OHIO — The Ohio State University director of public safety announcedTuesday that the university does not recommend criminal charges be filed against a student photojournalistdetained while covering the escape of two cows on campus last month.
According to OSU’s student newspaper The Lantern, VernonBaisden, OSU director of public safety, said that the “university does notbelieve that the situation warrants the filing of criminal charges”against the photojournalist, Alex Kotran.
Ohio State University Police Chief Paul Denton said the case has beenclosed and that he believes this was a learning experience for everyoneinvolved. He added that the university police will still meet with Kotran.
Kotran was detained temporarily by university police on April 21 while hewas covering the escape of two cows on Ohio State’s campus for the
Lantern. After being asked to leave once by a police officer, Kotranrelocated to a different place at the scene, where the police asked him to leaveagain and later handcuffed him.
Although he will not be criminally charged, Kotran told the Lanternhe will still obtain an attorney because the Ohio State Office of StudentJudicial Affairs may still take action.
Neither Kotran, nor the Ohio State university police returned multiplecalls for comment by press time.
An editorial in The Columbus Dispatch
(http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2010/05/06/short-takes.html)today commended both Kotran and the university’s decision to not presscriminal charges.
“Kotran, a freshman, demonstrated tenacity and professionalcommitment in his coverage of the incident. By not prosecuting this student fordoing his job, OSU sends a message that it supports its student media and thevital role journalists play in disseminating information, one of the pillars ofa free society,” the editorial said.