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University of Florida Student Tasered at John Kerry Event

Andrew Meyer, a student at the University of Florida, was pulled from a microphone by police and led away before being tackled and tasered in front of an auditorium full of students as Senator John Kerry urged the audience to "cool down".

MeyerOther students in the auditorium can be heard objecting to the tasering and shouting "police brutality!"

Local 10 reports: "Meyer screams for help and asks "What did I do?" as he tries to break away from officers. He is forced to the ground and officers order him to stop resisting. Meyer says he will walk out if the officers let him go. As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student's "very important question," Meyer struggles on the ground and yells at the officers to release him, crying out, "Don't Tase me, bro," just before he is Tasered. He is then led from the room, screaming, 'What did I do?' Meyer was charged with resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, according to Alachua County jail records. No bond had been set. Meyer was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning, a jail official said."

Says Lane Hudson in the Huffington Post: "He's clearly upset that Bush's Administration is clearly ripping the Constitution to threads, edging towards ANOTHER ill-conceived war, and that Kerry could have stopped it if he had forced the issue on the 2004 voter suppression reports. If more people were this passionate, then we might have a chance at bringing this country back from a state of absolute apathy in the face of corrupt government. This guy made the people in the room feel uncomfortable because of his passion and tough questions. Because of the uber sensitive environment that George Bush's 'free speech zone' society has created, everybody is on edge and thinks that free speech has gone away. I'm not sorry to say that most of America needs a reality check. Serious issues are before us and sober conversation with polite head nodding isn't gonna make anything better."

UPDATE: Meyer to be released by police.

UPDATE: John Kerry released this statement on the incident: "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 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 responding 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."

Student from Weston Tasered at John Kerry forum [miami herald]
Andrew Meyer [website]

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Comments

  1. it's a shame that Meyer has a prank punk'd-style blogsite... sadly that will take the seriousness away from this brutality.

    Posted by: A.J | Sep 18, 2007 9:59:46 AM


  2. Though it shouldn't of course as he is well within his right to have such a website. And he clearly had no business being treated that way. Lucky for him it seems there is plenty of footage of this supression of his right to free speech.

    The police should not have the right to manhandle and treat someone like that.

    Posted by: B | Sep 18, 2007 10:09:34 AM


  3. Meyer clearly went too far by rushing the mic, acting combative, and going off on his diatribe. However, the reaction of the police was way out of line. They escalated it well beyond what was necessary.

    Posted by: Ian | Sep 18, 2007 10:14:02 AM


  4. Politicians are public servants, not royalty; they can and MUST be called on their nonsense.

    It wouldn’t matter to me if this man's website was dedicated to Pee Wee Herman - his questions were timely and his candor and spirit are a credit to him.

    How has it come to the point that - in the land of the free -legitimate public criticism is now countered with a taser gun?

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Sep 18, 2007 10:15:57 AM


  5. If a liberal is a conservative who's been arrested, what is a liberal who's been arrested?

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Sep 18, 2007 10:16:05 AM


  6. This is UNBELIEVABLE. What country do we live in?

    I am at a loss on how to support this man and show my outrage towards the police that day. Anyone know what can be done?

    Posted by: A | Sep 18, 2007 10:23:41 AM


  7. Wow is this the extent of my civil liberties in Gainsville? I completely sympathize with Mr. Meyer. Weston is a pro family diverse community made of influential south florida families, when one knows this, his political awareness becomes apparent. Weston can be viewed on the up and coming MTV's reality show "The Paper" which ironically follows a high school(Cypress Bay High) student's publication, lets just hope they don't get tasered upon political engagements.

    Posted by: Rafael | Sep 18, 2007 10:32:24 AM


  8. This is just shocking.

    Posted by: davitydave | Sep 18, 2007 10:32:24 AM


  9. I'm especially impressed at the number of students who didn't leave their seats and just sat by and watched it happen; that, and the wimpy "protests" of John Kerry, who could have stopped the entire thing, had he simply walked up the aisle and gotten involved. George Orwell was so right; and the numbing of America continues....

    Posted by: kile Ozier | Sep 18, 2007 10:34:24 AM


  10. This makes me glad NOT to be an American!

    Posted by: Luke Kennedy | Sep 18, 2007 10:39:35 AM


  11. This makes me glad NOT to be an American!

    Posted by: Luke Kennedy | Sep 18, 2007 10:39:52 AM


  12. Did you notice how long it takes for Kerry to mumble any kind of protest?

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 18, 2007 10:48:03 AM


  13. I can't help connecting "the state of absolute apathy" of the country that Lane Hudson mentions; with the reaction of the guys that can be seen in the clip behind the police, sitting in the back, and who are just laughing and remain sitting while Meyer, a student and a citizen like them, is being victimized with a clear abuse of power like that, right in front of their noses. What is everybody else doing? What is the politician (the "public servant", as FASTLAD accurately remarks in comment above) hosting the room doing?

