Kid Gets Tased At Kerry Speech

I remember clear as day the first time I saw a Jackass skit.  Jonny Knoxville was demonstrating three methods of non lethal deterrent; mace, a stun gun, and a taser.  The twist came in when he made it clear that by demonstrating he meant that he was going to be the receiver of all three self defense items.  That was funny.

Watching a video of a kid who wasn’t on MTV seeking to do himself harm for monetary recompense, on the other hand, wasn’t.

The setting was the University of Florida where Senator John Kerry had arrived to deliver a speech to a moderate audience of college kids.  All seemed to go well until he arrived at the question and answer period.

Everything went downhill after Andrew Meyer stepped to the microphone.

I’ll be honest.  I don’t have a high tolerance for Meyer’s behavior.  Even George Bush, a man I believe to be about as low as you can get, I would at least treat with a certain modicum of respect if for no other reason than that is what civilized people do.

Andrew felt differently.

What ensued was a diatribe that brought into question Kerry’s conviction and integrity because he did not challenge the 2004 election results, something that Meyers apparently felt very strongly about. Now, at this point, this is where everything gets kind of fuzzy, and gray areas begin to dominate.

First, from the video that I watched, campus police were out of line in physically removing the kid from the podium.  On the flip side, the kid was out of line, and the moment the police laid hands on him, should have gone peacefully.

There’s a word for what Andrew did, it’s called resisting arrest, and it’s a crime.  One thing that just about everyone should know is that the moment you resist arrest, not only are you legally doing yourself harm by adding just one more charge to whatever it is you are being arrested for in the first place, but also you are inviting upon yourself further physical harm as police have varying ranges of latitude in subduing suspects.

But then we get to the taser incident which occurs some time later after the student has been dragged away from the microphone.  I’m not exactly positive if there was usage of the taser in between (note: the video above may not be in line with what I watched; I had to have Mike provide me with the code so i could post it), but what is clear about the incident I did see is that Meyers is surrounded by about five or six police officers and is on the ground.

At that point, there should have been little reason to use the taser. So again, we see the campus police have been out of line. Much of this is judgement, though it should also be noted that apparently UF campus police policy in regards to when to use force are notably fuzzy.

So, quick recap. Meyers was wrong, but the campus police were arguably more wrong.

Meanwhile, Kerry wasn’t even all that much involved, and from the looks of things did his best to at least attempt to keep the audience calm. Later, he would still leave the stage and meet with the rest of the audience, shaking hands and answering questions on a one on one basis. Not bad.

Of course, that’s not going to keep the right from bashing him for something that was for the most part out of his hands. Michelle Malkin, for instance, was on the event with wall to wall coverage, her post littered with updates, but if you scroll down far enough, you get to some good ol’ fashioned Kerry bashing. Madame Malkin, who came this close to actually reporting about the event with some measure of respectability just couldn’t resist getting a few digs in.

Sad.

While Ace of AceHQ actually had the gall to claim there was a double standard in the event security between Kerry and a hypothetical conservative speaker. Funny. Of course, no one would get tasered at a Bush rally because all of those were prescreened. In fact, I happen to recall something about one couple getting ousted from a Bush rally because they were wearing anti-Bush t-shirts.

I mean, really Ace, did you want to take it there?

Meanwhile, Kerry has done the right thing and officially condemned the actions of the campus police. Given Kerry’s own history, it’s not hard to see why.

A Vietnam war vet, Kerry came home from fighting in Vietnam and joined the anti-war movement, a point of contention in America, though personally I think an act of high valor to not only speak out against the war as so many had done at the time, but to fight in it first, and have his protests come first hand.

22 Responses to “Kid Gets Tased At Kerry Speech”

  1. Leland says:

    Michelle Malkin, for instance, was on the event with wall to wall coverage, her post littered with updates, but if you scroll down far enough, you get to some good ol’ fashioned Kerry bashing. Madame Malkin, who came this close to actually reporting about the event with some measure of respectability just couldn’t resist getting a few digs in.

    Funny. Of course, no one would get tasered at a Bush rally because all of those were prescreened. In fact, I happen to recall something about one couple getting ousted from a Bush rally because they were wearing anti-Bush t-shirts.

    Monkey see, monkey do?

  2. … Nice… point… yeah…

    Um…

    I know you are but what am I?

  3. unfortunately…

    I’m shocked to realize that Rumsfeld showed more class with Ray McGovern…

    though I’m sure he sat at home drinking the night away & recalling his favourite torture memos…

    There’s nothing a Conservative hates more is a lie they can’t obfuscate

    em>Spread Love…
    … but wear the Glove!

