Last spring, in the immediate aftermath of the Broad Street shooting, the Middletown Police provided the Wes Public Affairs office with a photo of the suspect, Stephen Morgan…and we all noted how it looked nothing like the man in the surveillance camera footage.
After some finger-pointing between Wes and MPD, it was discovered that the initial photo was actually of a Cornell sociology professor by the name of…Stephen Morgan. That Stephen Morgan has now filed suit against the University, claiming he suffered “humiliation, mental anguish and emotional distress” because of the mix-up:
Connecticut State Police and Middletown officers supplied Wesleyan with an image of the Cornell professor, which they culled from a driver’s license database following the May 6 shooting death of Justin-Jinich in a bookstore near the Wesleyan campus. Investigators believed that the gunman was a 29-year-old Massachusetts man, and they obtained a photograph taken of Morgan while he was a student at Harvard University, said James K. Robertson, the professor’s attorney.
Police turned the photograph over to Wesleyan so that university officials could determine if Morgan had a connection with the school. Officers did not give the university permission to publish or release the image, the lawsuit says.
After Wesleyan circulated the photograph, it appeared on various news websites and was broadcast on CNN with a report saying “police believe he may be targeting the school and Jews,” according to the lawsuit.
On May 7, a Wesleyan employee noticed several comments posted on a university message board that said Morgan could not have been the killer because he is not 29 years old and doesn’t resemble the gunman depicted in surveillance photos. University officials met and decided that Morgan was not the suspect involved, the lawsuit says.
Corrina Kerr, associate director of media relations for Wesleyan, said Tuesday that the school does not comment on pending litigation.