The taser incident at the Kerry campus forum

Posted by: ST on September 18, 2007 at 7:28 pm

The USA Today’s “On Deadline” blog has updates and video of an incident involving a student at the University of Florida who was tasered during a campus forum featuring Senator John Kerry. This issue has exploded in the blogosphere, but I think south Florida’s Local10′s news report is a good place to start:

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 George W. Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.

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.

If you look at the updates in the USA Today link I posted above, and read the comprehensive analysis of what happened via Beldar, you’ll see that this guy was clearly agitated and wanted to do more than just ‘merely ask questions’ (as outraged lefties are asserting) and that the use of the taser, at least from what I’ve read about the incident, appears to be justified. Consider this letter Michelle Malkin rec’d from UF student Tyler Antar:

So I went to the John Kerry town hall forum this morning trying to get students registered to vote. I run a student government organization called Chomp the Vote. Anyway I went inside to watch the event. Senator Kerry took the podium and began delivering a speech about the Middle East, Iraq, dimplomacy, etc. Anyway, after he was done, a university ambassador asked Kerry a few premade questions. Once that was over, Senator Kerry announced he would take questions from the students. There were two microphones placed on each side of the aisle. One on my side and the other on Andrew Meyer’s side. Senator Kerry began answering the student’s questions from each aisle. Eventually it was announced that there would only be a few more questions answered. Since Meyer and I were both in the back of each line, it did not seem likely that our questions would be answered.

However, while Senator Kerry was responding to a student’s question, all of a sudden Meyer rushed to the microphone with cops in pursuit. At that point no one knew what was going on. Could he have a gun, a bomb? Immediately, Meyer began yelling into the microphone that he had been waiting in line forever and that Senator Kerry should “spend time to answer everyone’s questions!” Senator Kerry tried to calm the student down by telling him that he would “stay here as long as it takes to get the questions answered.” The police approached Meyer who began taunting them by saying “what! are you going to taser me? are you going to arrest me?!” The police grabbed Meyer, but Senator Kerry asked the police to let him go and that he would answer his question. Senator Kerry finished answering the other student’s question and then proceeded with Meyer. (*This entire scene is not in any video I can find so far. This is why 2 cops are seen right behind Meyer at the start of some videos*).

Meyer approached the microphone and began to talk about a book he had which stated that Kerry won the 2004 election because of disenfranchisement of black voters and faulty voter machines that produced “Bush” as the winner. He then posed another question about why President Bush had not been impeached. “President Clinton was impeached because of a blowjob, why not Bush?”. The third and strangest question he posed to Senator Kerry was asking him if he was part of the skull and bones society with Bush at Yale. Meyer’s mic cut off after that, probably because he had mentioned the word “blowjob”. The cops grabbed him, but Meyer was able to get away several times. Eventually more cops were brought in to help subdue Meyer. Meyer continued to resist arrest, scream, curse; however he was enventually subdued by about six cops up around the entrance. As he is on the ground, he is told several times to put his hands around his back. He is also warned that he will be tasered if he does not comply. Eventually he is tasered twice. The video does not show whether he complied or not.

Senator Kerry was trying to answer his question to the audience, mostly the one about faulty voter machines. I am a die hard conservative Republican but I do respect Senator Kerry for trying to soothe the situation as best he could and trying not to escalate the situation. He DID intervene by letting the student at least present his question. I never received an opportunity to ask my question, but when Senator Kerry ended the show after the Meyer incident, he did come off stage to shake hands and give autographs. At that point, I was able to ask him my question, shake his hand, and get a autograph at the same time. Now why couldn’t Andrew Meyer do that?

I don’t know if this is relevant or not, but Andrew Meyer is a former sports writer for the school newspaper The Alligator. In his columns, he has been known to make ridiculous statements in order to gain attention for himself. Was today a publicity stunt?

It certainly sounds like it, doesn’t it?

If you check out the links from Memeorandum, you’ll see that the usual suspects are lining up to defend Meyer, slam Kerry for not condemning what happened (ABC’s Political Radar wrote an article, the headline of which suggested that Kerry condemned the arrest, but if you read the piece you’ll see that’s not what he did), and are accusing the police of using ‘unjustified force’ and ‘violating a student’s free speech rights.’

When I read about this story, the first thing I thought of was the controversy over uber-lefty Mike the Stalker Stark, who got into a scuffle at a George Allen event last year and was wrestled to the ground by three Allen staffers – this after his history of harassing George Allen and after he tried to push and shove his way past Allen supporters in order to get to the Senator – Stark actually shoved aside at least one supporter, something he denied doing, until photos surfaced which proved otherwise. Make sure when you click on that link to click the “next” link on the first page as it takes you through a series of photos that are strong indications of just how nuts Mike Stark is.

