Students photographed fighting steal copies of Georgia student newspaper in protest

GEORGIA — Students at Armstrong Atlantic University confessed to stealing copies of the student newspaper after a front-page photo depicted them fighting at an event Tuesday night, the paper’s editor says.

The theft occurred sometime between noon and 3 p.m. Thursday after the papers were distributed. The students took between 700 and 800 copies of the weekly paper from locations around campus and dumped them into trash cans, said Inkwell Editor-in-Chief Jeremiah Johnson.

Johnson said he recorded their conversation and then filed a report with campus police laterThursday. He also found several copies of the newspaper in trash cans acrosscampus. According to the police report, two students were seen taking newspapers and throwing them into the trash.

When questioned, the students told police they stole papers from the Student Union, the library, and two other buildings on campus, according to the police report.

“They advised that they threw away the papers because they felt offended that their pictures were published on the front page of the paper,” the police officer wrote in his report. The officer said he told the pair to stop throwing away papers.

The fight broke out at the university’s Student Union after an unknown person attacked a student who was waiting for a performance. Johnson said that a reporter and photographer were on the scene to cover the event and caught the fight as it broke out. The Inkwell ran the story later that night online.

“We were very careful in the way we handled it,” Johnson said about the story. “We didn’t publish names in it because we were still unsure about what was going on.”

The paper prints 1,200 copies each week. The paper decided to reprint 1,000 additional copies, which will be distributed Monday, for a cost of $539, Johnson said.

The theft is being referred to the school’s internal disciplinary process for review, according to the police report.

This is the 18th college newspaper theft reported in 2012.

By Jordan Bradley, SPLC staff writer. Contact Bradley by email or at (703) 807-1904 ext. 124.