Tasered

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Democratic Party

This incident is already being used to slam John Kerry and us lefties generally. Here’s the video:

This video shows just the arrest and tasering part more clearly:

I don’t see that Kerry was at fault here. The student was not really asking questions, as news stories claim, but issuing a diatribe. One might assume six police officers could have handled one guy without tasering him, however.

People like this student sometimes do show up at panel discussions and other public events and try to take over. I don’t think it’s acceptable to allow one person to hijack a program. However, is there a way this situation could have been defused without involving police? I might told him he had X minutes to finish his speech and allow Kerry to respond. It’s standard procedure at events like these to announce ground rules about not hogging the microphone before taking questions.

Of course, it’s possible this student would have refused to stop talking after X minutes. Then what?

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21 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Sep 18, 2007 @11:26 am

    He deserved what he got…maybe he can learn from this experience and see what he did wrong rather than indulge himself as the poor victim of an unjust society. He kept asking “what did I do”..the answer is: He failed to comply with a lawful police order. His haughtiness was apparent from the moment he opened his mouth.

  2. green heron  •  Sep 18, 2007 @11:47 am

    The Tazer is the worst thing ever invented. It allows moron cops to jolt people in situations where they would never consider using a gun. Tazers are meant to prevent unneccesary shootings. In reality they encourage the callous use of electric shock.

  3. Donna  •  Sep 18, 2007 @12:33 pm

    When the student begged, ‘Don’t taze me, I’ll walk out of here….’, the five cops had a chance to stand him up and walk him out. I agree with green heron. The tazer is a bully’s tool way used too often….in this instance, it is clear that it was not needed to get the guy out of the room, but was used to punish him ahead of due process.

  4. IntelVet  •  Sep 18, 2007 @1:30 pm

    Cops gone wild!

    Shows what happens when an event (student takedown) is pre-planned. Once the cops embarked on that course, authoritarian pleas otherwise (Kerry saying, in effect, let him go) as well as positive behavior changes on the part of the student (I’ll walk out of here), are ignored.

    A microcosm of what happened with Bush/Saddam and what might happen in the future with Iran, a feature of the GOP.

  5. Steve M.  •  Sep 18, 2007 @2:45 pm

    I’m looking at Memeorandum’s list of blog reactions to this and I’m amazed all over again at the right’s Borglike ability to swarm all over a thing like this in unison. And this despite the fact that the kid is the very kind of lefty they mock every day. They’re like sharks — they smell a drop of Democrat blood in the water ten miles away and they swarm….

  6. We Are The 801  •  Sep 18, 2007 @2:47 pm

    Yeah, but in the videos Kerry even said he was going to answer the guy’s question.

    The guy may have been a conspiracy theory type (ugh) but things were fine until the cops started manhandling him. This was totally uncalled for…

  7. We Are The 801  •  Sep 18, 2007 @2:48 pm

    And this is not a left or right issue. This is a cop issue.

  8. Eric  •  Sep 18, 2007 @6:46 pm

    I felt that his behavior was significantly bizarre enough to cause serious concern on the part of the officers. I can’t tell if the Tasering was justified or not, but the kid seems unharmed by the experience. It’s hard, for me, to judge the police harshly because I understand the concept of a thin blue line (that’s a lot of pressure.) One of the officers told the kid that he was going to be charged with trying to incite a riot. I think that the officers felt that was a real possibility based on the audience verbal participation that was taking place.

    I have never resisted arrest. I’ve never caused a police officer to believe that I was dangerous. I have been protected on at least one occasion from potential harm by police officers who responded to my call.

    I’m going to side with the adults that were present and close to the action – the police.

  9. Sachem  •  Sep 18, 2007 @7:35 pm

    The pro taser lobby here amongst us needs a little less KooAid! Tasering should be reserved for those rare occasions when the individual is a physical threat to others or him/herself.

    These ‘cops’ should be fired and the U of Fla is going to lose a hefty lawsuit. Wake up people.

  10. Doug Hughes  •  Sep 18, 2007 @8:27 pm

    I fault the U of FL for not controlling the forum. A moderstor should have cut off the lecture by Mr. blueshirt, with a stern warning. Had blueshirt failed to observe the ground rules of the forum, he should have been escorted out at the direction of the moderator. Using a tazer on an unarmed nutcase from either end of the specturm is tempting, but excessive.

  11. D.R. Marvel  •  Sep 18, 2007 @8:33 pm

    I’ve never ‘resisted arrest’ either…

    But I’ve been charged with the offense…After being sucker-punched, having my head busted with a nightstick, and being buried beneath an avalanche of cop shoes…

    All whilst wearing handcuffs…

    Fuck your Thin Blue Line.

  12. Kevin Hayden  •  Sep 18, 2007 @8:57 pm

    I’m afraid we’re all being lulled to sleep because we’ve seen so much horror in recent years, but I think this is PRECISELY the sort of thing we should be RIOTING against.

    Think about it. Sure, the student was being an ass, but there are no laws against being an ass! His mike was cut off and he protested that. Is there a law against protesting perceived unfairness?

    When the cops tried to 86 him, he pulled away. That’s not resisting arrest. That’s resisting eviction so he can get his questions answered.

    And ultimately, with 6 cops holding him and others standing near, he was Tasered while restrained, AFTER he pleaded for them to not Taser him.

    In America.

    It’s fucking amazing that students are so conditioned by our police state culture that they actually cheered the cops.

    In America.

