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Purdue Adds New Meaning To "Student ID" 57

purdue_thor writes: "After the devastating loss to Notre Dame in the Women's College Basketball Championship, numbers of Purdue students took to the streets and rioted. In their wake, there was an estimated $100,000 of damage done and a cloud of tear gas that covered several blocks. In an effort to bring those responsible to justice, the Purdue Police Department have posted images of the rioters on a website and offered up to $5,000 reward money. Check out the news release here."

But don't worry: "Those pictured on the Internet were among those who defied police orders to leave areas in which the destruction and vandalism were taking place." And the Dean of Students says: "We anticipate the images also will be of interest to parents and employers."

This is partly noteworthy because it seems to be becoming a standard operating procedure on campus these days. Anonymous, electronic ratting out, with a reward attached. Is that what students want to pay for? This is the downside (or is it an upside?) to having cameras everywhere; couple that with facial recognition and then try not to be nervous.

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Purdue Adds New Meaning To "Student ID"

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  • Ok, this whole monitoring is very bad. But the point here is the damage - I, too, think these vandals should be punished for the whole damaged they caused over such a stupid thing - I mean, if it was for some noble cause, I'd be upset, but people who just cause major problems for no reason at all must pay for their crimes. The cameras were there just like cops could be there - it's technology in service of the law.

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  • 1) This has happened before. In Michigan, I believe. 2) I don't know about the US, but in the UK they have a thing called the Riot Act. There's a section that has to be read aloud, after which it is an offence to remain in the area. I don't know if the police in this case have similar powers. 3) These people chose to remain in an area with rioters, even after they were asked to leave, and the worst thing that is happening to them is they get their mugshots on the web. Diddums. 4) You have no expectation of privacy in a public place.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    There is no issue here. People rioted and destroyed property. There are pictures of them in the act. The cops are using those pictures to try to apprehend the suspects. Sounds to me as if the cops are doing what they are paid to do.

    There would be an issue if non-participants were being sought or if the suspects rights were being violated or due process was not being followed but that's not the case.

    Perhaps "UNIV 101" needs to include a week on "break the law: go to jail". Too many kids today are spoiled rotten (rioting over a stupid game?) and have never learned that there are consequences to any action or decision. Self-reliance and personal responsibility used to be virtues, today everyone's a victim.

  • The people in these pictures are clearly rioting, and most are actively involved in destructive activities. (smashing, stealing, burning, adding fuel to fires, etc...) How is this any different than traditional wanted posters, except that the pictures are on the web and the people involved are mostly students from my alma mater?

    It's pretty standard for law enforcement to offer rewards for tips to find criminals. The people rioting are idiots. I lived right smack in the middle of another one of these riots at Purdue when the Women's team won-- people actually climbed up the side of the house my apartment was in, pulled down fairly large trees, burned furniture and garbage in the middle of major streets, etc...

    In fact, coming home from the computer lab in MSEE one night I had the misfortune to witness a naked drunk guy playing the PU fight song on a tuba. An even less fortunate friend was unintentionally gassed since he had to pass the riot's center on the way home. Nobody would have been gassed at all of the rioting retards had found something better to do.

    I fail to see how anyone's rights are being infringed in any way here. These people comitted a crime, and the police are offering a reward to anyone who helps track them down.
  • I took a look at a few of these pictures, (just the first two pages), and to be honest, I see a bunch of people smiling not doing anything. In fact I feel that for the bulk of the people in these pictures, Purdue is commiting defimation of chericter by labeling them rioters. The only thing there "guilty" of is not leaving the area when the police told them too. That is not rioting. I'm even pretty sure it's not illigal to stand in a public roadway or park.

    The thing that really upsets me is that little quote, "We anticipate the images also will be of interest to parents and employers." That is awful. And I feel that it probably accounts to blackmail. It might as well say, "Students, if you join in a celebration, or wander outside to see whats going on, we'll blacklist you."

    What is important to do now is for every single person who went to, or worked for Purdue, to send a polite e-mail to them, and tell them its despicable. Personally, I'm ashamed to have ever gone to Purdue.
  • To me, the photos look like they came off a poorly made picture from a video tape. I have a feeling that if we can get a look at a complete video tape of the event, we'll see these people doing other, more despicable things. I mean, if you're making a wanted poster, you don't use the picture of the bank robber in action with their face masked, you use an image that better shows off their face.

