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University of Florida Student Tasered At Political Rally

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the slow-to-revise-taser-policy dept.

Censorship 1819

An anonymous reader writes "During a political rally at the University of Florida, an annoying student was tasered while attempting to ask Senator Kerry (D-MA) some questions regarding the 2004 election. Police are looking into whether excessive force was used to prevent the student from going over his alloted question period." There are also several YouTube videos available of the incident.

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Move over Geraldo. (0, Troll)

lecithin (745575) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650709)

The guy is a journalism student. He knew that his actions were going to get publicity. He knew what was going to happen if he acted out. Really, what was his motive???

Attention Whore?

Re:Move over Geraldo. (5, Funny)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650733)

> Police are looking into whether excessive
> force was used to prevent the student from
> going over his alloted question period

Perhaps they should bring in a similar policy for Oscars acceptance speeches.

Re:Move over Geraldo. (5, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650797)

Sine the word 'deserve' is going to be used a lot in this one, I'll note that if you purposely watch the Oscars, you 'deserve' whatever lunatic ramblings you are exposed to.

Obligatory ShieldW0lf post (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650749)

He was still tasered. A taser is an infliction of pain. This is unfair to the students who have a RIGHT to protest.

I know the first amendment right was violated here. What other rights were violated? Any lawyers on slashdot?


Re:Obligatory ShieldW0lf post (3, Insightful)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650907)

There are restrictions to Free Speech (shouting 'fire' in a crowed, etc). The RIGHT to protest doesn't extend to the HOW and WHERE.

I have a right to protest, but I don't have a right to shit on the President's rug during afternoon tea.

There are restrictions to free speech (3, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651017)

There are restrictions to Free Speech (shouting 'fire' in a crowed, etc). The RIGHT to protest doesn't extend to the HOW and WHERE.
Yes, there are rightful restrictions to free speech. This is not one of those. That said, the guy was resisting arrest, and should have complied with the officers. After which, he could rightfully make all the noise he wanted about how his first amendment rights were violated.

Re:Obligatory ShieldW0lf post (3, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651173)

Wait, what?

So because you say that "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater" doesn't amount to free speech, suddenly it follows that there must be limits to protest in terms of how or where it is conducted? The 'fire' example is meant to exclude 'physical speech and action' with no corresponding content and that has other unambiguous meanings--shouting fire, waving a plastic gun around in order to promote gun safety, sending out press releases that there is cyanide in the water in order to promote water safety.

the hemming in of the how and where of protest has been more aligned pragmatically with the rise of television than with any detatched legal scholarship.

And, "shitting on the presidents afternoon tea" violates a dozen other laws unrelated to 1st ammnd. rights. Of course I can't come into Nancy Peloisi's living room in order to convince her to impeach Bush, that would be breaking and entering. Here we are talking about public figures in public roles in areas open to the same.

Re:Move over Geraldo. (3, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650819)

Distrubing the peace, and resisting an officer? Two of the most BS "crimes" on record in this country. I really don't think he planned on getting arrested or tased.

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Re:Toilet seats for sale! Toilet seats for sale! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651071)

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Motive? Attention, period. (2, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650971)

It is blindingly obvious that this guy got exactly what he was looking for.

The police *followed him in* - so he wasn't even supposed to be there, or had been causing a disturbance outside prior to entering.

Nonetheless, he was allowed in to ask his question - which he wouldn't do without first pontificating (loudly and insistently) on subject matter that we won't ever know if it was really related to his question. (Want to lay odds that said question goes through some serious editing and revising while he rests in the cooler?)

At any point in time after the police asked him to cease and desist with his disruption of Sen. Kerry's rally/talk, he could have quit screaming, could have stopped exacerbating the situation, could have acted like a normal, sane person, not some kook lunatic fringe idiot.

He wanted to be tasered, or in some way publicly treated like a criminal - that was obviously his intent, and then when it happened, he whined like a little wussy.

Actions, meet consequences.

He'll get his 15 minutes, and maybe a leg up on some political conspiracy commentary that he obviously wants to make.

What a fucking idiot.

Sure, mod me Troll, but this guy - he's a meatspace Troll. Geesh, what a fob.

Re:Move over Geraldo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650987)

And really, why is this of interest to nerds like us?

Every day, Slashdot becomes more and more like just another CNN clone.