    BlueBerry Pick’n
    can be found @
    ThisCanadian.com
    ~~~
    “We, two, form a Multitude” ~ Ovid.
    ~~~
    “Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced”

    Spread Love…
    … but wear the Glove!

    BlueBerry Pick’n
    can be found @
    ThisCanadian.com
    ~~~
    “We, two, form a Multitude” ~ Ovid.
    ~~~
    “Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced”

  4. Viet Vet says:

    There is not doubt that Meyers was loud and obnoxious – so what? That isn’t a crime and it did not warrant being arrested or even man-handled by the cops. Furthermore, he had a legal right to resist the cops because they had no grounds for arresting him.

    Every citizen has a right to resist a policeman who is acting unlawfully. Obviously you don’t recall the Ruby Ridge incident back in the 1990s in which several men were acquitted for resisting FBI agents (and I believe killing one of them) who unlawfully invaded their home.

    We are allowing cops to get away with too much use of excessive force in this country.

  5. See this is kind of a tricky situation, because largely I agree with you, and unfortunately the video doesn’t show everything.

    Apparently Meyer had done some things off camera which made him highly suspectable. Further, it has become clear that Kerry didn’t want him arrested either.

    And while I’ll give you that that it’s fine to resist unlawful arrest, it’s still something I don’t get. If a cop is arresting me, lawful or not, I go with the cop, and then sue the everliving shit out of him for wrongful arrest later on down the line. Screw that, I saw the Rodney King tapes, hell, I saw this. I am not trying to catch a baton to the head or a taser to the chest. I’m not like most people, pain hurts me.

    But with all this said, I still say the cops were out of line. Given the number of cops they had no excuse to pull a taser on the kid. Hell, the probably didn’t need that many cops… it didn’t look like this kid was exactly first stringing the football team.

    So don’t miss my main point, both sides screwed up, and the police screwed up worse. But, and here’s the other thing to think about and this is why video taped crimes don’t always come off. While what you see on camera is damning, you don’t know what’s going on before the camera rolls.

    As I’ve said, Meyer was apparently way out of order before the camera started rolling, and from the video itself, initially police were trying to take him away peacefully.

    but then, that’s how my mind works. Not everything is black and white.

    *breathe*

    so the final breakdown.

    -The kid probably shouldn’t have caused a ruckus in the first place. Kerry had said he was going to answer all questions and stay on stage until they were finished, and when he condemned the arrest, he had said he was disappointed that he and the student didn’t get to finish their discussion.

    -It is questionable whether or not the police should have arrested him. In the interests in free speech, maybe not, but given he was likely to get his question out anyway, and at that point he was disturbing the peace which isn’t the best of things to be doing at a political event, I’m going to chalk this up as gray. Campus police were there to maintain order after all and had to do something.

    -The kid in my opinion screwed up when he physically resisted arrest.

    -The cops really screwed up when they tasered the kid, particularly after they had him on the ground and outnumbered by a wide margin.

  6. Viet Vet says:

    We actually are in agreement. I was just making a point that you apparently had missed re the right to resist arrest.

    If I had been in his shoes I would not have resisted, first because there were too many of them, and second, because I would rather sue and have the chance to collect a nice tidy sum. But in the heat of battle we are not always rational (I know that only too well).

  7. True, luckily I’m a big old fat whimp, and would probably try and talk my way out of it… there might have even been tears.

    I didn’t know that you could actually resist arrest, to be totally honest, but who on earth would even try in their right mind? Really?

    *ahem*

    Okay, maybe this kid and a whole lot of other people, but that’s way beside the point.

    Thanks for stopping by VV, hope you’ll come again.

  8. ziggyq says:

    This guy and the whole group should have been forced to get a real job instead of being tasered. That includeds Kerry.

  9. Kevin Hayden says:

    I fear we’ve all become numbed by the violent culture we live in. The cops are guilty of police brutality, endangering the life of a 21 year old man because WHY? He was obnoxious? He wanted an answer from Kerry? He was hogging the mike?

    Entertainers deal with rude audience members all the time. Without 6 guys holding down a heckler and Tasering him while he’s on the floor.

    Yumping Yiminy Jeebus, folks, are we so conditioned to surrender free speech to neo-nazi stormtroopers?

    The cops are guilty. The students cheering them are tory cowards. Resisting eviction is NOT resisting arrest, though I expect them to say after the fact that they told him he was under arrest. But under arrest for WHAT???!!!

    It’s time some folks start throwing bricks. ‘Comfortably numb’ is fine in a song lyric but in democracy it leads to fascism.