    According to Purdue's website, Purdue has offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who vandalized property in a four-block area surrounding campus from 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 1, until 6 a.m. Monday, April 2.

    Looks like it's no act, no cash.
  • ...I see a bunch of people smiling not doing anything.

    From the story you replied to: "Those pictured on the Internet were among those who defied police orders to leave areas in which the destruction and vandalism were taking place."

    If the police orders are legally binding, and they're still there, they're smiling and breaking the law. Busted.

    The reason they are hoping employers and parents will see the pictures has nothing to do with blacklisting, it's to help identify the criminals in the pictures.

    Sorry, but as an above poster noted, you have no expectation of privacy in a public area. I hope they catch the vandals. God forbid they should impinge on our absolute right to break public/other people's shit when we get pissed off over important things like losing a basketball game - this is Big Brother(TM) all the way, man. Fight the power!

  • "The thing that really upsets me is that little quote, "We anticipate the images also will be of interest to parents and employers." That is awful. And I feel that it probably accounts to blackmail. It might as well say, "Students, if you join in a celebration, or wander outside to see whats going on, we'll blacklist you." " Except they weren't celebration. They were rioting after Purdue lost to Notre Dame. Just another case of "our team lost, so let's set the town on fire" that seems to be the trend lately across all levels of sports.
  • I go to school at Purdue and I knew there would be riots. I was ACTUALLY watching the girls' game and cheering them on in an amazing game. I would venture to bet that only 1/3 or 1/4 of the people in the riots even watched the game, let alone any of the other games this season.

    A lot of people the next day were complaining about how the police were arresting/gassing the violent rioters as well as the by-standers. In my opinion, if you are out in the middle of a riot and don't leave when the cops show up: a) you're an idiot; b) you are hindering the police's ability to maintain order. Others have made the statement that they were just trying to get home and were "caught in the riot." If you are walking home and see a big, violent group of people then walk around them and find another way home. My friend was walking home from school during a riot 2 years ago. He was chased by a naked, drunken tuba player and the riots were blocking his way home, too, but he didn't get into the riot; he went around them and got home without being tear gassed or tipping over a car.

    People have been complaining about this all last week, but they were out there helping to create the problem. If these "by-standers" had stayed inside (when they KNEW full well that there would be riots), it wouldn't have been a riot but just isolated incidences of violence. I think posting the pictures of the idiots in the riots will not only take away the assumed anonymity of being out in PUBLIC (where some of the riots erupted) or on private property (I don't know if a land-grant university is considered public or private property), but make them be responsible for their actions.

    I think the statement about employers and parents is a good one, too. When I own a company or am hiring for one, I want to know if my prospective employees are going to have a mind of their own or will just succumb to mob mentality.

    These people are in freaking college now. They are supposed to be adults, able to carry guns and drink responsibly. If they can't even control their anger at the loss of a basketball game (assuming they actually care about the game) or control the urge to riot for fun, they should no longer be treated as adults and should be expelled from the university. Having their pictures up on the web for everyone to see is showing them that they have to act like citizens to be treated like citizens.

  • 1) This has happened before. In Michigan, I believe.

    East Lansing, Michigan, to be specific--near (and on) Michigan State University's campus.

  • by Masem ( 1171 )
    It was at Michigan State after their basketball team lost at NCAA about 2 years ago. Similar situation, and couple with the fact that rumors stated that the riots were planning well in advanced (It's very hard to believe that several people would toss flaming matteresses out onto the state within the same time period). In addition, the cameras were very visible, some were personal, some were news crews. To continue acting in such a manner that does not promote the idea of 'civil disobedience' generally is going to get you busted.
  • I agree with most of your points, but I think the police should really have focused their efforts on people who were actively participating and rioting not just people who stopped to gawk and thus were "hindering" the police's efforts to break the riot up. I immagine there are many people featured there who simply stopped to stare for a moment before walking on, unimpressed having seen better riots on FOX. Was it stupid? Yes. Criminal? I don't think so. There are quite a few people pictured who clearly deserve to have their pictures up there without a doubt, and maybe the rest of them do too (maybe they were really riotting also, it just sure doesn't look that way).
  • It happens at least once a year here in Cow-lumbus, OH, at the Ohio State Football University. Afterwards, the news programs always have a bunch of whining students on it complaing about the way police behaved. It's disgusting. I don't believe in the infalibility of law enforcement, but sometimes it's pretty obvious who's doing their jobs and who's full of shit.