Re:Move over Geraldo. (1)

yakmans_dad (1144003) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651015)

There's a range of motivation between drawing attention to rampant injustice and flashing your tits to a Girls Gone Wild camera. The egregious insanity of the Iraq War and Congressional (read Democratic) timidity in standing up to it actually deserves wider reaction than it has got. My generation definitely had self-defense in opposing the Vietnam War thanks to the draft, but the draft ended in '72, and student opposition stayed strong. It's more than a little depressing to see the current college crew sit on its collective hams.

As for the kid's other complaint -- voter fraud -- that gets trickier. There was a lot of voter suppression in Ohio in 2004, and at least one person is facing criminal charges over it. There was a Florida St. investigation into the Florida 2000 election that showed that Florida's peremptory change to its method of counting double marked ballots was the culprit in that election. (Gore would have won easily.) The GOP seems to have counted on the American impulse to "get on with it" to make off with at least one election and possibly 2. A weird fatalism about such things seems to be the chief public reaction. I'm sorry that the guy got tasered but I'm glad that he had a Howard Beale moment. There should be more.

Other Motives (1, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651219)

+5 insightful?

He's a journalism student, therefore he's going to only protest in order to dray attention to himself? Does that make any sense?

OH! I just found out he was in a high school science class, but never got to touch the Van De Graaf machine. I think that his REAL motive was to feel 200,000V against his skin.

electron whore!

Re:Move over Geraldo. (1)

MidVicious (1045984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651225)

...a journalism student... Really, what was his motive??? Attention Whore?

Yeah so... taser him... damn journalists and their annoying questions.

Give me a break.

His name (3, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650715)

His name is Andrew Meyer [] . Some people are claiming that he is crazy and that police did things by the book. I don't know what to think. Its hard to find neutral information amongst all the people crying "foul".

I'm sure that if it had been someone else speaking besides a presidential candidate, police would not have been there and Andrew would have been just politely asked to stop talking over and over. He probably deserved to be Tasered because he was resisting arrest, but he didn't deserve to be taken away from the mic.

Re:His name (1, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650741)

And I'm sure that several dozen poor people were tasered on the same day, for doing the same thing (struggling with the police), and not a single on of them gets front page Slashdot.

If any of them got 3 lines on the online edition of their hometown paper, I'd be surpised.

Re:His name (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650807)

And I'm sure that several dozen poor people were tasered on the same day, for doing the same thing (struggling with the police), and not a single on of them gets front page Slashdot.

And that's a good thing? The problem that a lot of human rights organizations have with "less then lethal" weapons is that they lower the standard for when force can be applied. Whether or not he deserved to be removed from the room is a subject I'm not going to dwell on. But four officers couldn't remove one college student without using a taser? Give me a fucking break! How did they manage police work before they had tasers?

Re:His name (1)

vfrex (866606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650835)

They probably were allowed to play rough with people resisting arrest.

Re:His name (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650893)

Give me a fucking break! How did they manage police work before they had tasers?

With someone who physically fights them, they physically restrain or subdue them. Absent things like tasers, that comes down to much less politically correct methods sometimes. And that results in everything from bruises to dislocated shoulders, and worse. And then people complain about THAT. What you're really asking is whether or not police should ever be able or be obligided to physically control someone's actions or presence. If the answer to that is yes, then we're just splitting hairs over the method... unless, of course, you're a cop, and perhaps you don't actually WANT to have to have a wrestling match with someone who might have an unsheathed knife in their pocket, or who might have open wounds, or who might be shockingly strong, etc.

Re:His name (3, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650921)

How did they manage police work before they had tasers?

Nightsticks and guns, I'd guess.

Or maybe they just saw a chance to try out their new toy.

Re:His name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651053)

Exactly, and it was nasty for police as they had to explain and answer for the bruises and gunshots. with tazers they are unrestrained as they leave very little to no evidence it was used.

police love tazers, they can violate your personal right at will with them.

Re:His name (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651045)

IWTFV (I watched the full video)

What they did amounted to torture. He was pinned down and immobilized. Aside from the noise he was creating (which got WORSE, not better after the tasing) he was already completely under control. There was more reason NOT to use torture on this young man than to use it. "punishment" is not in the description of what it means to be a police or security officer.

Further, four people were all that was needed to contain this young man: two to hold him and two to clear the way for his exit. It could have been managed much more effectively and efficiently than they had done. And I'll remind all reading that they were "trained" and "prepared" for just such an incident. Their measures were premeditated -- this was not a knee-jerk reaction to an unexpected circumstance.

Re:His name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651215)

Exactly, it was just gratuitous. These are dangerous toys.

