Tuesday September 18, 2007

Student tasered for asking John Kerry questions at UF

More, um, very nice police officers acting very nice in this story and video from a John Kerry speech at U/F yesterday. Student Andrew Meyer gets on the microphone and accosts Kerry for not contesting the 2004 elections, asks if he’s a member of Skull and Bones, and generally tries to get all loud and protesty. At this point campus police try to arrest him, and he sort of waves them off and continues his questioning. More police arrive and try to arrest him, and Meyer questions them, yelling “what did I do, what did I do?”

Eventually they get him down, and the, um, six of them have trouble getting his hands behind his back, and I guess they’re pissed that he still hasn’t shut the fuck up, because another cop calmly walks over with a taser. “Don’t tase me, bro!” we hear Meyer yelling, as he’s held down by a bunch of the cops, but bro goes ahead and gives him a good jolt anyway, and we hear Meyer howling in pain.

OK, so a few things.

  1. What’s most remarkable about this is that somehow Meyer is on the microphone during the whole thing — we hear him clearly, and so does the whole room. Without that this whole incident would have looked very different.
  2. Is it a crime to “disturb” public events (where “disturb” = not shutting the fuck up when told to do so)? I guess, but this is at best a marginal case.
  3. We’re pretty numb to seeing absurd police cruelty and violence directed at anyone getting uppity, but campus police? You’d think they’d see this stuff all the time, and shrug it off. Nope.
  4. What’s up with the rest of the students? They sit there like a bunch of obedient little sheep. Why aren’t they all standing and yelling at the cops?
  5. And what’s up with dude Kerry? Clearly he sees what’s going on, and he tries to act like nothing’s happing, telling the crowd to calm down, that it’s a good question and . . . WTF, he’s got people’s attention, how about “LET THAT GUY GO, HE’S ASKING IMPORTANT QUESTIONS QUESTIONS!” How about getting off the stage and intervening in the situation (maybe he’s afraid they’ll taser him, too)? What a coward; thank god we didn’t elect this guy president. Geez.

(thanks, Gabriel)

Update: A different video of the same incident.

Much more at EKBTV: 1, 2, including the following:

Please call to express your concerns about this horrific incident:

University of Florida Police Department: (352) 329-1111

University of Florida main switchboard: (352) 392-3261

Update: Andrew Meyer’s website (via Bob, who is exactly right)

Update: I’ve no idea why the moron editors at the Gainesville Sun took down the story at the original link, but their reporters have been all over this, issuing several stories a day on various angles of the story. They’re pretty easy to find on the website (search “Andrew Meyer taser”), but here’s an overall follow-up.

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  1. TJL    Tue Sep 18, 07:53 AM #  

    Kerry is a moron and a political coward.
    I hope that the kids and parents of kids attending UF transfer from that school in retaliation of their brutal campus police.



  2. swampthing    Tue Sep 18, 09:05 AM #  

    swamthing and many others worked tirelessly to get J skerry erected in 04 with dismal results. what a waste of time, dems never had a chance with e-voting scam.

    Three cheers to taser-boy for standing tall n talking loud. Shame on the other 99% for sitting pretty.

    Authoritarians are watching with relish, leaders and followers.



  3. mike    Tue Sep 18, 09:33 AM #  

    A sad tragic story.
    On the other hand, hearing the spoiled kid with the misguided self righteous sense of entitlement shrieking in agony…pretty funny!



  4. b.a.c.    Tue Sep 18, 09:35 AM #  

    UF an institution of learning and tasering students…..I hate UF so much I’m actually glad this is happening to them. I’ve been to parties there where campus police come storming in like effing Swat Teams shoving, arresting all in sight. It’s no surprise to me this happened with the crap police squad they have there. It is nice someone finally got their violence on camera though.

    The most pathetic thing noticed in that video is not only does Kerry not do a thing but the students, his fellow peers, maybe even some of his friends don’t do a damn thing about it. Don’t raise any questions, join the struggle or anything. That’s some weak ass UF student crap. You know some chonga in Miami woulda been all up in that officers face.



  5. anony    Tue Sep 18, 09:35 AM #  

    When you surround the microphone with cops, thoughout anything billed as a “Town Hall Meeting” – you do so to intimidate any potential questioner from asking the tough questions that deserve answers.

    Start with the bigger question.

    Who ORDERED the cops to “Guard The Microphone” in the United States Of America in the first place?

    Why?