  • Monitoring is only bad if you are a criminal. The camera systems in England have dramatically cut down on street crime there.
  • Dunno what pics you looked at ... I see a bunch of people tipping over mailboxes and other public property (technically, mailbox is private government property, but you get the point), and setting fire to things.

  • I agree with you 100%, although its no excuse for governments to justify private monitoring of our lives. But, concerning public monitoring, I'm all for it. Let's bust the criminals.

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  • i'm a bit suspicious when i am told a given event was a "riot". Maybe this is just a side-effect of having lived in LA, but this word seems to be ponied out whenever police want to justify extreme action against innocent citizens. And in this case, the term is being used to justify suggesting filial and professional persecution (without a trial or a verdict) on the basis of mere photographs which themselves do not necessarily show any crime being committed.

    i wonder how public response to this would differ if the gathering had been composed primarily of non-students. Say a meeting of local Democratic Socialists was photographed and published, with a caveat for employers and potential mates. What do you think?
  • by raygundan ( 16760 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @12:38PM (#304636) Homepage
    It sucks when someone innocent gets hurt in a riot. Whose fault is it? The rioters, plain and simple. What should happen to the rioters? They should be arrested, plain and simple.

    You are correct to state that my friend's picture should not be posted-- but you ignored another key point of my post. I have looked at ALL of the pictures on their website, and every single person whose photo was posted was engaged in illegal activity in AT LEAST one of the photos of that person. (some people made multiple appearances, but seemed to be consistently numbered.) Additionally, not all people in the pictures were numbered and listed as wanted, and finally, many of the pictures were cropped to eliminate innocent bystanders.

    If the cops read the riot act, it was against the law to BE there. So I ask my original question again-- if these people committed a crime (and they have all been photographed doing so) how is this different than a wanted poster?
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @12:38PM (#304637) Homepage
    But hey, this is /. - where my opinion counts too!

    Actually, I looked at all the pictures, and in only a very few of them (mostly all on the very last set) show actual "property" destruction:

    Photos 28 [], 29 [] and 30 [] seem to show people dragging branches somewhere. With the occurrance of fire in several images, we can suspect that they are dragging them to a fire (but hey, who knows - maybe they have some crafting they need to do?)...

    At least photo 53 [] wasn't as stupid (next time, wear a ski mask!)...

    Photo 58 [] shows a man wielding a large piece of what appears to be wood - maybe going to throw it on a fire - or bash Mr. 61 about the shoulders, one of the two (wipe that smirk off yer face, nugget!)...

    Photo 62 [] - Praise Stallman!!!

    Photo 70 [] - Use the Force, Luke!!

    Photo 77 [] - "Dude, where'd my doob go...? F*ckin' riot..."

    Photo 86 [] - Now showing a better image of the Cydonian Face...

    photos 95 and 96 [] show someone with another large piece of wood - probably not a picket sign. On the same page we have 99 and 101 doing more branch dragging (they must love crafting there at Purdue!)...

    Photo 109 [] - Wow! I found a doob!

    Now, it definitely looks like in Photo 150 [] there is a set of individuals up to no good with that mailbox - but why don't they note that the other guy (in black pants and grey vest) was involved as well? And why does that man look like he may actually be security or something?

    The final page [] is about the only one that shows real good clear pictures of anybody causing destruction - and if you notice, most of the stuff they seem to be burning came from a DUMPSTER []. They must value their trash very highly at Purdue, alright...

    So, in closing - while there seem to have been some people causing havoc, and that one shouldn't blatently set fire to anything in public, I doubt $100,000 worth of damage occurred (unless they count the mailbox and the signpost - but only the mailbox seemed damaged). If those were damaged, then the individuals should have to pay retribution (include Mr. Blackpants, whoever he is). As for the others, they just seem to be bystanders, who didn't stop what was happening (and rant all you want about them not stopping it, but I would be they either wouldn't be heard, or they would be assaulted for their views, or something equally bad).

    Oh, BTW, photo 49 [] offends me - WTF is that guy grabbing himself for? It ain't going anywhere, pal (actually, it takes more than that to offend me, but I have to admit the guy looks patently stupid making that gesture - I mean, if that guy can get a higher education, than anybody should).