  10. I have to agree with Kevin. When I first saw this story I was dumbfounded. What was this kids crime? He spoke for a minute and a half? If that is enough to drag a guy out of a political event then everyone, including the politician, should receive 50,000 volts. This is just ludicrous.

    Had this kid got up there and read a speech praising Kerry they would have let him go on for hours. The fact that he was railing on him for caving in after the 2004 election gave the cops, for some odd reason, just cause to drag him out. This is just sick.

  11. Adam says:

    Ah…looks like the kid just started ranting, and then NO ONE asked him to really relax and please put away the mic. Sure annoying, but cops just came up and grabbed him. Just think about someone grabbing you when you haven’t physically harmed someone or shown intent. Then, the gray area begins.

    Kid showed no class, but Kerry is a weak baby that deserves NO RESPECT even in such a setting. Poster child of a failure if the kid is going to be called one, and the semi-rant is nothing far from the truth. He didn’t physically attack someone so rentacops needs to serve time as well.

  12. justin says:

    I know why this kid was tazed fuck these people who think that this shit is okay if i tazed your ass would it be okay the world is fucked now, the illuminati skulls and bones he was asking a vald fucking question which all you fucks know nothing about i will not live in a society where secrets are kept to fuck us over where police can do as they please without faceing the pentaly of the law what gives them the right to fucking taze this kid over the first ammendment freedom of speech, i see this society for what it is, they take from us they take everything and they try and rid anyone of uncovering their bullshit. Was it right to gas the jews now its right to kill everyone and taze a fucking kid for asking a fucking question this makes me sick to my fucking stomach it shows me the truth about this fucking country and its mark and how they kill anyone who knows to much but really what are they hideing why are they hideing, They would nuke us all if we stood up i bet
    we are more and they knew that so now they build their weapons of mass destruction with our money to control us skull and bones exists weather you like it or not they should be exploited and not give shit for what they do.
    the police are the new brown shits while the military is the new ss and bush he is the hitler of our so called society these people have taken from us taken from the world they knew about 9/11 and didnt do shit no one does anything this has sparked and outrage within me becuase of this shit i fear but i shall not fear i will speak with my words i dont need guns like these political bitches and cock suckers that have decided to ruin our world with bullets guns go missing all the time, yeah becuase their selling it, you all live in fear i mean have you seen the video have you seen the fucking video
    i mean no one did a fucking thing pussies
    if i was their i would be getting tazed with that kid but unfortuantely i wanst but this bullshit has to stop stop police brutality
    before your the next one their tazeing

  13. Leland says:

    I know you are but what am I?

    A hypocrite. I find it amusing you can critique “The” Andrew Meyer, the gatorcops, John Kerry, and Michelle Malkin; yet you seem unable to take criticism.

    Anyway, the kid did what he did as a stunt. He refers to himself in third person. The cops went overboard, but then they were given tasers as “non-lethal” force to handle such situations. If the kid had pulled a gun, a knife, or rush John Kerry, the question would be why didn’t the cops taser him. Society gives cops leeway because they have to make decisions in the heat of the moment, very quickly. We get to wait a day and ponder the situation for sometime before responding about how they went overboard.

    Still, it was 4 on 1 with more coming. Why they couldn’t have dragged him into the hallway, I don’t understand. What the videos show and what witness reports say don’t match.

    As for The Andrew Meyer… he planned his assault for days and carried off his ambush of John Kerry. His actions were completely premeditated and intended to draw attention to himself. I have no sympathy that the attention he got was something he didn’t bargain for. John Kerry had nothing to do with it. (Neither does Michelle Malkin or George Bush, even if Kyle Moore can’t be honest with himself about that).

  14. Scallis says:

    But now here’s the question I want to know.
    Why is it considered “disturbing the peace” when someone asks a question that isnt in the Governments best interest? We see this happen all the time, yet no questions get answered and everyone just looks the other way until it happens again. As part of the people, I personally feel like we have been told to sit down, shut up, keep consuming and stay the hell out of the way.
    And the worst part is, people will not focus on the point that Andrew was trying to get across, they will bicker and debate on whether the action taken against him was decent, right, or deserving. They will not say to themselves… “yeah, hes right, that doesnt make sense!” This is yet again, another bullshit issue that will be driven into the ground so no one will have to discuss the REAL issue.

  15. I got other stories to write, so I can’t reply to everyone just yet, but I did want to get to leland right now.

    Um… reread the post, and read my comments in the discussion. for the most part we agree, or come very close to agreeing on the particulars. I brought Michelle Malkin into it because the only thing that kept her coverage of the event from being quite good was that she carried out attacks on Kerry which, from your comment, you yourself would disagree with. As for Bush, I was taking to task the absurdity of Ace who had claimed that there was a double standard, obviously ignoring a considerable history of Republicans taking great lengths to prevent protestors at their own rallies.

