Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pretty messed up...

So as humorous as this guy's response to being hit with a taser is, the whole situation is pretty sad.

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.

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.

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.
I don't think the article really captures what was going on there. If you'll watch the video here, you'll see what I mean.

The guy went over his allotted time and asked a question that prompted the Kerry aide in the background to cut off the mic. There were cops standing by who immediately grabbed his arms apparently without saying anything to the guy and started to drag him forcibly away.

Not unpredictably, the guy reacts with surprise and obstinance. The guy repeats over and over "get off of me" but also things like "If you let go of me I'll walk out of here". He literally begs the officers not to tase him.

Looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen. There was literally no reason for them to use force to begin with, much less tase him.

Even more damning, Kerry is heard saying that it's ok, he'll answer the question. What was the big deal?

Frankly, I'm kind of surprised no one started at least heckling the officers. People were looking but no one even said anything, even after the kid started screaming for help.

True, the guy should have just kept his mouth shut and walked away to begin with. But the cops are equally culpable here -- you can't just grab people and expect them to follow along meekly. We're a bunch of independent minded rebels by heritage, and it hasn't been bred out of us quite yet.


Matt said...

Actually you can hear students in the background yelling "police brutality!", but nobody does anything to help. I think it's a great example of how terrified our generation is of any type of authority. I'd like to say that I would have gotten up and physically helped him out, but my nerves more than likely would have gotten the best of me.

k2aggie07 said...

I thought the same thing at first, but who wants to end up in jail?

I mean, the "right" thing to do there is for them to riot, isn't it? There's no way that level of force was justified.

But I don't think I would've been willing to risk being booked myself for it. Besides, anyone who goes to a John Kerry speech gets what's coming to him. Hah.

Matt said...

Hah, funny. But in all seriousness, when do you ever see dissenters in an audience at a bush speech, or any other high profile GOP leader? The answer is... NEVER, because they screen audience members through party identification. I'm a democrat when I vote, but I don't support Kerry. I still would have gone to that speech and participated in the q&a. I would have done the same for any other congressman or senator regardless of their views.

I've come to the conclusion that you can't help your political leanings... you live in Texas. You're a victim of peer-pressure and groupthink. But that doesn't mean you have to be such a $(@*ing partisan hack does it?