    I’m not just thinking it’s time to get shrill, but it’s time the police and politicians get a few bricks in the teeth to understand they can’t take democracy away without a fight.

    An obnoxious 21 year old gets handled like a heckler. Do we need to hire pro comedians to teach police how to handle them? This whole event really brings home for me how cowed our populace has become.

    In Amerika.

  13. Jim Treacher  •  Sep 19, 2007 @2:52 am

    I think you mean AmeriKKKa!

  14. erinyes  •  Sep 19, 2007 @6:46 am

    I’m with Marvel and Kevin Hayden on this issue.
    If the “heckler” was a pain in the ass, the crowd would have booed him down eventually, and maybe, just maybe Mr. Kerry could have answered the questions regarding why he went down faster than a $10.00 hooker after the ’04 “election”.
    We have this worthless piece of paper called “The Constitution” that guarantees our right to assemble, speak, and dissent. If we don’t protect it,
    Our “democracy” is dead

  15. maha  •  Sep 19, 2007 @8:08 am

    If the “heckler” was a pain in the ass, the crowd would have booed him down eventually, and maybe, just maybe Mr. Kerry could have answered the questions regarding why he went down faster than a $10.00 hooker after the ‘04 “election”.

    I agree that the police moved in way too fast. Another minute or two and the crowd would have booed the guy down, I suspect.

    I don’t agree with rioting, though. There’s a time-honored convention of civil disobedience that advises one not to resist arrest; see Thoreau, Gandhi, Fortas, MLK, etc. on this point. I also want to point out that the kid wasn’t giving Kerry a chance to answer the questions. If the kid had asked his questions and given Kerry a chance to answer, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

  16. Mike  •  Sep 19, 2007 @7:07 pm

    The taser was clearly being used as an instrument of extra-judicial punishment, not a last resort short of shooting in order to restrain.

    Hall monitors with attitude. Arming them is a bad, bad idea. Arming them with tasers is insane.

  17. erinyes  •  Sep 19, 2007 @7:26 pm

    You do have a point Maha, the “Kid” was from Weston, Fl,
    A wealthy loud mouth, no doubt with political aspirations.
    We’ll be hearing more from him in the future, guaranteed.

  18. b2  •  Sep 19, 2007 @8:33 pm

    This is barbaric. It reminds me of the time a woman in Russia questioned authorities over the sinking of the Kursk submarine and KGB thugs (in public, on camera) injected her with a tranquiliser.

    There has hardly ever been a meeting without someone using question time to make a statement or air an obsession. In civilised society this is dealt with by the moderator or chairperson, not by half a dozen thugs with a shock gun. Even so, the guy was asking some perfectly legitimate questions.

    Well, they sounded legitimate to me. Maybe it is forbidden.

    Kerry lacked the courage or presence of mind to insist the questioner he heard and a response given.

    Even worse the cowardice of the students that they let this thuggery occur without objecting, and ‘liberal’ bloggers who also dont strongly object.

    America is in deep trouble.

  19. maha  •  Sep 20, 2007 @11:03 am

    There has hardly ever been a meeting without someone using question time to make a statement or air an obsession. In civilised society this is dealt with by the moderator or chairperson, not by half a dozen thugs with a shock gun. Even so, the guy was asking some perfectly legitimate questions.

    Agree completely.

    Well, they sounded legitimate to me. Maybe it is forbidden.

    It’s obvious from the first video that Meyer wasn’t tasered because of the questions he asked, but because he was resisting arrest. Disclaimer — I seem to be writing a lot of disclaimers this week — he didn’t need to be arrested. But the cops weren’t working for Kerry, so I can’t imagine why they cared what questions he asked. It’s evident from the first video that Meyer was behaving in a belligerent manner, and (I learned elsewhere) he was breaking rules about not hogging the microphone announced to the audience sometime earlier. The cops moved in to maintain order, not to censor his questions.

    Kerry lacked the courage or presence of mind to insist the questioner he heard and a response given.

    Had you listened, you would have heard Kerry say he wanted to answer the questions and to calm the situation down. Don’t let your knee jerk so fast to bash Kerry.

    Even worse the cowardice of the students that they let this thuggery occur without objecting, and ‘liberal’ bloggers who also dont strongly object.

    Had you watched the second video, you would have noticed lots of audience members objecting strongly to what was happening.

    America is in deep trouble.

    From idiots who jump to stupid conclusions, I would say.

  20. b2  •  Sep 20, 2007 @8:23 pm

    maha, you’ve filed this item under ‘Democratic Party’, not ‘Police State.’

    That says it all in terms of the ‘liberal blogosphere’, the Democratic Party and modern America.

    There is no excuse for either arresting much less tasering a student who asked the questions he did, and if you don’t immediately object in strong terms you have lost your way.

    Instead, it’s all about “Kerry’s not at fault here”.

    Kerry, if he had the presence of mind, could (and should) have said, ‘let him go, I’ll answer the question, let him ask, let him go, I will answer it.’

    The students could have surrounded the cops and said or clapped ‘let him go, let him go.’

    I guess you wouldn’t approve because of your extreme nervousness regarding protest or direct action. Better to sit back and watch the police state develop, and defend its beneficiaries (members of the US ruling elite) rather than its victims.

  21. maha  •  Sep 21, 2007 @8:30 am

    Kerry, if he had the presence of mind, could (and should) have said, ‘let him go, I’ll answer the question, let him ask, let him go, I will answer it.’

    That’s pretty close to what he did say. I guess your knee was jerking so hard it affected your hearing.

    You’re banned from my site for being an asshole, btw.

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