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • I looked through all of the pictures, and most of them clearly show someone involved in an illegal act (smashing, burning, etc...). Many of the pictures are additional shots of the same person, and for the few where they don't seem to be doing anything really bad-- they are at least in violation of the police order to clear the area.

    The pictures look like enlarged parts of a much bigger picture, which the police have carefully cropped to not show a lot of the people present. Awfully considerate for the awful, mean police.

    This whole debate seems silly to me. These people were in a public place, rioting. The cops took their pictures and are posting "wanted posters", just like at your local post office, except without names and vital stats. All of the people in the pictures were violating at LEAST the police order to clear the area. Whose rights are being damaged? The right for criminals to not be sought by the police? I didn't think we had that particular right, but I could be mistaken...
  • From what I understand (though I haven't gone to look at the pictures) they only posted pictures of people who were particularly aggressive/violent/riotous. There might be those "bystanders" in the pictures, but the focus was supposed to be the worst of the bunch. I heard that the pictures look like they aren't doing anything bad, but like one post [] mentions, they could've just committed the crime and now are just looking innocent.

    I was in a real riot in San Francisco a few years ago. The town was holding a city-wide party open to the public. Too many people showed up so they blocked off some streets. We were in a crowd of people going to the party when the cops start forcing us from three directions at an intersection while more people were pouring in from the fourth. We weren't out for the riot and weren't rioting. At Purdue, though, these people actively left their houses/dorms to be in the riot. I think that is almost as bad as the damagers themselves.

  • Police investigating the vandalism and
    rapes of Woodstock '99 have posted images on
    the Web. Quite frankly, sending cops to a live
    crime scene with digital cameras (or using press
    photos), or cops soliciting images from bystanders, bothers me not one bit.
  •'s to help identify the criminals in the pictures.


  • I live in Boulder, a college town which has also seen riots protesting the Vietnam War, social injustice... and the police harrassing underage drinkers. (Guess which motivated the riots a few years ago.)

    A couple quick points, to address common misperceptions:

    <li>The riots might have occured in the student ghetto, but many of the rioters were not students. Some were young adults living in the area, others were bored idiots who rode the bus from Denver looking for excitement.

    <li>These riots caused a lot of damage. Broken glass, overturned cars, etc. The trustafarians might not have been inconvenienced, but a lot of students and young adults are living near the edge anyway and losing their car - and the job it took them to - could be enough to force them out of college.

    <li>A dumpster fire doesn't look dangerous, but many occured below overhanging trees or near buildings. Large fires can be unpredictable and it doesn't take much for one to jump to a house. It's about as "harmless" as firing a gun into a crowd and saying "no harm, no foul" because nobody was hit.

    <li>Despite all of this, the crowd was still mostly peaceful. But every mob has its idiots and some of them threw rocks at the cops - some of which hit helmets with enough impact to cause damage. Hard enough to result in critical injuries to anyone not wearing a helmet.

    Put all of this together, and the cops would have been legally justified in arresting everyone on the spot. But the cops also knew that this would likely result in deaths - some of these people would be carrying guns or knives, and in fact the police had positioned snipers on nearby rooftops against this possibility. A lot of people who were there just for "fun" would become violent if they perceived a threat.

    Since the authorities and police wanted to minimize harm, they decided to contain the riots and look for the key players later. So they took pictures and put them up on their web page, on the city's cable TV channel, in the newspaper, etc. Many (most?) of the people sought were found and peacefully arrested, without the risk of escalating the violence of the mob.

    Bottom line: we haven't had riots for several years. The ends don't always justify the means, but few residents find police taking pictures of riot after people have been ordered off the street (because of the riot, not "just because") to be an unreasonable burden.
  • Here is a near verbatim copy of the letter the dean of students sent all of us Purdue students in response to the rioting, minus the dean's phone # and email address.

    TO: All Purdue Students
    FROM: Tony Hawkins
    Dean of Students
    SUBJECT: Violence and Vandalism

    In the wake of the campus disturbance a week ago Sunday night, following the NCAA women's title basketball game, I am writing to express my concern, inform you about student conduct procedures, and solicit your help.

