Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cops Taser Student For Being A Jerk

Sparks flew during a townhall meeting that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., held yesterday at the University of Florida. Journalism student Andrew Meyer interrupted the speech, prompting police to drag him away from the microphone and shoot him with a Taser gun.

"He apparently asked several questions — he went on for quite awhile — then he was asked to stop," university spokesman Steve Orlando tells the Associated Press. "He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off, then he became upset."

There's a video on YouTube, too. The best quality footage is from The Gainesville Sun.

AP says Meyer was charged with resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. He is being held at the local jail.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET: Thanks to bopdieuropa85 for pointing out in the comments section that the event was in the afternoon, not the evening.

The Independent Florida Alligator identifies Meyer as a senior who is majoring in telecommunication and says he used to work as one of the student newspaper's columnists. (A selection of his writings for the paper. Some more material.)

Here's an excerpt from the paper's editorial about the incident: "UPD's actions are inexcusable and out of line. It owes an apology not just to Andrew Meyer, but also to all of UF. We must be able to trust those who are supposed to protect us. We should not have to fear them."

Meyer's fellow students have created a Facebook group devoted to this incident. It's called "John Kerry conference at UF! A fiasco!!! Needs to be known!" They plan to stage a protest later today.:

Update at 12:06 p.m. ET:

John Kerry's office just sent us this statement from the senator:

In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way. I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but again I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of answering him when he was taken into custody. I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building. I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted.

Cops Taser student who questioned John Kerry- USATODAY.com

-Nick Antosca, Huffington Post:

Kerry Should Be Ashamed, and the Cop Who Tased Andrew Meyer Should Be Jailed

One sickening thing about this whole disgraceful incident is how some liberal bloggers are applauding this disgusting bit of police brutality:

UF Student (justifiably) Tasered

Members of Accent, Student Government’s speakers bureau, cut off the microphone because Meyer used profanity, said Steven Blank, Accent chairman. Accent sponsored the forum, which was held at the University Auditorium.
So the ruckus started when the student government cut the mike! (I don't recall any 'profanity' on the many tapes of the incident.