    Got Fascism?



  6. Christopher Jahn    Tue Sep 18, 11:12 AM #  

    If you watch the tape posted at the Channel 6 website, you can actually hear Kerry say repeatedly “Excuse me, but I’m going to answer his question. Hey, I want to answer his question!” as the campus thugs are dragging the victim to the back of the auditorium. He didn’t shout out HEY! MORONS! STOP RIGHT THERE! I suspect that he didn’t want to start a riot. But he did try to tell the thugs to stop, if poorly.

    If these campus thugs are not fired and charged with assault immediately, a suit should be filed against the UM administration for this heinous assault on free speech.



  7. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 11:16 AM #  

    [rolls eyes]

    Now you’re going to Gainesville to get your stories that support your theory that all cops are all a**holes. Wonderful.

    They’re burying another South Florida a**hole today, Alesh. Right in your own backyard.

    How about giving him some space on CM.

    Yeah, figures.

    .



  8. b.a.c.    Tue Sep 18, 11:17 AM #  

    Alesh= This happened at UF, you have in the title UM. Also commenters are assuming it happened at The U.



  9. nbc6.net    Tue Sep 18, 11:20 AM #  

    You can watch the entire video of the incident right here… http://video.nbc6.net/player/?id=157250



  10. b.a.c.    Tue Sep 18, 11:29 AM #  

    Rick,

    If you are so concerned about cops dying in Miami then you should have a daily post for the soilders dying in iraq. Both occupations carry the risk of death and for us to be “shocked” that they die in the line of duty screams naivety.

    It’s sad but that’s the job they chose. Life’s a bitch dude.



  11. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 11:39 AM #  

    It’s sad but that’s the job they chose. Life’s a bitch dude.

    Wow.

    Remind me of that fact, dude, when you drink too much and they find you in your apartment suffocated on your own vomit.

    Just one of the hazards of covering the Miami club scene, I guess.

    Jesus H. Christ.

    .



  12. alesh    Tue Sep 18, 11:43 AM #  

    Rick~ Keep rolling your eyes. That’s perfect.

    BAC~ Thanks. Sorry. Corrected.

    Just added more to the story. There appear to be a million videos of the incident.



  13. Steve    Tue Sep 18, 11:57 AM #  

    I don’t see the problem here. It makes perfect sense that the kid should have his nuts tasered right out of his sack — after all, they’re burying a police officer in Miami today. Don’t you moonbat liberals have any sense of justice?

    — Dick Cheney



  14. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 12:11 PM #  

    Steve: your sarcasm is misdirected, my friend. If I was saying that PO’s should be able to do anything because their job is dangerous, you might have a point. But I’m not.

    I’m pointing out to Alesh that he’ll go to all ends of the Earth to illustrate that all PO’s are a**holes, while he ignores PO’s who are dying while trying to keep our SoFla communities, communities that fall within CM’s venue, safe.

    If this was Critical Gainesville his coverage of this incident might be somewhat relevant, but instead it’s just another example of how much he hates law enforcement and how far he’ll go to show it.

    .



  15. noneemoose    Tue Sep 18, 12:14 PM #  

    UF Campus Police. Where the Gator second-string goes to die…

    The constitutiion guarantees everyman’s right to brain-fart. That guy was defecating in a public place. And that’s against the rules.

    This folks is what you get when you match overeager fake po-po’s who pass/failed Crowd Control class with a dickhead who probably deserved it. Pure hilarity.

    The phasers were on stun. Big deal.



  16. alesh    Tue Sep 18, 12:28 PM #  

    Rick~

    I’m glad you said that, because I’ve considered pointing out all the useless posts you’ve done about national politics over the years, but I figured it’s your blog, do whatever you want. This guy is a friend of Gabriel’s, who sent me an e-mail about it this morning, and that’s why I did the post.

    nonee~

    The guy was slightly obnoxious, but come on — this is a UNIVERSITY CAMPUS! It’s not like it was a televised event where order needed to be maintained at all costs. Students SHOULD have strong opinions and get a little rowdy.

    Yes, he was out of order. Shutting off the microphone would have been a little premature, but understandable. But this . . . sorry, but anyone who thinks it’s remotely acceptable has bought into Bush’s Facist America 2.0. Two of those cops were positioned like five feet from the microphone.



