crime & courts

Officer in protest video identified as Indiana State Police


A student yells in affirmation of the speakers as they chant against a few opinion articles recently published in the media. Students gathered to protest outside Franklin Hall Tuesday night before the controversial speaker Charles Murray gave a speech. Rose Bythrow and Rose Bythrow and Rose Bythrow Buy Photos

The police officer that pushed IU student Jacob Mills to the ground three times at a Charles Murray protest Tuesday evening has been identified as a Indiana State Police trooper, but the trooper’s name is not yet known.

According to an ISP press release, the IU Police Department requested assistance with crowd control during a speech made by controversial social scientist and author Charles Murray. The decision to escort Murray off campus after his speech was made due to the crowd gathered outside.

The speaker left Franklin Hall through the front entrance, police said. He then got into an unmarked, black Dodge Charger. The press release said the car was quickly surrounded by about 20 young people.

Officers outside of the car verbally told the crowd to move away, police said. When some did not comply, officers then used open-handed palm thrusts to move people out of the way of the car.

Mills, a sophomore studying environmental sustainability studies, said he was standing near an officer in front of the Dodge Charger. He said when Murray got in the car, the officer placed his hands on Mills’ shoulders and began to walk him backwards. 

The student was then pushed three times by either the same officer, or the one next to him, Mills said. He doesn’t remember what the first push was like, but the video picks up after he was knocked to the ground the first time.

“In the video, you see it’s a two handed -- to the chest or shoulder area -- shove, and I’m probably half the weight of those dudes, so it was with a decent amount of force," Mills said. "I definitely couldn’t, after being pushed down once, definitely couldn’t have regained my balance until after they were off of me.”

Mills said he was standing firmly in place and not touching anyone. He was talking and making taunting comments toward the officer, but would not tell the Indiana Daily Student what exactly he said. 

Mills said the police officer allegedly responded to Mills’ comments with “what are you going to do, little bitch?” 

Mills said the officer pushed him with anger, but is unsure if that was in response to what he was saying to the officer. Mills’ video will be reviewed as part of an “after actions report,” and once the trooper is identified, his defensive tactics and use of training will be evaluated, police said.

“I’ve never seen any other speaker have this kind of presence,” Mills said. “Not even close. And certainly, not any additional outside IUPD security forces."

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