Watch the video that accompanies this 9.18.07 Gainesville Sun story by Jack Stripling about a 21 year-old University of Florida journalism student who was subdued and then tasered by campus cops during a speech sometime yesterday by Sen. John Kerry, and you’ll probably come to two conclusions. I did, at least.
One, the student, Andrew Meyer, put a three-part question to Kerry about the 2004 election (he maintained that victory was stolen by Bush loyalists..imagine that!) in a rude, boorish and overly strident manner — he seemed utterly lacking in basic disciplinary social skills. And yet he was still just asking questions. It was up to Kerry to take charge and say to the kid, “Okay, hold on, let’s address these questions one at a time”…and in all fairness, he started to do that. But he mainly just stood there and let the storm troopers have at it.
And two, the campus cops who manhandled Meyer off the floor, wrestled him to the ground and then tasered him acted like major brutes. They revived thoughts of the 1994 Rodney King beating in Los Angeles and the Chicago police riot during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Can I just say it like Abbie Hoffman used to? They acted like Nazi pigs. And then Kerry made a joke about it from the podium (i.e., something about asking the kid up to the podium so he could swear Kerry in).
Here’s the same story plus two more video feeds on rawstory.com — the one from Live Leak follows the cops and Meyer out to the downstairs lobby.
“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.”