  17. Duran    Tue Sep 18, 12:34 PM #  

    B.A.C. you’re hatred for my alma mater is no reason to say you are glad it happened. It’s an unfortunate incident and no one in Gainesville right now is very happy with campus police. I guaranteed you they will be fired by the end of the week.



  18. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 12:42 PM #  

    I’m glad you said that, because I’ve considered pointing out all the useless posts you’ve done about national politics over the years, but I figured it’s your blog, do whatever you want.

    Crap, you’re right, Alesh. I should stick to bicycle locks and car batteries.

    .



  19. alesh    Tue Sep 18, 12:56 PM #  

    Rick~ It seems that other local blogs are interested in the story, too. Your defense of these cops is just absurd. I’m glad you’re trying, but it’s just utterly laughable.



  20. dollarhabitat    Tue Sep 18, 02:24 PM #  

    Guys I’ve been tasered, and those joints are not Star Trek – it sucks. But is it the worst that can happen when cops take you down? – nah.

    Saw the video. I’m troubled by it for a bunch of reasons, none as unsettling though as the guy’s narration, Candide-like, from loudmouth to victim. It almost sounded rehearsed.



  21. Steve    Tue Sep 18, 02:31 PM #  

    Rick: Essay question.

    Leaving aside the issue of Alesh’s alleged quest for the assholy grail, do you think that video of police activity will make it to the best practices manual? Why or why not? With the benefit of hindsight and a replay button, what changes, if any, would you suggest in the conduct of the private UF police or the local sworn officer? Explain your answers. Ten minutes.



  22. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 02:33 PM #  

    I have a different opinion than you on this, Alesh. What’s truly laughable is how much you hate cops and the handstands you do to show every one how bad they are time and time and time again.

    Hey, I think a cop was just arrested in Peoria for beating on someone! Scramble, scramble! Go, go, go, go!

    .



  23. Biscayne Bystander    Tue Sep 18, 02:45 PM #  

    What was more shocking than the kid being tasered, was watching the entire assembly remain in their seats, quietly thankful it wasn’t them.



  24. noneemoose    Tue Sep 18, 02:54 PM #  

    alesh-

    I don’t think it’s acceptable, by any means. But, it could have happened to nicer guy. And that would really have been a shame.

    There’s a difference between having strong opinions, and being a dickhead. And there, in the tape, is your object lesson on the difference between the two. Dickheads get tasered by minor league cops who don’t know their job. Why is he a dickhead? Not because he has opinions. Because he was too stupid to understand who he was dealing with.

    The cops were wrong. No doubt. But to me this case is just like the second-place finisher today. The guy who put his pet rattlesnake (strike 1) in his mouth (strike 2) to show his friends that the rattlesnake really was a peace-loving creature (yer out!).



  25. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 03:08 PM #  

    You know, Steve, I don’t know what those cops were thinking at the time. I don’t know if, based upon how this guy was acting, they thought they had some lunatic on their hands. I’m not sure if they knew that the guy was unarmed. And most importantly, I’m not sure what that bonehead was doing at the bottom of that pile of officers. Besides creating drama and squealing like a girl, was he resisting? Did the officers feel like he was trying to assault them? I don’t know.

    I wrote my opinion on the thing over at SotP. You can read it there if you want to. Personally, if I were one of those cops, the 2nd time the kid refused to listen to my lawful order to wrap it up, he would have been escorted out of there with enough force that all the audience would have heard is his feminine cries for help as he was taken up the aisle and thrown out of the building. None of the dancing around or the searching for the right restraining technique by the female officer that you saw on the film. That loudmouth would have been lifted off his feet and would have disappeared in less than 15 seconds. Those students wouldn’t have even had time to whip out their cell phones.

    This isn’t about free speech. This isn’t about whether John Kerry or the audience should have gotten involved (are you friggin kidding me?), it’s about an individual who was intent on disrupting this Q & A, having his say, having more than his say, being asked nicely at least 2 times to shut it down and brushing off police officers who were there for the express purpose of keeping order and protecting John Kerry. The kid was out of order and the police did their job, although very sloppily.

    Lastly, did you hear the kid as he was being led out of the building? He was actually calling for help and saying that the police were going to kill him. If he was serious, and I think he was, it might kind of show you what he was not all there at the time.

    .



  26. b.a.c.    Tue Sep 18, 03:23 PM #  

    Rick let’s taser you and see what nonsense comes out of your mouth after you’ve been pumped with 50k volts of STFU-you-whinny-college-bitch police attitude and dragged out.