The left, predictably, freaked out over this and demanded apologies, resignations, etc and along the way we heard the theme that Stark’s free speech rights were ‘violated’ after he was ‘assaulted and thrown to the ground’ – according to the left, Stark ‘just wanted to ask a few questions.’ Sound familiar?

Stark’s history of harassment, and going over the edge, not to mention just being a plain ol’ embarassment to the Democratic party didn’t stop ‘supporters’ from lionizing him after the alleged ‘assault’ on his free speech rights. Stark was hired as a “street reporter” for Air America’s “Young Turks” show, still blogs at The Daily Kos, and continues to stalk conservatives he doesn’t like.

Keep this in mind the next time you hear about a far lefty being outraged over an alleged ‘free speech violation’ – the far left’s version of ‘free speech’ includes being able to harass, stalk, and bully people with whom they disagree without being questioned or confronted about it.

Oh – and how long will it take for the far left to begin lionizing Meyer? It’s already started.

More: Brian at Liberty Pundit debunks Senator Kerry on his “I didn’t know the student was tasered” lie.

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  • Public Speecher trackbacked with VIDEOS: “Don’t tase me bro!” - Andrew Meyer
  • 14 Responses to “The taser incident at the Kerry campus forum”

    Comments

    1. NC Cop says:

      This is a prime example of how some of the left view “free speech”. Their idea of free speech is saying whatever they want, wherever they want, however they want, to whoever they want. Rules and procedures be damned. What they have to say is more important than whatever anyone else might have to say, so they ends justifies the means.

    2. Severian says:

      I think the little narcissistic cretin is damned lucky he didn’t get a wood shampoo. I certainly have no sympathy for him, and I hate John F’ing Kerry as much as anyone (well, maybe than O’Neil). Heh.

    3. Tom TB says:

      Typical, “Listen to MEEE! I don’t have to play by the rules of civilised human discourse, I just jump into the headlines! MEMEMEME!” Perhaps a proper response to someone like this would be to just throw a net over them, like trapping a wild animal. (Humanely of course).

    4. sanity says:

      I have watched a few of these videos and also read the various reports, and I still have questions on some of it.

      Yeah, the kid was out of line, and fault him for his behaviour big time. Was it a political stunt, I don’t know.

      But….

      Once he was at the mike, Kerry said he would answer his question AFTER he finished with the other persons, so Kerry agreed to answer…and Meyers did wait. When Meyers began asking his questions….the University signaled to cut his mike…

      I fault the university with this one. While the kid may have been rude about the way he went about it, Kerry agreed to answer the question, and the University killed Meyers mike during the questions.

      Then at a signal from the University personel (this is in a posting email from a student posted at Malkins) the cops rolled in and grabbed Meyers trying to escort him from the room. Again, I fault the university with these actions because it allowed hte situation to escalate, and i also fault Meyers, because when the officers take you in hand, you obey….you can contest it later or file a complaint, but at that time you obey.

      Meyer continued to resist arrest, scream, curse; however he was enventually subdued by about six cops up around the entrance. As he is on the ground, he is told several times to put his hands around his back. He is also warned that he will be tasered if he does not comply. Eventually he is tasered twice. The video does not show whether he complied or not.

      Ok, at this time they have SIX officers holding Meyers down – then they taser him twice from what reports say.

      I am sorry, he had no weapons, he is being held down by SIX officers, and they have to taser him twice?!?

      I have a problem with this part. I understand the kid was beligerent and resisting at this time, but six officers and two taserings where necessary?

      And by the way it sounds, Meyers was handcuffed already when he was tasered…..

      Andrew spoke up after the Dean of International Affairs had stated final question. The final question was being asked about Israel, and then Andrew got on the mic on the other side of the room (noting he was next on the mic), and then proceeded to tell Kerry that its not fair not to be able to ask more questions after listening to him for an hour, and the Dean exclusively asking Kerry questions for another 45 minutes, leaving students 25 minutes to ask questions. At that point, the officers try to subdue him, but Kerry sternly told the police officers to back down. Kerry then asked Meyer if he can finish the other question and then proceed to his. Meyer consented. After the last question was answered, Kerry asked Meyer, what is your question. Then you enter the video that has been circulating around, where he asks his question, not before Accent Speaker’s Bureau president, Stephen Blank (in some videos, front row left side of right aisle), signals the AV guys to cut Meyer off. Meyer then was confused what happened, and then was dragged up the auditorium. Meyer kept screaming why is he being arrested. The other videos do not show that Meyer was handcuffed, before he was tasered. I sat in the back row, with this occuring less than 5 feet from me.”

      Link

      I think there is more to this.

    5. And by the way it sounds, Meyers was handcuffed already when he was tasered…..

      sanity, check out one of the updates from Beldar, where he notes that Meyer’s right cuff was on, but not the left (it’s the 3:25pm update).