    I know most of you will agree that this conduct was unacceptable. It demeaned our women athletes at a time they should have received our highest praises and compliments for a splendid season. It embarrassed the student body and reflected negatively on the University's reputation around the world. More than $75,000 in property was destroyed. (Costs continue to mount daily in staff time spent in the aftermath.) Emails, phone calls, and letters to Purdue officials run to extremes - from some calling for resignations of staff who "let this happen" to others who voice concern about overreaction and punishment of the innocent. Parents are rightfully worried. Residents experienced a fearful night that night and remain anxious about a potential repeat. The community is justifiably angry. Alumni are outraged. The reputation of the University is tarnished.

    In the long run, we all pay for the damages, and some of the damages cannot have a price tag attached. These damages, however, are not simply someone else's expenses.

    It is a miracle that no one was seriously injured in the dozens of fires that were set, including one that nearly burned overhead electrical wires that could have fallen into the crowd, and others that were set adjacent to buildings. Many of the spectators unwittingly put themselves in danger.

    Most of our more than 37,000 students were not involved. In fact, some tried to discourage the vandalism and even helped extinguish fires. But at least 1,000 students participated. Spectators hanging on the sidelines provided a cloak of anonymity to the more destructive participants and helped create conditions in which rioters could easily escape. A large portion of the crowd even cheered and incited destruction and violence while a smaller group lit fires, broke windows, threw rocks and destroyed vehicles.

    This kind of behavior is unacceptable at Purdue. Any students identified as actively participating in the destructive and dangerous activity will be charged by police and referred both to the prosecutor's office and to the Office of the Dean of Students for disciplinary procedures. With sufficient evidence, they can be suspended or expelled from Purdue. It is sad to think that one's future can so quickly change because of a momentary lapse in reason.

    Additionally, all students need to be aware that they are not just spectators when they are asked by public officials to leave a scene. In order to protect people and property, these authorities must have clear and safe paths to do so. At the point of refusing to comply with these public officials, those who choose to remain can be identified and charged. In some cases they may be facing more than a fine and a court case. A student's status with the University can also be in jeopardy because of his/her refusal to comply with directions of University officials.

    Finally, I am asking all of you to work within your housing units, student organizations and circle of friends to help all of us bring to a halt the kind of mob-like violence and destruction we have seen at Purdue over the past few years. Please do not let the actions of a few who fail to see all the interconnections between the past, the present, and the future undermine the reputation of Purdue, one that has been built upon the care and concern of generations of other students, faculty, and staff.

    With Grand Prix week only days away, I urge you to promote pride in Purdue through positive actions and behaviors. Let's demonstrate that we can enjoy and celebrate special events with greater integrity and class than other campuses! Talk to each other. Ask yourself what you and your friends can do. Take back Your University. A reputation is an easy thing to destroy and so hard to repair!

    L. Tony Hawkins, Ph.D.
    Dean of Students
    Schleman Hall, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN 47907-1096
  • This type of situation happened in October here at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We had our seemingly annual fall riots here -- and they do roll around at least once or twice a year; one especially destructive riot had the images of some of the [drunk] rioters posted on the CUPD web site.

    This created quite a furor in the local campus newspaper (like every other issue in Boulder), and if I remember correctly, most of those pictured were brought into custody.

    A violation of our rights? I don't know. Most of the pictures were submitted from people who were there, no doubt hoping to leech some kind of recognition or reward for their actions. Personally I like to sit back and watch Darwin point his finger at the not-so-fittest, it's very amusing.

    As long as the police aren't mounting cameras hidden behind trees in the trouble centers (centralized on the University Hill), I don't think there's much in the way of protection against this. The photographers were valid witnesses to a valid crime, and thus are holding evidence in their hands. It's not any form of covert surveillance.

    And my word of advice to the rioters: damn, guys -- try not to look so drunk...

    Ryan Bruels [mailto]

  • I have seen "Crime Stoppers" reports on TV news for years where anonymous tips are solicited. So, doing it all at once seems like a logical extension of that idea...
  • Hah, not had riots for several years? I'm a student in Boulder, and as I recall, there was a mini-riot around Halloween in '99. . .I actually saw a group of kids on the Hill attempting to overturn a parked van (near one of the sorority houses). As my friends and I made a quick escape, I saw Boulder police putting on riot gear in a nearby parking lot.

