WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY COY MALONE

What You Need to Know:

On February 4, Jon Selke of Purdue University’s police department responded to a call reporting a “domestic disturbance of a couple arguing during a breakup.” Selke encountered 24-year-old student Adonis Tuggle and his girlfriend, who explained it was a simple argument. Selke yelled, “Shut the fuck up and back up!” Tuggle got between Selke and his girlfriend saying, “There’s no need to be disrespectful.” Selke responded, “All right buddy, you’re going down,” and threw Tuggle against his girlfriend’s truck, punched and elbowed him in the face, then slipped and fell into the snow. Tuggle then told his girlfriend to start recording.

Cellphone footage captured by Tuggle’s girlfriend has gone viral on social media and shows Selke on top of Tuggle while elbowing him in the face, choking him, and smothering his face in the snow as the student yells, “Stop! You’re hurting me…You’ve been disrespectful the whole time, bro…You’re choking me!” Selke also threatened to tase Tuggle’s girlfriend when she asked him to stop. “Please help. This officer won’t get off his neck. He’s taken it too far!” she yelled as other officers arrived. Tuggle was booked at Tippecanoe County Jail for resisting law enforcement, posted a $250 bond, and was released.

In a statement, Chief John Cox said that an internal investigation will be conducted. No injuries were reported, though Tuggle said he sustained scraped knees and a red and puffy face. Indiana State Police will also conduct an independent investigation.

Since the violent arrest, Selke has been placed on administrative leave. He and the police department have received numerous death threats. Hundreds of students attended a Black Student Union-hosted town hall along with thousands who attended via Zoom. State Rep. Chris Campbell, who helped pass House Bill 1006 which addressed use-of-force and de-escalation training for law enforcement, discussed a plan of action and wants Purdue to change how it treats students of color.

Why You Need to Know:
This officer violently harmed a non-provoking Black male student because his authority allows it. If he didn’t mean to and law enforcement didn’t allow it, this never would’ve happened.