets to the contrary are for suckers. The police state is upon us.

  2. 2 fluidambient December 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Thug cop doesn’t understand anything. Don’t even bother trying to reason with him. Just continue filming, and tell him to articulate a specific code if he thinks he knows the law so well. His inability to do so shows he’s just making stuff up.

  3. 3 James A. Bretney December 4, 2010 at 3:20 am

    What a thug! And we pay his salary?

    Here’s what’s up in LA:

  4. 4 Bob December 10, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Cop is a dick head.

  5. 5 adam December 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Honestly why would you film a medial emergency anyway?! I kinda think it’s just a journalist’s job to go around and ag this crap on..so i feel no pity for this guy. Go Cop!

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