    After some couches were burned in the middle of the street, some cars were overturned, and some people hurt, there was talk of instuting a "riot fee" for all University students. HAH! Just what I need, more fees. I'm all for electronic surveillance. If those kids (and yes, the majority that I saw were, in fact, CU students) feel that they can afford to damage property that way, let them (or their parents) pay for it.

  • The end goal is to identify criminals. First, of course, they will identify suspects. They will investigate the suspects, and see if there is enough proof to prove in a court of law that they are, in fact, criminals.

    Again, if they denied a police order that was legally binding, and the pictures were taken after the warning, then every person you see there is a criminal, period.

  • if there is enough proof to prove in a court of law

    s/proof/evidence/ ;)

  • I missed this riot, since I've graduated. But the last one (when the women's team WON...), which I got to witness firsthand was worse than what you see in these pictures. Either this one was lightweight, or the cameraman was always pointed in the wrong direction. If the fires were lit in the usual locations, then they were in the middle of pretty busy streets. The vast bulk of the monetary damage was probably done to:

    1. Outdoor furniture. Lots of the frats and apartments near campus and the "popular" rioting areas have couches and crap outside, which quickly becomes part of the bonfire.

    2. Campus buildings. Smashed doors and windows and whatnot. Plus vandalism.

    3. Apartments and houses. So many people climbed the trees in my front yard that one was pulled down under the weight. Windows get broken. Our front porch railing and one of the supports that holds the porch up were completely destroyed. Someone nailed a dead raccoon to our front door, among other things.

    4. Cars. Traffic stops, people stand on the cars, smashy smashy, etc...

    5. A large quantity of footwear becomes entangled in power lines. (this happens all the time, though...)

    6. Flaming trash in the street is a pain to clean up. Somebody has to pay the workers.

    The sad thing is that most of those people probably didn't even watch the game. They heard about it at the bars and wandered out drunk into the streets to smash things.

    A few of the pictures are questionable, but all of the people could have left when asked by the police.
  • Hey, it was only property damage. In Europe and South America, people kill each other (and themselves) if their favorite team loses. In America, all you need to worry about is sports stars killing you.
  • by AndrewD ( 202050 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2001 @12:25AM (#304651) Homepage

    Bzzzt. The Riot Act has been no more than a figure of speech in this country for a very, very long time indeed. If increasingly hazy memory serves it was repealed by the Public Order Act of 1936.

    The Riot Act was, if read aloud to a riotous assembly, the authority of a justice of the peace to order a detachment of militia to fire into the crowd or, of cavalry, to charge with drawn sabres. I can think of two examples of its being used within thirty miles and two hundred years of where I sit (the Peterloo massacre and the Preston Chartist martyrs, both in the middle years of the 19th Century) and memories of the likes of that are among the reasons why we ibject so strongly to armed police in this country.

    None of this touches the central point, though, which is that what's been done here is no different to posting mugshots of suspects on a post-office wall. There's witness, photographic and video evidence of them rioting and damaging property: the offenders are going to have to kiss prosecutorial ringpiece on any plea-bargain...

  • I took a look at a few of these pictures, (just the first two pages), and to be honest, I see a bunch of people smiling not doing anything.

    Not one to let the quality of this post not slip early, the poster has to cram a contradiction into the first sentence for us.

    In fact I feel that for the bulk of the people in these pictures, Purdue is commiting (sic) defimation (sic) of chericter (sic) -- is this person's "a" key malfunctioning or something? -- by labeling them rioters. The only thing there (sic) "guilty" of is not leaving the area when the police told them too. (sic) That is not rioting. Correct. Not moving when asked to by a police officer is not rioting. However, participating in the festivities is rioting. I'm even pretty sure it's not illigal (sic) to stand in a public roadway or park. Not on its own...

    The thing that really upsets me is that little quote, "We anticipate the images also will be of interest to parents and employers." That is awful. And I feel that it probably accounts -- I'll assume you mean "amounts", as "accounts" doesn't make any sense in this context -- to blackmail.

    Huh? How is it blackmail? Are you suggesting that the police asked them for money in exchange for not posting the pictures before posting them? Do you have any evidence to support this claim? (Or do you just not know what "blackmail" means? After all, evidence suggests that you don't own a dictionary. =)

    It might as well say, "Students, if you join in a celebration, -- in other words, if you riot, -- or wander outside to see whats (sic) going on, we'll blacklist you."

