When Dylan Bouscher set off to investigate a suicide on campus, he didn’t expect that he would soon be the one answering to police. However, the school cops didn’t want a reporter on the scene — and after ousting him from the premises, they filed charges that the student reporter claims are bogus.
Bouscher is the editor-in-chief of FAU’s University Press student newspaper, and when he heard of the suicide he rushed to the scene in a golf cart, accompanied by another student. Although he says they gave police officers plenty of space as they went about their duties, Officer Robert Vickens instructed the two students to leave.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Bouscher said “Vickens yelled my name. ‘Dylan, you need to go away right now,’ he said. So I left.”
He then found a more remote area “about four hundred feet away” from which to view the crime scene, but another officer evicted him from the new location. Heated words were exchanged, resulting on a noncompliance charge for Bouscher.
The Dean later told Bouscher he would receive “more punishment” if he did not reveal the name of the student who was with him, but he refused.
In the end, Bouscher settled for a deal, accepting two charges to have others dismissed.
“I accepted the charges because it just wasn’t worth it. That wasn’t the hill I was going to die on, but I do believe my rights were violated.”
He received a year of probation along with a mandatory “ethical decision-making class.”
This is not Bouscher’s first issue with campus police. In April, he requested access to three year’s worth of police reports, and was told he would need to fork over $17,000 for the privilege.
Bouscher suspected underreporting of school crime, and was trying to get to the bottom of any misinformation. He enlisted in an attorney’s help to have the fee lowered.
“It’s been an agonizing four months of legal back-and-forth,” Bouscher said. It’s down to a slightly-less-absurd $900 now.”