    6. NC Cop says:

      Well, it sounds like the University did jump the gun. Also, Kerry has no authority to tell the officers to stand down, it’s not his place.
      I certainly don’t judge officers when I was not at the scene and let me tell you, a suspect with one cuff on and who is resisting and jerking away and flailing his arms, is a very dangerous thing. Personally, I had more of a problem with the officers doing anything at all. I would have let the guy rant all he wanted and told the University “Hey, it’s freedom of speech, right?”.

    7. Big Bang Hunter says:

      - sanity. You need to read this guys history. (Hia “activist” blog was sanitized right around the time he staged this “event”.)This was political agitation, pure and simple. A lot of people are falling for this old Marxist ploy. Create an all out disturbance, goad the reposible authorities into reacting, hopefully over-reacting if you play your part well enough, and then cry suppression and victimhood, and go for the under-dog sympathy card.

      - These things are designed to get out the narrative, no matter what else you do, and disrupt whatever is going on. Stack the audience with a few plants, armed with video canera’s, and make sure you yell help and make as many loud comments as possible vilifying your “attackers”.

      - The script is as old as it comes, tried and true, and if normal people don’t realize that they’re being gamed they can fall in the trap its exactly designed to accomplish.

      - The Left desperatly needs something to push the Patraeous thing off the newsdesk, bury the Hsu story, and get past the Edwards/Hampsher scandal. This was probably it.

      - BTW. Kerry was standing right there talking and talking all the time this was going on, including the screaming after the tazing. This moron can’t get through an entire day without lying about something. I’m betting sKerry was reliving his heady days as a “winter soldier”, and how he gamed the Congress and the entire country as this kid went through his act.

      - Anarchy is not a right. The Left knows that, but they also know if they play by the rules they don’t stand a chance.

      - BBH – **==

    8. Great White Rat says:

      Kerry was standing right there talking and talking all the time this was going on, including the screaming after the tazing.

      But I’ll bet it’s seared, seared in his memory…

    9. Severian says:

      Some interesting facts:

      GAINESVILLE – Police have released the incident report detailing the Tasering of a University of Florida student during a campus forum with Sen. John Kerry Monday, and the officer who actually Tasered Andrew Meyer wrote in the report that Meyer later told police, “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

      In the 12-page report, which gives accounts of the incident from the perspective of eight different officers who were present Monday afternoon, Officer Nicole Mallo writes that Meyer would only resist officers when cameras were present.

      “As (Meyer) was escorted down stairs (at the University Auditorium) with no cameras in sight, he remained quiet, but once the cameras made their way down stairs he started screaming and yelling again,” Mallo wrote.

      Mallo was one of two officers who actually rode in the vehicle as Meyer was escorted to the Alachua County jail, and she said said he told them during the ride: “I am not mad at you guys, you didn’t do anything wrong, you were just trying to do your job,” according to Mallo’s account.

      Mallo also wrote in her report that he asked, at one point, if cameras would be present at the jail.

      The report details the events leading up to Meyer’s arrest, saying that Meyer was in line to ask a question of Sen. Kerry when it was decided that no more questions would be allowed.

      Meyer continued down the aisle toward Sen. Kerry angrily, according to police, saying he wanted the senator to answer his question because he had been waiting for two hours.

      Though Sen. Kerry directed that Meyer be allowed to ask his question, police reported that Meyer did not ask any specific question and instead “badgered” the senator, and at one point said something about President Clinton being impeached over a sexual act.

      At that point, police reported that ACCENT Director Max Tyroler turned off Meyer’s microphone and asked police to escort him out of the auditorium, saying, “He had said enough,” according to Officer Mallo’s report.

      Officers then proceeded to attempt to remove Meyer from the room, but when he resisted, they placed him on the ground and tried to handcuff him. The six officers who actually took part in holding Meyer down while he was being handcuffed reported that they were only able to get a handcuff on his right hand because he was squirming so much.

      The supervising officer, Sgt. Eddie King, attempted to Taser Meyer on his chest, but he reported that his Taser would not deploy. He then instructed Mallo to Taser Meyer, and she Tasered him on his shoulder, according to one of the officer’s report.

      The officers were then able to fully handcuff Meyer and escort him from the building. Each of the six officers reported that Meyer yelled things like, “They’re going to kill me,” and, “They are giving me to the government,” while he was being taken from the room.

    10. Tango says:

      Did Mr Kerry vote for tasering, before he voted against it? /:)

    11. G-Monster says:

      I agree with Sanity. Kerry did nothing wrong here, the police were doing thier job, it was the university that cut the microphone and and it was Andrew Meyer who was out of control, pushed for the arrest, and resisted arrest. I think I put the blame 90% on Meyers and 10% on the university.