WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Attorneys for the student seen being subdued by a Purdue University police officer are demanding action be taken by the school to address the altercation.
Video of the altercation between Adonis Tuggle, a junior at Purdue, and Ofc. John Selke has gone viral on social media. Tuggle’s attorney Andrew Stroth tells WISH-TV that someone called the police as Tuggle and his girlfriend were having an argument.
“When the officer arrived, the officer escalated the situation immediately,” Stroth said. “The video speaks for itself. Adonis did not escalate. Adonis was not armed. Without provocation, this white officer took down Adonis, punched Adonis.”
Purdue University Police chief John Cox said last week that Ofc. Selke is on leave while the incident is investigated. Cos said Selke was placed on leave because officers at the department received death threats in the days after the video went viral. Those are threats he says they are investigating.
“The officer, from our perspective, clearly used unreasonable and excessive force,” added Stroth. “We also want an independent investigation.”
Purdue president Mitch Daniels has said that the school has asked Indiana State Police to step in and handle an independent review of all the evidence. That evidence includes body-worn camera footage worn by Selke which shows him pinning Tuggle down in the snow with his elbow against Tuggle’s neck.
Stroth is stopping short of demanding criminal charges against Selke until all the evidence has been gathered.
“The good thing about this case is that there is video evidence so the world can see what, in fact, happened,” said Stroth. “At this stage let’s gather all the evidence and let’s find out the truth.”
For now, Stroth is demanding Selke be terminated from his job with the Purdue University Police Department.