    What is important to do now is for every single person who went to, or worked for Purdue, to send a polite e-mail to them, and tell them its (sic) despicable. I don't see how sending a bunch of self-referencing hate mail about Purdue would be useful. But you might want to complain about this incident in particular.

    Personally, I'm ashamed to have ever gone to Purdue. Is it safe to assume that you are currently frosh or have never graduated? Or are the English requirements really that low at Purdue? =)

  • "Innocent until proven guilty" and "the police can do no wrong" come to mind as responses.
  • I object to monitoring when it is an invation of privacy, but you don't exactly have a right to privacy when rioting in a public space. Next time maybe you should riot in private if you don't want your picture taken.
  • You are only "innocent until proven guilty" in a court of law. The court of public opinion and the court of job interviews knows no such rules. (i.e. If a company doesn't want to hire somebody because they were even seen near a riot, that's their business.)
  • The people in the pictures are criminals. They are breaking the law (e.g. setting fire to stolen property, destruction of property, etc.) The students that have been/will be identified are suspects. They are suspected of being the criminals pictured. The two are not equal until proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
  • People rarely mug for the camera at the exact moment of smashing a mailbox, especially when drunk or high.
  • I'm pretty sure the Riot Act was read in Brixton in ?1981?
  • But since banning firearms, England has gotten progressivly worse in the area of crime and violence overall! So what if I'm not getting pick-pocketed in broad daylight. The camera's do nothing to catch all the criminals who break into homes at night. Unless of course you're not opposed to having the police put camera's all over your house.
  • Ah yes, I have seen my share of burning couches down on campus at OSU. But this brings to mind a story I saw on the history channel about Hitler's Nazi Germany and how the masses were kept in line. Basically, if you didn't want to get ratted on as a Jew lover, you had to rat others out, even if that meant ratting on someone who had done no wrong. That way, you could avoid having the storm troopers come to your house and beat on your family. Hitler didn't even to do much preaching of anti-Semitism, the situation perpetuated itself. So I would rather have damaging riots every once in awhile, rather than live in fear of being ratted on for something I didn't do.
  • It happens at least once a year here in Cow-lumbus, OH, at the Ohio State Football University. Afterwards, the news programs always have a bunch of whining students on it complaing about the way police behaved. It's disgusting.

    I'm glad that I'm not the only Columbus resident who feels that way. Also, don't forget OU in Athens. They have regularly scheduled riots too (usually around Halloween).

    Interesting how in the US these things tend to occur around universities...
  • As long as the police aren't mounting cameras hidden behind trees in the trouble centers (centralized on the University Hill), I don't think there's much in the way of protection against this.

    Why should that matter? As long as the cameras are focused on a public place, you have no legal expecatation of privacy.

    I don't know how it is in Boulder (is it a smaller town?), but here in Columbus (Ohio) there are cameras everywhere. They certainly aren't all owned by the police of the city, but they are there. I once made a game of counting how many cameras took my picture in the course of a trip from my house in the suburbs to a downtown destination. I counted 17 (most of which were downtown). These are traffic cameras, security cameras on office buildings, parking lots, etc. Not to mention cameras mounted on the dash of police cars (I didn't count them because I had no way to tell if a particular car had a camera or not).

    So I guess my point is that you're on camera pretty much anywhere you go in public (in most fair-sized cities). Get used to it.
  • This happens fairly frequently at Purdue.

    In any case, I received an email from one of my previous employers while at Purdue. The email contained pictures of 2 trucks that were completely destroyed.

    One was a box truck that had no "box" left, as it had completely disintegrated. The interior was torched.

    The second round of pictures were for a full-size van that was also torched.

    There is no excuse for the destruction of other people's property like that. Especially considering things like this make the school look bad, raise tuition, and cause other problems that students don't want/need to deal with.

  • If you haff nosing to hide, you haff nosing to fear.