Re:His name (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650843)

He probably deserved to be Tasered because he was resisting arrest, but he didn't deserve to be taken away from the mic.

See, I have a problem with that. There is nothing wrong with resisting arrest when you've not done anything wrong. An officer saying "you were distribing the peace" doesn't cut it; this is supposed to be a free society, were we CANNOT be arrested at whim.

Re:His name (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651065)

Disturbing the such an insane 'crime'. It's a bullshit charge that allows police to tack on the 'resisting arrest' that they love to throw around.

Disturbing the peace could be farting in a library. It could be mowing your lawn at 8AM or when your neighbor happens to be having a 12 hour 'gathering' for ... whatever. Now granted,i'm sure there are some general definitions but if asking more questions that someone deemed appropriate at a Q&A forum is disturbing the peace...we're in trouble. Besides that, everyone WAS peaceful until the officers physically restrained HIM. Heck, the officers were even told that the question WOULD be answered.

The insanity that surrounds anything tied to a president or president-hopeful blows my mind. Freedom is speech is good...just not when it's around my presidental campaign, speech, etc.? If the people feel the need to rally, rant, chant, boo, hold signs, or whatever ... it should be allowed and accomodated. The president does work for the PEOPLE, right? Right? Erm, hello? Anyone...? Darn, i knew i shouldn't have let them put my soapbox in the basement of a barn in michigan for the FL rally. At least i got my free speech...

Re:His name (1)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651113)

See, I have a problem with that. There is nothing wrong with resisting arrest when you've not done anything wrong. An officer saying "you were distribing the peace" doesn't cut it; this is supposed to be a free society, were we CANNOT be arrested at whim.

Ok, I see what you are getting at. What I was saying that he should have know that if continued to resisting arrest that they were going to elevate it. He should have know as soon as they shut off the mic and pulled him away from the microphone that his free speech rights where being violated. Maybe in that case it would have only been covered by the local paper, but somehow a taser has a way of electrifying a story all the way to the top.

I think the people who are saying he did it because he's an attention whore are misguided. Of course he is an attention whore. But there are no laws in this country against someone being an asshole nor should there be. The moment that cops arrest someone because they think they are a jerk or because they think their opinion is lopsided is the moment they are crossing the line and denying someone freedom of speech. That's what this should be all about, the taser thing is seperate IMHO.

Re:His name (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650897)

but he didn't deserve to be taken away from the mic.

He'd already asked several questions, and had 'used his allotted time'. Should he have been given unlimited time, effectively doing a DOS attack on other people who had questions to ask?

Re:His name (2, Insightful)

sBox (512691) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651175)

The guy was ranting and skipped people in line according to the girl who filmed it (she was interviewed by CNN early this morning.) Did they ask him to get to the point or relinquish the mike? It wasn't captured on tape but, again the camera was flaky according the girl who filmed it.

The tazer was overkill. But it looked more like one of those shockers and didn't really seem to affect him anyhow. The student who filmed the incident mentioned that he may have been tazered once prior to the one she captured on film but her camera was going in and out.

IMO: He was ranting and taking up more time than each was allotted. You are free to rant all you want. Rant from the crowd, outside or in the cafeteria line. It's your right to free speech. This forum had a format and he was not sticking to it. Removing is was justified in order to keep to the format civil. Removing him does not hinder his right to free speech.

Re:His name (1)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650913)

I would hope in this day we would be able to resist arrest for unlawful reasons. Every bit of what he did was making a scene and yes he was a complete buttwipe... but every bit of what he did was also covered 100% by the first amendment.

It's a sad day when someone heckling can be taken down with force by a police department.

Kerry just went down 200 notches in my mind by not calling those cops out for what they did right then and there.

Re:His name (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651063)

Kerry actually tried to calm the people down and answered the question the guy asked when he was being tasered/assaulted.

I mean, real brave 12 cops on 1 guy who didn't do anything wrong. bastards.

Presidential Candidate Kerry? (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650963)

I think he prefers to be called Senator Kerry, anyway it was very surrealistic to hear the crackling zaps with the kid screaming as Kerry's voice continued to drone on and on. Reminds me of that Ferris Bueller movie.

Re:His name (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650969)

Was Robert Paulson...

Oh wait, he wasn't really shot, just tasered.... Does that mean we just call him Bob?

Re:His name (1)

Khomar (529552) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651095)

He probably deserved to be Tasered because he was resisting arrest, but he didn't deserve to be taken away from the mic.

