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Columnist arrested Thursday


By Michael Auslen



An Indiana Daily Student columnist was arrested Thursday evening by IU police after posting what officers considered a death threat on his personal Twitter account.

At about 5 p.m., Alex Carlisle turned himself in at the IU Police Department station on East 17th Street, where he was interviewed. He was booked at Monroe County Jail at 5:26 p.m., Interim IUPD Chief Laury Flint said.

Carlisle was released after posting bond and faces a preliminary felony intimidation charge.

Carlisle tweeted “Kill Provost Robel” alongside a retweet of an @IUonStrike post. In his interview with IUPD officers, he said he was being sarcastic and did not intend the tweet as a threat to Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. His Twitter account is no longer active.

“He thought he was making it clear he was using sarcasm, so it was not meant to be taken seriously,” Flint said.

Regardless, she said IU police take any apparent threat seriously, regardless of the circumstances or intended tone. Flint said the strike on campus did not lead police to treat this threat any differently. They followed usual procedure.

Additionally, she cautioned that social media gives little context to posters’ thoughts beyond the words they transmit.

“Much like email, it’s hard to communicate tone on social media,” Flint said.

IDS editors are reviewing the situation and determining if Carlisle violated the IDS Code of Ethics or agreement for employment. Possible repercussions include suspension or dismissal, but no decision will be made until the review is complete.

Michael Auslen

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