    But going back to the particulars, I think we both agree that it is essentially too complex a situation to clearly say someone is irrefutably right and someone is irrefutably wrong, and both the kid and the police were at fault in a variety of ways.

    But if it makes you feel good to come on here and ping me for whatever reason, feel free, not like you’re the first, and you most definitely won’t be the last.

  16. jeff says:

    I am wondering how someone can be ‘resisting arrest’ when no official arrest was being made(at the start of the conflict)…am I missing something?….he is resisting BEFORE they are actually ARRESTING him,right?…..so therefore, the police did not go through protocols correctly

  17. It’s possible, though it’s really hard to tell. This is one of the reasons why I am actually not a fan of camcorder evidence in situations like this, what happens off camera or before and after the camera starts rolling is really pushed to the periphery, and by virtue of the method of conveying information, there is no account that will stand as powerfully as what we see on the camera.

    Which is why I maintain that much of what we see here is very much gray area.

    And again, and I think a lot of people are mistakenly assuming I’m coming down on the side of the cops here, which I’m not, but what is seen in the video is that the cops initially attempt to peacefully (albeit while still laying hands) escort him from the premises, and only after he puts up physical resistence do they adopt more physical and violent means.

    I mean, and I think this is really becoming my ultimate point here, even with camera footage, and everything else, the situation is far more complex to be immediately categorized as an event where a certain party was clearly right and a certain party was clearly wrong.

  18. Raquel says:

    First off, where is the freedom in “freedom of speech”?
    Where is the freedom is all America?
    Seriously the government is ruling everything.
    They are controlling every aspect of our lives.
    Nonetheless we cant even speak out,
    or are you just scared?
    What happened to the days when people stood up for what they believe in?

  19. lool says:

    Andrew should have poped kerry lollolllolz

  20. Leland says:

    Kyle,

    I meant it simply as an observation, because I thought the same thing about your post as you did Malkins. Yes, we agree on the situation. Besides the student and the officers; I, who didn’t vote for Kerry, didn’t think John Kerry had anything to do with the situation. He happened to be a person in the room, nothing more. Republicans would do better to ignore that angle. Democrats worried about a police state would do better to remember sentiments about Waco and look at this picture.

    Hey, I’ve come back several times. You have good commentary. My first comment was meant as light commentary, not major critique. I’m sorry you took it wrong. I find Michelle easy on the eyes, but a bore to read or listen. I haven’t even looked at her commentary on the subject.

  21. Hey no problem, and if you do come back, feel free to speak up more often. The best posts are the ones where we get into some serious debate (All of us here got into it pretty good on a post Mick did last week).

    And I should apologize. You gotta understand something. For some reason, we tend to attract conservatives on the attack, so I kinda tend to take an immediate defensive posture way too easily. My bad.

    As for the police state, I was contemplating doing a follow up post because of this. You know I monitor our traffic pretty carefully, and where it’s coming from and we’ve had a pretty good surge lately based on google searches for this post alone, and I think it’s kinda silly. The way I see this situation is that it’s a dumb kid and a bumbling campus police force. We’re not even necessarily talking about real, on the street cops.

    Anyway, what we saw was essentially a bunch of bad decisions compounding upon one another and not some ominous glimpse into a police state episode. Meanwhile, yesterday there were three vital filibusters, one directly against the US Constitution (restoration of Habeas Corpus).

    This is the stuff we really need to be debating and talking about, but everyone’s stuck on this whole “police state” taser incident. I understand why it’s happening. On one hand you have boring Senate debate, research into the Constitution, and news articles and OpEd pieces to pilfer through, while on the other hand you have a single very compelling video.

    It’s not hard to understand why people are driven to one and not the other. But the point is that while people are watching what they think is “police state” stuff, up in DC the actual real thing may be happening.

    Finally, and this is funny, when you say you saw the same thing in my post that I saw in Malkin’s that kinda through me off and I just skimmed through, and was kinda like, “Oh…” Oops. My bad.

    And finally, yes, easy on the eyes, but beyond that… Well… everything she says just pisses me off so damn much.

    Again, thanks, don’t be a stranger, and I’ll see ya next time.

  22. What does a little taser shock do?

    It is NOT a big deal, right! People are getting treated way worse all over the place.
    YES. They are, and that is why we dont need this to happen here.
    America must ACT, otherwise we will have nothing to defend!
    Check out these videos of my reaction to the Andrew Meyer shocks.

    http://www.hotconflict.com/blog/2007/09/florida-student.html

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