This is indeed the problem -- why did they drag him away in the first place? He was grandstanding a bit, but it was not excessive, and he had just finished his question. His "speech" lasted only one minute and thirty seconds -- not exactly a monopoly on the proceedings. If you watch the video, you see that he basically had concluded his message when the police stepped up and took hold of him. It seems that a simple touch on the shoulder and a gesture toward his seat would have been adequate to inform him that he had overstayed his welcome. Instead, they almost seemed to be encouraging him to resist by physically taking hold of him and dragging him away. He had made no threatening move toward them, and even in his initial resisting, he simply wanted them to let go.

I am not a police office or security guard, so I do not know the pressures involved, but it seems to me they could have taken better care to avoid a confrontation.

Finally, it should be noted that Kerry did say that it was "ok", and he was willing to answer the question. This incident really cannot be blamed on Kerry.

Odd thought... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650719)

I guess we should all be happy that the guy wasn't shot, huh?

Assault and battery (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651221)

Above (beneath) the law. I for one, welcome our blue-suited overlords.

keyword: annoying! (0, Troll)

vfrex (866606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650735)

The student deserved to get zapped. He went in with the intention of causing a scene and being the center of attention. Mission accomplished.

Re:keyword: annoying! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650849)

How did he deserve it? Surely a taser is something which should be reserved for somebody who is a danger to the police or the public, how was he a danger? From the youtube video the police seem to rush in very quickly to pull him away from the microphone and even when Kerry says he'll answer the question and appeals for calm they don't seem to take any notice. One thing it does make me wonder is how this shows his leadership qualities, shouldn't a good leader have been able to calm the situation a bit better.

Re:keyword: annoying! (1)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650877)

WTF ? You ask a question past the alloted time and you deserve to be arrested, tasered et al.... Why not just pack up and go or cut the mic off. This is just bullshit.

Re:keyword: annoying! (4, Insightful)

vfrex (866606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650949)

No, first he decided to preach and was warned. If he wanted to address an audience, he should organize his own speech or rally. Then, when warned to ask his question, he continued his preaching. When he finally got around to asking the "question", there were actually a string of questions. He didn't approach the mic to ask a question; he wanted to draw attention to himself and issues that he found important. That wasn't his time to take though, and he was asked to stop. He didn't stop. Did you notice how the audience cheered when the police grabbed him? He was wasting their time and making them look terrible in the process.

Re:keyword: annoying! (1)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651197)

Perhaps, but it still seems a bit over the top, especially in a university setting. It was speech ... only speech .. to which was countered with threat of arrest , arrest and then tasering.

Re:keyword: annoying! (1, Insightful)

Verte (1053342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650909)

Since when is being the center of attention punishable by taser?

Re:keyword: annoying! (1)

vfrex (866606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651123)

He was granted the opportunity to get the attention of a US senator and to ask a question. He was granted the attention of the senator and every person in the room. If he had asked a question as intended, there wouldn't have been a problem. But he abused the grant he was given by preaching to the audience. When asked to stop, he refused. When asked to leave, he resisted. He fought hard in a crowded room, and the police did what they felt they needed to.

Re:keyword: annoying! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650939)

Asking questions and trying to be the center of attention are not illegal. While he may have resisted arrest, what exactly was he being arrested for?

Re:keyword: annoying! (3, Insightful)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651087)

Did anyone actually watch the video? This moron was hopped up on drugs, if you ask me. I think the cops had the exact same read on him. He was belligerent and refused to cooperate when he was asked, REPEATEDLY, to leave. He seemed to think that because he was at a mic to ask a question of Kerry, that gave him carte blanche to spew random garbage for as long as he wanted. He was wrong. When he was asked to step aside, he started making a scene. When security tried to move him aside, he acted like he was being arrested and made a GREATER scene. HE escalated the scene, not the police.

I do think the use of the taser was unnecessary. He had probably six cops on him by the time that happened. If he was actively resisting their attempts to be put in cuffs, why does it take more than six cops to force him to comply? Tasering only made him scream like a little bitch and get other students to feel sorry for him. Not the smartest move.

Re:keyword: annoying! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651119)

Kerry seemed quite ready to answer his questions, so I don't see why they grabbed him.

Sure, the guy was annoying, but torture is not an appropriate response. There was a bunch of cops there. He posed no threat to no one.

Ugh... (1, Insightful)

Daychilde (744181) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650739)

Why do I have the feeling the internal review will come up with the answer that the police didn't use excessive force?