    Oh really? The ends DO justify the means? Oh good. Glad we can put that old philosophical saw to rest.
  • > if these people committed a crime (and they
    > have all been photographed doing so) how is
    > this different than a wanted poster?

    i think the perpetual speeder who doesn't get pulled over is a better driver than the daydreaming geezer who conforms to the speed limits.

    maybe this is an outgrowth of me not being socialized normally, but i think that if they want you, they should have to catch you. i come from a police family, and i've always felt pride in my father and uncles and other relatives because there's an emotional, predatory quality of the hunt in their work.

    this is different from a wanted poster, in that with a wanted poster you're dealing with a heinous offense or a serious offender, and the police have put some effort into catching the perpitrator already. it's not a case of letting the general public do their work for them and sorting it all out after the fact.

    i'm not in favor of random property damage or assault, but some things are more heinous than others. not only is this represented in differing severity of punishments, but i think that the scarcity of manpower should also force attention to more serious offenses.

    i guess i don't like it for the same reasons i don't like the idea of collecting a bunch of marketing info on me and using data mining to sort it all out. there's no sport in it. as a matter of principle, i think we're all safer (from institutions) if it's possible to beat the system. i'll leave comming up with examples to someone a little more cynical / paranoid.


  • Unlikely, as on further research I discover my remembrace was faulty. It was in fact repealed in 1973.

    It may be that the police gave an order to the Brixton rioters to disperse that was reported as a reading of the Riot Act, but it certainly wasn't the Riot Act of 1715.

    By the time of the Brixton Riots, Riot was in and of itself an offence - the Riot Act allowed the rioters (defined - this is the condensed version, the actual definition has more detail - 12 or more people behaving rowdily with common purpose) an hour to disperse. Nowadays, the police are entitled to just wade in and start making arrests.

  • Interesting how in the US these things tend to occur around universities... Of course. That's where the highest concentrations of those rowdy furriners are.
  • This is the downside (or is it an upside?) to having cameras everywhere; couple that with facial recognition and then try not to be nervous.
    Yes, I'm nervous. I long for the good old days when I could walk down the street, secure in the knowledge that I could be attacked with impunity. Lord knows that I certainly wouldn't want evidence of any crimes perpetuated against me to be collected.
  • I think in photo 49 the guy is not grabbing himself. He is in shock and yelling at the camera: "Two! I lost two!". :)
  • Although I'm no expert on riots by any extent of the imagination, it seems to me that one of the things that encourages otherwise reasonably well behaved individuals to act up, is the fact that they can commit these crimes with relative safety, knowing that the size of their numbers gives them both an immediate physical shield from the police (short-term protection) and a degree of anonymity (longer-term protection). Since it has been demonstrated time and time again that it is extremely difficult and often dangerous for the police to attempt to subdue much larger crowds, this method of photographing and identifying the problem causers appears to be the best possible solution. If the rioters _know_ that if they participate in rioting, that they will be punished within a few days or weeks, then that should prevent the vast majority of them from acting up. While an extremely small percentage may not be sane enough to restrain themselves, the police can handle them more easily, especially since the sane crowd will want to disassociate themselves from the troublemakers (rather then cheering, aiding, and what not). As long as the police execute this photographing properly, the benefits far far outweigh the costs (e.g., someone not being anonymous in a rioting crowd, even if they themselves are not rioting). I don't see how anyone can consider this and still find it objectionable.

  • Yes, and you only need encryption if you have something to hide.

    Privacy is something that everybody is entitled to.
  • Welcome to the Soviet Socialist Republic of North America !! Nasdrovia, tovarisch!
  • In America, we have the right to freely associate in public places. Unless the scene is that of a crime or as a matter of public safety must be evacuated, the police cannot just tell people to leave. Well, I guess they can, but it isn't a legal request.

    In the case of a Riot, where there is destruction of property, I would assume that the police could of course demand that people leave. But it may be the case that some of those who remained were not guilty of a criminal act other than just being there, and therefore wouldn't be committing any more than a very minor misdemeanor.

    Insofar as your statement that there is no right or expectatiobn of privacy in public, that is true to a certain extent. Pictures of a crowd are very different from pictures of one individual, who does not wish to be photographed specifically. When you single someone out, that, in my opinion, violates their right to privacy (assuming they are not committing a crime).

    Another thing to be considered is the possiblity that some of the crowd might not have been students, and were perhaps as young as 15 years old. If that is the case, it would be illegal to publish pictures of them in relation to a crime (Juveniles are protected specifically against this sort of thing by Federal Statute).


  • "...on the basis of mere photographs which themselves do not necessarily show any crime being committed." Did you ever stop to ponder the idea that maybe the cops chose those particular frames not because they were the best images of the crime but because they were the best images of the criminal??

"Unibus timeout fatal trap program lost sorry" - An error message printed by DEC's RSTS operating system for the PDP-11