Exclusive video: UPD body-cam video shows alcohol-fueled end-of-year class party

Courtney Green, News Editor

“Spread it out. This is good stuff.”

It’s the first thing that can be heard in a police body-cam video that Spinnaker recently obtained of Dr. Brian Thornton’s end-of-the-year luau — a class party that came to a dramatic end.

The party in question occurred on April 18, at the end of the Spring semester. Police responded to a social media post made by one of the students in the class.

Multiple times throughout the body-cam footage, Dr. Thornton claims to have not known the students were planning to bring alcohol.

“They were supposed to just bring food,” Thornton can be heard saying at one point. At another, he tells UPD, “I didn’t tell them to bring it.”

In the video, police say a bottle of vodka and a 12-pack of beer were “outlying” when they entered the classroom to investigate. According to police on the body-cam, 14 students were in the classroom when the incident occurred.

“You’re looking at the kids and they’re drinking beer right in front of you while you play the guitar,” an officer can be heard saying to the professor. “I mean, I could ask them: ‘hey, did you say this was sanctioned?’ But because you didn’t do anything, that’s pretty much giving the okay to do it.”

When reached for comment, Dr. Brian Thornton was unavailable.

No police report was filed, but an incident report with Student Conduct was made. Dr. Thornton is not listed to teach in the Communication department for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester. As of right now, he is listed to teach classes again in Spring 2020.

The University has not yet released an official statement as to whether or not Dr. Brian Thornton has been suspended. Spinnaker will update the story as more information emerges.


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