Look, I'm a police supporter - and I wouldn't want to be the officers in a situation like that - but come on... we're becoming a police state, and this is one of so many contributing factors.

Just a Preview of the Oscars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650745)

We have finally found a way to cut those boring speeches at the Oscars! Just bring that Taser up on stage and zap anyone that goes over their 30 seconds or says anything boring!

Had it been a Republican rather than Kerry (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650767)

Imagine how busy the talking heads would be discussing how evil the GOP is for killing students.

That's not insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650911)

That's just claiming anti-conservative bias. There's nothing to support that claim.

What's with the dumbshit moderators these says?

is too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651127)

just spelt wrong

Re:Had it been a Republican rather than Kerry (1, Flamebait)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651055)

Oh please. We (meaning liberals)don't need make crap like that. If we want to discuss how evil the GOP is all we have to do is talk about the million+ dead in Iraq. Have fun living with that on your conscience.

Re:Had it been a Republican rather than Kerry (1)

eclectic4 (665330) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651069)

"Imagine how busy the talking heads would be discussing how evil the GOP is for killing students."

Yeah, it's called the Iraq war, and they talk about it all the time...

So, did Kerry ever actually answer the question? (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650781)

As two officers take Meyer by the arms, Kerry, D-Mass., is heard to say, "That's alright, let me answer his question." ... As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student's "very important question," Meyer struggles on the ground...
So, did Kerry ever actually answer the question?

Re:So, did Kerry ever actually answer the question (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650821)

Kerry, like any other politician, probably wouldn't have given a realistic answer anyway.

Re:So, did Kerry ever actually answer the question (1)

obarel (670863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651013)

"Excellent question, but this is not the issue. The issue is really ... <political drivel>"

Re:So, did Kerry ever actually answer the question (4, Informative)

MagicM (85041) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650827)

Judging by the video, Meyer isn't even interested in any answers. He just keeps rambling on and doesn't even wait for Kerry to respond. After reading the blurb, I felt sorry for him. After watching the video, I don't anymore.

When someone is being an ass, don't drag them out (5, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650809)

One version the story is that this guy was pushy in getting to the mic and about asking his questions even though they were out of time.

Even if that's the case, there are far better ways to handle a questioner who hogs the stage. Whoever was in charge of that event should have politely interrupted, loudly say "Sorry, we have no time for further questions," and cut the mic off. This was totally uncalled for. The University, a state institution, should get their asses sued off.

Re:When someone is being an ass, don't drag them o (1, Troll)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650869)

There's really not that much "version of story", since there's video showing him strugling against the police for a long time before a taser is used.

Re:When someone is being an ass, don't drag them o (1, Insightful)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651101)

Um... excuse me... but cops or not. If someone is forcefully restraining me against my will and I have done NOTHING illegal to deserve it then you better bet I am going to resist.

The guy was a heckler... he should have been dealt with as such. He even said outright that he would leave... but they never asked him to. They instantly went to brute force tactics.

A state university, public property, public forum and every bit a 1st amendment issue... NOT something that should have been dealt with by force without a HUGE amount of diplomacy first.

Re:When someone is being an ass, don't drag them o (1)

roscocoltran (1014187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651117)

So what are the policeman gonna give for an excuse about this operation ? "A caucasing guy, 1m80, was talking for too long in a mic. I was an obvious terrorist attempt to blah blah... we had to react to this threat" ?

Re:When someone is being an ass, don't drag them o (1)

flannelboy (344272) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651203)

But if you listen to what he is saying, he does say "I will get up and leave". In other words, there is a very large potential that no force at all was necessary.

Here in lies the problem. Once the police start using force, the natural reaction of any human being is to react back. Particularly if you are being arrested for really not doing any wrong. (Remember, it isn't a crime to be an a*hole. And it isn't a crime to talk loudly or obnoxiously.)

Once the police resorted to force, this outcome was inevitable.

So the question one has to ask is "did the police need to resort to force against this person?"

Probably not ...

Re:When someone is being an ass, don't drag them o (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650883)

Read the article - they did cut off his mic. They tried to be polite. The dumbass wouldn't listen.

Watch the video (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651211)

Right after they cut off his microphone, they started arresting him. It looked (to me) like he might have quit right after they cut him off.

Credit where credit is due (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650813)

YouTube had the earliest coverage of this incident, and they still have the most complete coverage too, as linked in this earlier submission. []

Don't "F" Around . . . (0)

freedomwrangler (980622) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650817)

at political rallies. The guy struggled with police, at one point moving toward the stage and Sen. Kerry. Bad idea.

