As if two loose cows galloping wildly through an athletic field attacking anybody that stood in their way wasn’t enough to keep police busy, they had to arrest the photographer documenting the escapade.
You would think they wouldn’t have a cow over this matter.
After all, it took more than two hours for several cops to corral the cows that had gotten loose at Ohio State University last week.
They ended up using seven police cars, a university tractor, a cattle prod and tranquilizers to finally corral the cattle, according to The Lantern, the OSU student newspaper, which also caught the melee in the above video.
But through all the chaos, Ohio State Police found enough time to harass student photographer Alex Kotran for taking photos.
“He told me I was under arrest,” Kotran said. “I advised him that I was on public property, and he started talking about Supreme Court cases and stuff.”
Kotran said he was detained “for about 10 minutes.” Linton went through his pockets to get his wallet. The officer needed identification to write a report.
So not only was he harassed and detained, they went through his pockets without probable cause or reasonable suspicion that he was committing an actual crime – as if those factors matter anymore.
It started when Kotran learned that the cows had gotten loose as they were being transported to OSU’s Veterinary School. He ran to his dorm, grabbed his camera gear and ran to the fields to photograph the cows.
A woman wearing a School of Agriculture shirt confronted him, telling him he was not allowed to photograph the cows. Then she tried to block him for taking the shots.
Kotran explained that he was a photographer for The Lantern, that where he was standing was public property, and that if she wanted him to stop taking photos, she should summon police.
That’s exactly what she did.
Rather than tell the woman that Kotran was within his right to take photos of the crazed cows, the cops started harassing him.
They told him he had to move because it was “dangerous,” even though he was standing on public property 100 yards from the action.
Nevertheless, he moved to the other-side of the chain-linked fence and continued taking photos.
But the harassment continued.
At that location, a female RPAC employee and two male workers with grounds keeping also confronted Kotran and told him to stop taking photos.
One of the men grabbed his arm. He gave them the same explanation he gave Linton and continued to shoot photos.
And when the cops finally cornered the cows, Kotran ran into a building close to the action to get more photos. And that was when he was handcuffed, frisked and detained for ten minutes.
So now police say they are “investigating the incident,” which means they are going to stonewall reporters until the story dies. Or at least until the cows come home.
In an e-mail to The Lantern on Sunday, OSU Campus Police Chief Paul Denton said the department is still investigating the incident.
“I consider the case as an open and active investigation, and we are not going to hurry the process,” Denton said. “Also, as I stated, while there may have been a detention, no arrest was made, so use of the term to describe police and public safety intervention is not correct.”
The fact that they are not going to “hurry the process” proves that they know they screwed up. Otherwise, they would be calling a press conference to justify their actions.