Purdue Student Govt Condemns Campus Police Brutality after Excessive Force Attack on Student

Image via Purdue University

By Amy Berberyan and Keana Fortier-Sauray

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – After the release of video showing Purdue University Police Officer Jon Selke using excessive force on Purdue student Adonis Tuggle, the Purdue Student Government (PSG) released an email condemning Selke’s actions.

In the email, PSG acknowledged that Tuggle “was choked and pinned against a mound of snow and ice.”

The evidentiary video, filmed by Tuggle’s girlfriend after Tuggle had been forced to the ground, showed Selke with his elbow and forearm pressed into Tuggle’s throat. Selke was unwilling to move and threatened to use his Taser on Tuggle’s girlfriend when she attempted to intervene.

“No matter the circumstance,” said the email, “none of us should ever have to undergo or see any of our peers experience the aggressive act of police brutality.”

PSG stressed the vulnerability caused by this incident, especially among students of color.

“This incident has highlighted yet again,” continued the email, “a level of racism and injustice that is deeply rooted not only in our campus community but across the nation, and we are witnessing firsthand how the lack of action surrounding police reform continues to impact disparaged communities.”

The email went on to highlight how police officers have consistently “unjustly abused their power” as a result of not being properly trained in de-escalation methods.

PSG called for “sweeping reforms” to prevent the Purdue Police force from being swayed by outside forces that encouraged Selke’s actions.

“Unfortunately, our community did not implement these reforms aiming at stopping police brutality soon enough, and their lack of preventative action and consistent accountability resulted in harm inflicted on a Boilermaker,” wrote PSG.

They condemned Selke’s behavior as “highly disturbing” and encouraged students to “stand against this act of violence.”

PSG extended their “network and advocacy” to Tuggle and maintained that “as Boilermakers, it is our civic duty to work together and support those who are in a constant battle against police brutality, especially on our very own campus.

“And above all,” PSG continued, “we must work together to bring forth a safe and loving community for all members where violence will no longer be a catalyst of injustice.”

The email concluded with a demand to end police brutality.

Following his release, Tuggle took to Instagram to share the incident and claimed that the officer punched him, elbowed him, smothered his face in the snow and attempted to choke him with his elbow during the tussle.

He also shared that the Purdue Police Department refused to give him the bodycam footage, and he demanded “justice” by asking people to hold Officer Selke responsible for his actions.

Tuggle’s civil rights attorney, Andrew Stroth, said that Tuggle and his family demanded a full investigation into the case and the release of police body cam footage.

Officer Selke was set for a leave of absence initiated by the Purdue University Police Department’s Chief of Police, John Cox, because of alleged death threats that the officer and department received.

Meanwhile, Adonis’ plea for support seemed to spread quickly. Several social media users took to Twitter to condemn the police officer and demand justice for Tuggle.

“[sic] So they put the purdue officer on leave due to threats, but not due to him being overly aggressive to a citizen ?? i’m not surprised , but i did expect better from purdue,” said one Twitter user.

The Purdue Graduate Student Government organization issued a statement Thursday afternoon in support of Tuggle, noting that “we condemn all police violence that disproportionately harms Black communities.

“We stand by Adonis Tuggle!” the statement continued. “We open our arms in solidarity with our fellow Boilermaker and vow to increase awareness around this incident, advocate, and provide help and support.”

About The Author

Amy is a UCLA student majoring in English and Philosophy. She is interested in law and is from Burbank, California.

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  1. Alan Miller

    Again another article that goes through the police brutality thing without ever describing what started the incident, what the person was stopped and detained for.  Like, what, if you don’t bring up the other side it is automatically police brutality?  What’s more, the article is 100% about race and police brutality rather than the incident, and if so, shouldn’t the ‘race’ of the officer and person arrested by stated?  They are implied as you move through the article, but not stated.  I see KO posted the video link above; I was wondering why there was no video link provided.  I’m not making a judgement on whether this was police brutality or not – I’m criticizing articles where the premise is police brutality, implied as fact because of the races of those involved.  It might be or it might not be.  Seriously, this style of journalism where the subject is the assumption, rather than covering the incident (including that some are calling it police brutality) and leaving out the facts of the incident is really getting tiring.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Seriously, this style of journalism where the subject is the assumption, rather than covering the incident (including that some are calling it police brutality) and leaving out the facts of the incident is really getting tiring.

      I’ve come up with an effective solution for this.

      I don’t read them.  I head right for the comments – if anything.

      And even there, I try not to engage in debate regarding what I see on videos. (Learned my lesson from all the time I wasted regarding the Picnic Day incident.)

      You’d think that videos would make things more “cut-and-dry”, but apparently not – depending upon the person viewing the video.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I’m already going to “break my own rule” that I just put forth, and comment on the video that Keith posted:

        Looks like the guy being arrested (and particularly, his girlfriend) are “doing their best” to de-escalate the situation.  🙂

        1. Keith Olson

          From the link I posted:

          the officer was responding to a call that a woman was being held against her will. Police spokesperson Capt. Song Kang said officers were called by a bystander because of a “domestic disturbance of a couple arguing during a breakup.”
          Tuggle was subsequently arrested for resisting law enforcement, a misdemeanor.

          Watching the video Tuggle is trying to play up getting choked when it didn’t appear like that was actually the case.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I agree.  Mostly, I just heard a bunch of shouting, with the girlfriend in particular making it worse.  (I’ve seen this type of thing occur, repeatedly.)  Well, both she and the guy arrested were making it worse – on purpose, in my opinion.

          I’ve heard that police dread reports of domestic violence, perhaps partly because they know that both parties involved can then turn on the police, together.  (From what I’m gathering, that may have occurred regarding the police officer on trial in San Francisco.)


      2. Alan Miller

        I only watched this after reading RO & KO comments and I thought they were probably being over the top.  Nope.  OMG that is the worst acting job I’ve seen.  Deserves a Razzy.  Maybe the guy is being chocked, by an invisible hand.  I thought the lack of a link to the video was an innocent omission.  Now I’m thinking it was on purpose.

        This reminds me of a video I saw a year back of a guy taking a video of a people taking a video where they were trying to make the cops look bad.  They were talking to each other about what they were going to do while the cop was arresting the guy peacefully, then the other guy starts the camera rolling and the guy being arrested starts screaming while the person with the camera gives a narrative about what happened before the camera was rolling.  Is this a ‘thing’ these days?

        What I really like in this video is where the gf is screaming ‘you’re huring him, you’re hurting him’, and the cop kinda mumbles ‘oh my god’ like ‘you’ve got to be kidding’.

        1. Keith Olson

          Is this a ‘thing’ these days?

          Claiming you are being choked while resisting arrest is for sure “a ‘thing’ these days” since the George Floyd incident.

        2. Alan Miller

          Well George Floyd wasn’t acting, neither was Ahmaud Arbery, and they are both very dead.  Racism and bad cops are very real, so let’s focus on that.

          Fed-X driver D’Monterrio Gibson comes across as 100% believable.  And the only reason he’s not dead is the bad aim of a (alleged) white supremicist loon.  But the DV doesn’t report that story, but does report this story, as a bad cop activism piece with no video link, not a both-sides journalistic story.  That’s OK though, the Vanguard is in good company.  Fox News hasn’t reported on the D’Monterrio Gibson case either.

        3. Keith Olson

          Well George Floyd wasn’t acting, neither was Ahmaud Arbery

          I totally agree and I wasn’t insinuating that.  But since George Floyd often you hear complaints of being choked while being arrested when it isn’t the case.

          That was my point.

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