    Posted by: Cristian | Sep 18, 2007 10:48:34 AM


  14. This kid disrupted Kerry's speech or whatever he was giving. When removed from the microphone he began struggle against officers to the point that they determined an escalation of force was necessary to subdue him. You retards and all of your pathetic “outrage” are a joke, this kid got exactly what he deserved. And to Luke Kenedy, get the f**k out of the country then, you and people like you are the pestilence rotting our country from the inside out.

    Posted by: Bryce | Sep 18, 2007 10:52:47 AM


  15. And that, my friends, is why John Kerry was not elected as president.

    Directly in front of him a citizen is having his rights taken away, violently, and he does nothing.

    And we all wanted this asshole to be president? Sick.

    Posted by: Kyle | Sep 18, 2007 11:07:53 AM


  16. He was not initially being arrested, he was being escorted away because he decided to take the Q&A over. Then he became beligerent and resisted the police escort. If he had calmed down, not initiated physical resistence against the police, and walked away, nothing more would have happened.

    This is the same reason people get shot running from the police when all they have to fear is a traffic charge or even some stupid drug possession charge. When are people going to stop resisting police, stop running from the police, and escalating things further than they need to be? They can always sort things out later when they comply with officers. Its just that simple...

    Posted by: Geoff Hammerle | Sep 18, 2007 11:10:50 AM


  17. Bryce, you are as perceptive as a blind man in a sandstorm...what makes you think Luke Kennedy is writing this from WITHIN the United States? They do have Internet and elecricity (and civil rights!) in other countries, you know. And if he is, you should know (since you seem to be such an expert on the constitution) that free speech rights extend to ANYONE inside our borders, be they citizen or no. Put down the remote control and go take a civics class.

    The police created a situation by which he would be forced to resist arrest. He was not a danger to the Senator nor to anyone else in the crowd. He was expressing his displeasure in passionate terms. Nothing illegal about that.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 18, 2007 11:14:30 AM


  18. first of all, this kid is constantly seeking attention. maybe he was abused as a child, i don't know - but he's nothing more than a glorified Bart Simpson or a female stripper crying "do you love me now, daddy? do you love me now??"

    THAT BEING SAID... in watching the whole video, he really didn't do anything to deserve the reaction of the police. John Kerry wanted to answer the question (even though it wasn't serious or appropriate). John Kerry tried to calm everything down in the background.

    STILL, the police started moving, and then couldn't back down (maybe from pride - but it wasn't out of security). the kid made it worse because he kept yelling, the police clearly telling him to shut up.

    i think the police were totally wrong in this case... using entirely WAY too much force.

    still, i don't think daddy is proud.

    Posted by: James P. | Sep 18, 2007 11:16:18 AM


  19. I suppose you see what you want to see, Bryce.

    Posted by: kile Ozier | Sep 18, 2007 11:18:23 AM


  20. Bryce, this note was written in South Africa. We have the Internet here. So do all the other countries of the world. Just so you know.

    Posted by: JOACHIM | Sep 18, 2007 11:30:46 AM


  21. Mike,

    That would entail Bryce getting his fat ass up from the computer, having to watch his Cheetos-stained hands, and asking his mom permission to go play outside.

    We're seeing more and more reports of police brutality across the nation. In Chicago alone we've had at least 5-6 accounts of police brutality in the past six months. In fact, there was one just reported over the weekend. Something needs to be done.

    Posted by: Tread | Sep 18, 2007 11:32:21 AM


  22. I wish people would also take responsibility in their own part in things. If you say its totally the police's fault??? If he just walked away with them, nothing more would have happened. But once he physically resisted things escalated.

    Whatever happened to having respect for people in a police uniform??? I am not a police officer but they have a hard enough job without dealing with idiots like this.

    Posted by: GEOFF HAMMERLE | Sep 18, 2007 11:32:58 AM


  23. I agree with you Geoff that he should have been respectful to the police. It's a shame his behavior distracted from the questions that he asked.

    Posted by: Jeff | Sep 18, 2007 11:38:29 AM


  24. Why were the police already standing behind the podium before Meyers even began to speak? Seems as though the UDP were already a bit trigger happy. Was it meant as intimidation for any speaker to voice uncomfortable questions? We as a society have become so numb by worthless MSM 'journalists' bobbing feather like questions to politicians without any true follow-up to obvious lies-that when anyone does actually dare to speak the truth, they are considered un-American or a threat. Plus, unfortunatly Kerry comes off as a weak prick just as we all had secretly thought.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 18, 2007 11:38:44 AM


  25. Geoff, again: what law did he break prior to the cops manhandling him?

    I have respect for police officers who know how to protect and defend (part of their oath, I believe) people's rights.

    They had no business interjecting themselves into this situation. They were the ones who created it. They are the ones who deserve criticism.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 18, 2007 11:39:13 AM


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