I'm NOT a Kerry support, but he is a U.S. Senator. Show some respect and in the parlance of our time: Don't act da foo'.

Re:Don't "F" Around . . . (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651109)

Senator of the United States of America of the People, By the People, For the People.
He is no more than a citizen that got picked (short straw?), by people in his state to represent their interests, lets not put royalty status on shit-heels, that would be like allowing trolls to post without calling them Teamkilling Fucktards.

And by the way, the word is "FUCK", if you need help I suggest watch Deadwood. You will also learn about politics ;]

Good! (1, Insightful)

Controlio (78666) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650845)

This is the MTV television and tabloid journalism mentality. I can go somewhere with cameras, make a scene, and do it with no consequences. The "What did I do?!?" is answered by being disorderly in public. Disorderly conduct is illegal. It's not like he wasn't asked repeatedly to stop.

The police handled things appropriately. A man swinging his arms at police as they are trying to escort him out of a venue is a threat to the police. He wasn't, until he resisted beyond reason, under arrest. Maybe he will learn where that line is now.

And on a personal note, I wish more people like this one would be tazed. It's not like this was political activism... this was about trying to make this event about himself, and trying to draw headlines for a quick 15 minutes of fame. In turn, he will try to parlay this into a career. I hope you're happy, and got what you wanted. I know, from the video, you got what you deserved.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651223)

He wasn't, until he resisted beyond reason, under arrest.
well then how the hell do you "resist arrest" if you're not under arrest until you resist it?

Tasers != Non-lethal (5, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650853)

This is a growing problem with tasers. Law enforcement starts to think that they're harmless tools, which increases the likelihood of use. But, tasers are still somewhat dangerous and even lethal [] in some cases.

Re:Tasers != Non-lethal (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651133)

Im wih you on this one... They should have used the night stick on him. There is nothing that says "stop it" like a lead filled pipe hitting you... In fact, I bet he would have given the mic back when he was politely asked if he know he would have had a beating coming to him...

Re:Tasers != Non-lethal (5, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651149)

Electrocuting people in order to control them, or torture them, is not the mark of a civilized society.

Inapproprate use of force? (4, Insightful)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650861)

I'm sure different police precints are different, but I know at least some of them consider a taser to be only slightly below a firearm and should only be used when the officer feels that either themselves or someone else is in danger. This kid was handcuffed on the floor with 3 (4?) cops on top of him, how could he be a danger to anyone?

He got what he wanted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650865)

Looks like he got exactly what he was gunning for, except he didn't realize how much it would hurt. The cops didn't do anything wrong here. This isn't some 'abuse by the state' issue, this is 'an anoying stupid kid getting his ass kicked' issue.

Pigs. (5, Insightful)

spocksbrain (1097145) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650899)

So four cops couldn't take down one scrawny journalism student and cuff him without using a god-damn taser? I'll be the first to admit that the kid was trying to get attention by pulling a stunt, however, the actions of these cops are nothing short of barbaric and excessive. These stories of police brutality are getting FAR to common. There is a much larger percent of are police force made up of garbage like these pigs than most people would think.

Re:Pigs. (1)

Uthic (931553) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650965)

You prefer if those four cops had just beat the scrawny kid into submission, given the question you lead off your post with.

Re:Pigs. (1)

spocksbrain (1097145) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651217)

Police are trained to forcefully apprehend suspects if they are resisting. I am no expert on the subject, but I have seen an officer do some pretty clever arm-twisting and tripping maneuvers on COPS and other reality shows, let alone four officers on one kid.

In reponse to your snarky remark, yes, if the cops were too incompatent to cuff the student otherwise and they decided to beat the hell out of the kid with their fists then I personally would prefer that to a taser. Tasers are cruel instruments of torture and have even proven to be fatal in some cases.

Watch it yourself (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650905)

I watched three different videos of this at Here's one in its entirety [] .

The police action was completely justified.

The guy is really out there, saying stuff like "He's been talking for two hours, I think I can have two minutes." Um, he's a presidential candidate, you're not. Also note how the crowd applauds when he is pulled away from the mike.

Dan East

Geez (1, Troll)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650917)

Next thing you know, Nixon will be calling in the National Guard to KILL students!

Oh, wait.. never mind, that already happened.

Sap 'im (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650929)

Bring back the sap.

