Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Internet videos show student tased for asking John Kerry questions
by Video Links
Tuesday Sep 18th, 2007 1:31 PM
Videos posted on the internet today show University of Florida student Andrew Meyer screaming for help Monday as he is being tased by a police stun gun. John Kerry and his audience looked on mostly in silence.
Andrew Meyer asked the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate (and probable winner) Kerry his thoughts about Greg Palast's book Armed Madhouse, and asked Kerry about his membership in the secret Yale society known as Skull and Bones.
While Kerry tried to answer Meyer's questions, police surrounded the non-resisting student, tackled him, and shocked him with an electronic stun gun or taser.
Numerous films are surfacing on the internet which show the crowd mostly sitting mutely. A few filmed the events, and a few shouted "police brutality."
The police said that he was being arrested for trying to "incite a riot."
The student spent the night in custody, and now Kerry is saying that he regrets the incident happened.
MSNBC News:UF Student Tasered At John Kerry Speech
University of Florida student Tasered at Kerry forum
Another Amateur video showing a bit before the arrest:
(notice the police discussing their action prior to the moment of arrest)
University Of Florida Student Tasered At John Kerry Speech
Fox News "Fair and Balanced" coverage of the same story
FoxBlast: Student Tasered
The Fox News story did not show any of the events that led up to the arrest and tasering. It did not show the student asking about the 2004 election and John Kerry's Fraternity afiliation in a political forum. What a way to run a democracy! What a way to spin a story!!!
I think I might be afraid of asking any tough questions of my Senator or Congressman.
This morning, the newspapers rather than asking the tough questions themselves, just blindly print the AP news story which justifies the police's actions and demonizes the student for being a prankster and being politically active.
Tasered student has history of practical jokes
FLORIDA | College officers' actions at forum probed
September 19, 2007
GAINESVILLE, Fla.---- A university student with a history of taping his own practical jokes was Tasered by campus police and arrested after loudly and repeatedly trying to ask U.S. Sen. John Kerry questions during a campus forum.
Andrew Meyer, 21, spent a night in jail before his release from jail Tuesday morning on his own recognizance. He had no comment when he left. His attorney, Robert Griscti, did not return messages seeking comment.
Videos of the Monday night incident, posted on several Web sites and played repeatedly on television news, show University of Florida police officers pulling Meyer away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.
University of Florida student Andrew Meyer struggles with University Police as officers try to remove him from a question and answer session with Sen. John Kerry.
• NBC5 video: Student shocked with taser
University spokesman Steve Orlando said Meyer was asked to leave the microphone after his allotted time was up. Meyer can be seen refusing to walk away and getting upset that the microphone was cut off.
As two officers take Meyer by the arms, Kerry, D-Mass., can be heard saying, ''That's all right, let me answer his question.''
Audience members applaud, and Meyer struggles for several seconds as up to four officers try to remove him from the room. Meyer screams for help and tries to break away from officers with his arms flailing at them, then is forced to the ground and officers order him to stop resisting.
As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student's ''very important question,'' Meyer yells at the officers to release him, crying out, ''Don't Tase me, bro,'' just before he is shocked by the Taser. He is then led from the room, screaming, ''What did I do?''
Meyer was arrested on charges of resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, according to Alachua County jail records, but the State Attorney's Office had yet to make the formal charging decision. Police recommended charges of resisting arrest with violence, a felony, and disturbing the peace and interfering with school administrative functions, a misdemeanor.
University President J. Bernard Machen issued a statement Tuesday saying he requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the arrest. Officials said it would determine whether the officers used an appropriate level of force.
Machen called the situation ''regretful'' in an afternoon news conference and said two officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe.
''We're absolutely committed to having a safe environment for our faculty and our students so that a free exchange of ideas can occur,'' Machen said.
Kerry said Tuesday he regretted that a healthy discussion was interrupted and that he never had a dialogue end that way in 37 years of public appearances. He also said he hoped neither the student nor police were injured.
''Whatever happened, the police had a reason, had made their decision that there was something they needed to do. Then it's a law enforcement issue, not mine,'' he told The Associated Press in Washington.
Meyer has his own Web site and it contains several ''comedy'' videos that he appears in. In one, he stands in a street with a sign that says ''Harry Dies'' after the latest Harry Potter book was released. In another, he acts like a drunk while trying to pick up a woman in a bar.
The site also has what is called a ''disorganized diatribe'' attributed to Meyer that criticizes the Iraq war, the news media for not covering the conflict enough and the American public for paying too much attention to celebrity news.
Here are some of the tough questions:
(1) Why could John Kerry not intervene the police's action and simply answer the tough question? Wasn't Democracy about open discussion, freedom of thought and speech?
(2) What is the best way to speak out on political issues now that "911 Changed everything" ??? (It's been 6 years for God's sake)
(3) What is the best way for campus police to react to students being a bit nervous while asking tough questions on political issues? Is a taser arrest warranted?
(4) Why can't the newspapers ask the tough questions anymore? Are they afraid that no one will advertise any more? Are they afraid that someone might read their canary cage liner?
(5) Why is the investigation of 2004 voter fraud not being taken further? Why no arrests yet? Why are none of the politician crooks involved getting tasered?
Here is Meyer's "disorganized diatribe":
Decide for yourself. You may be next. Shades of 1984?
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