This would have been over in seconds.

mynuts won, hangin's too good for them opositional (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20650933)


if everybody could think about just 1 or 2 things (money, sex), wouldn't everything at least seem to be better? all this whining & complaining, as hillary once mentioned, 'there must be some limits to this freedom thing'? let freedumb ring, so long as it's softly enough to not be heard?

MiSinformation (now more than is ever possible to disbeleive) now/still 'free'?
(Score:-)mynuts won, less than gooed 'news')
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, @04:21AM (#20648857)
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(Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 01, @09:35AM (#20433195)
it's only a matter of time/space/circumstance.

previous post:
mynuts won 'off t(r)opic'???
(Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, @10:22AM (#20411119)
eye gas you could call this 'weather'? [] []

be careful, the whack(off)job in the next compartment may be a high RANKing corepirate official.

previous post:
whoreabull corepirate nazi felons planning trips
(Score: mynuts won, robbIE's 'secret' censorship score)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, @12:13PM (#20072457)
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Hog at the mic (5, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650935)

I caught a glimpse of this kid on the news before I left for work today. While I'm sure that the clip was edited for 'mainstream news', he got going on subjects that were important to him. He was determined to make his statement, and give his views to John Kerry. A statement with a question mark at the end isn't really a question.

If you have ever participated in any town hall style meeting, you generally get one or two questions, then you sit your butt down and let another person have the podium. While I respect this kid's right to expressing his views, there is a whole room full of people who also would like the chance to ask their questions. He was offered the chance to step down several times, and got riled up after they cut the mic.

Now as for the tasering, I didn't see the part between where the mic got cut and he got tased, but given his demeanor around the time his mic got cut, I don't think it was fair for him to force them to pull him off the stage. If you are going to complain about being tasered, make sure that you don't start out by giving them a good reason to be physically pulling you away from the podium in the first place.

As a disclaimer, I generally find the use of tasers to be too rampant. Some crazy guy with a sword in a mall and no pants? Sure taser him (been there, done that. On the safe side of the taser thankfully) Some 12 yr old girl who took a swing at you? Take the hit and cuff her, no taser necessary. I was punched by some 14 yr old kid who flipped out over a breakup with his girlfriend. Even then I didn't need a taser.

The kid in this video? I need to see more of the video.

If you ever want to 'resist' then I highly suggest you just go limp, don't fight back. A limp body is still damned hard to move and makes it much easier for your lawyer to defend you in court than if you run, swing, bite, yell.

Resisting.. Arrest? (1)

Burst_R8 (544308) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650951)

It is obvious he was resisting arrest, the real problem is the lack of reason for the arrest. If they charge him what will it be with? A charge of resisting by itself won't stand (what was I being arrest for? == instant dismissal). On the other hand the cops arrested the kid without any sort of reason (He asked a loaded question, he must ber a turrerest), violated his right to free speech and tased him (Battery anyone?).

Thank god I live in the great white north :/

Re:Resisting.. Arrest? (2, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651091)

Here in the UK, you can be arrested for Breach of the Peace merely by swearing at an officer. OK, now protest. That's resisting arrest. Now start flailing. That's assault on a police officer. With intent. See ya in ten years.

See how easy that was?

Re:Resisting.. Arrest? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651135)

Did you watch the video?

Quick! (0, Troll)

Rahga (13479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650961)

Somebody call a whaaaambulance

Use of tazer. (5, Interesting)

UncHellMatt (790153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20650993)

While that kid was kind of annoying, according to the article, he did not warrant use of a taser (at least by the standards of the police station I work for). He was already on the ground, he was already under control. Once the person is down and double cuffed, that should be it, drag his sorry backside out.

Of course, I can see many times where use of a taser is more than justified.

"The argument over which is better, VI or Emacs, is perfectly val*ZZZZAP!!*GUAAAHHHHHGH!*"

A little misleading... (2, Informative)

Kal42 (1117997) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651003)

The post makes it seem like the cops just tasered him to shut him up. He was clearly resisting the police and fighting with them. Maybe they shouldn't have tried to stop him talking in the first place, but once they did he can't resist like that or they'll smack him down. I have no problem with the tasering at all.

sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651021)

Simply immoral. Pretty soon they will taser people just for convenience before questioning.

Taser-happy cops (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651023)

Tasers can kill people. They should not be used in lieu of muscle and control holds, they should be used when the only other option is lethal force and the cop feels he can use a weapon of less than lethal force to subdue the individual without putting himself or the lives of others at risk.

Cops will taser anyone these days.

Re:Taser-happy cops (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651139)

They should not be used in lieu of muscle and control holds,

People have died using those methods, too. And far more injured.

Democrats and brutality (-1, Flamebait)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651027)

Seems to me that this is something the democrats like to do. They'll whine about this kind of thing for political points but then as soon as they have control of a situation, they'll use the threat of force and application of excessive force to deny civil liberties. This is not too surpising given their voting record on unconstitutional legislation to destroy civil liberties. This firehose article covers another brutality incindent outside a democrat controled hearing at the Capitol: [] .

Excessive Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20651029)

Many people believe the police mishandled the situation. From the audio it sounds like they did. The video doesn't show enough detail to see what exactly was going on so we would need eyewitness accounts for more information. One thing is for sure is that it is disturbing to listen to the obnoxious speaker first legitimately objecting to his manhandling, then begging for help, trying to comply and then overpowered, and then seemingly uselessly tasered. Could the crowd have done more to interject? Could have John?

That said, you have a student - asking obnoxious but legitimate questions - against three or more armed police. It should have - and could have - been handled a lot better. Perhaps the microphone could have been taken away. Perhaps he could have been told his time was up and that the questions would be answered if he gave John a chance. The police appear to have over-reacted. This wasn't a potentially armed crack dealer threatening the lives of people or police on the street after all.

The police may uphold the law, but they are not above it. I hope an inquiry reveals the truth and action taken to train police to better handle these situations.

University students have been instrumental in starting ground movements against injustice and corruption. It is important to give anyone the right to peaceful protest, to question authority and their decisions and yes, even be obnoxious. If the wars in the Middle East don't subside, war weariness will eventually set in - there is a limit to the number of deaths society can absorb without results. There will be more protests - people should have the right to do so - are the police prepared?

Without the first amendment, what do we have to be proud of?

I don't want to excuse the cops, but... (2, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651059)

This guy created the scenario. He's the one who set things up so that the cops would have any justification at all to use a taser.

He asked his questions. He was told to leave. He resisted. When they tried to physically remove him, he resisted more. The cops decided to use the taser (presumably) because his behavior left them unsure of whether he was dangerous or not. And let's not forget that it is clearly heard in that horribly-shot video that they warn him a number of times that he would be tased.

He said what he wanted to say and Kerry was answering the question...why did he resist? Why not just walk out when told to leave? Because he's an attention whore and WANTED this to happen.

A little bit of writing you should read (4, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651077)

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Just curious, but how can some of you so callously be willing to deprive someone of the rights that so many people fought and died for? Because he was causing a scene? Big deal, its his right. Because he's press? Big deal, its his right. Numerous times people in the crowd cry out to do something, which any decent lawyer will state is proof that the police were using excessive force. On top of that the officer tells the camera holder to stop recording - at a public forum. You keep saying he got what he deserved - what happens the day when you ask a question and they don't like it? I just hope every soldier in Iraq can smile, knowing that videos like this demonstrate what freedoms they get to dodge bullets for. Thanks for protecting the police state.

r u guys nuts? (1)

darkeye (199616) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651115)

I got almost sick watching the video, the obviously wanton brutality of the police.

but what is even more distrubing seeing the posts here that align with this police action.

you guys are so much in a police state by now, you even agree with these acts.. man...

Re:r u guys nuts? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651209)

There's a right way and a wrong way to protest and resist police in a scenario like this.

He did it the wrong way and gave the police an excuse to use this level of force. Without being able to see exactly what happened, I can't say whether this would qualify as brutality or not...but there was clearly a struggle, and when you fight back you make it easy for the cops to say they believed they would be in danger if they were to wrestle you into restraints.

Says much about the politician (1)

ddbsa (526686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651129)

Yeah, I've always said that politicians are ALL in the pocket of the companies that donate to them...
and don't give two shits about regular people...
but to actually watch some college kid speaking out get dogpiled and tased...
while Kerry simply tries to talk over the whole thing ...
(distracting from the brutality and wrongness instead of trying to correct it...
really brings it home how fucked up things have gotten.

don't deserve freedom (1, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651141)

It makes me sick that those students didn't rise up against those security guards. Yea yea, you can throw all your bullshit "he deserved it", "your country was founded on this n that" bullshit at me but you know as well as I do that it doesn't stick when we are discussing things situation by situation. Fuck those students, fuck the police, fuck John Kerry. Andrew Meyer didn't deserve what he got and I hope he makes the most of it & knows what kind of a police state he really lives in.

Linux Question (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20651177)

Does the Taser use Embedded Linux?
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