  27. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 03:34 PM #  

    C’mon b.a.c., he was acting like a friggin’ drama queen even before he got jolted. His website has posted the links to digg and Fox News and the Herald….this was all a publicity stunt by a jackass.

    But go ahead and defend him.

    .



  28. whl    Tue Sep 18, 03:35 PM #  

    The student was being a little obnoxious but should not have been tasered!



  29. knowless    Tue Sep 18, 04:18 PM #  

    so, the gainesville sun article has been removed (surprised???NO!) and i could only watch the youtube video…it seems like this poor guy, took one for the libertarian team. Surprisingly, he was wasn’t such a dickhead…except maybe when he was asking “Is anyone watching this?” as he got escorted out and consequently tasered.

    i thought the whole thing was touching(???) though maybe (highly likely) fraudulent? one could also hear a woman skreeching “why are you doing that?” and some cynical-sounding dodo scream “police brutality!” all too scripted.

    i wish things like this happened all the time, especially to priviledged college youth because they show not so much that all cops are assholes but that there are always too many cops around political forums in institutions like UF, which may be why they abuse their power in situations that do not call for so much man/woman power. (i saw a female pig in the midst).

    also, nobody seemed to react because the collective behavior tone was (and IS most always) to stand back and be happy it isn’t YOU!

    SOMEBODY-GOOD FOR PRESIDENT 2008!” godamn, who…?!?!!



  30. Robert    Tue Sep 18, 05:58 PM #  

    For a change, I’m totally with Rick on this one. Whether he should have been allowed or not to ask his question is one matter. But how the student reacted after being escorted away by police is something totally different.

    I saw the video. All the kid had to do was to do what the cops told him to do. The kid resisted and resisted quite emphatically, screaming and squealing like a little pig.

    A simple rule of thumb when dealing with law enforcement: When they tell you to do something, you do it. No raising hands in a threatening manner, no pointing fingers, no trying to get away from the grasp of the officers. It’s not too hard to defend the cops’ actions here.



  31. mkh    Tue Sep 18, 06:15 PM #  

    A simple rule of thumb?

    Cop: I caught you speeding. Get out of the car and blow me and I might let you off.

    Civilian: Yes, sir. I always obey instructions for duly authorized officers of the law, even when they are clearly in the wrong.

    Cop: I have a taser, so shut up and suck.

    ——

    I’m not even going to bother commenting on the video itself, as I’m not in a place to watch it. But I will never go along with the idea you should always do what a cop says. You should try to do what you believe is right, and be willing to accept the consequences of your actions. To do otherwise out of simple fear — or worse, out of a blind faith in authority — is to abdicate your rights as a human being.



  32. Robert    Tue Sep 18, 07:40 PM #  

    mkh,

    So now we’re reduced to equating what happened at UF with a hypothetical situation in which an officer requests a blow job. OK.

    The fact that you have to come up with an exaggerated example to support your argument illustrates how wacky the argument is. Please watch the video. The kid clearly resists arrest. You just can’t do that. It’s against the law (I know, a novel concept, but what the heck I’ll throw it out there anyway).

    In a situation in which a police officer, acting on his/her best judgement, requests that you leave an area, you leave. Pronto. Police officers have that authority. If they’re wrong, then we as a community have the right to demand an investigation. But I think that in the vast majority of cases, it is the “victim” that puts himself in a situation where police have to use much more force than should be required.

    Of course, the kid will probably get his parents to hire lawyers and sue the university, I’m sure with the full support of the ACLU.



  33. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 08:21 PM #  

    Carlos: He could ask a million questions of John Kerry for all I care, but he was asked at least twice very nicely by the police to end things and he didn’t. What part of “lawful order” is so hard for you to understand? It’s gotten you into trouble once already, hasn’t it? How many times does it have to be explained to you?

    And I’ll say something right here for all you Monday Morning quarterbacks who claim that the students should have gotten involved and attacked the police taking care of the situation. What friggin planet are you living on? Attack officers who are doing their job to remove a disruptive person?

    Big talkers. I tell you what, next time you see someone getting cuffed or arrested unjustly (in your opinion), go over and try to intervene. Better yet, get a couple of your friends and bum rush the “pig.” Do what is right and accept the consequences.

    Damn. Give some people a keyboard and they turn into friggin’ superheroes.

    .



  34. Steve    Tue Sep 18, 09:28 PM #  

    I don’t know about the NEXT time, Rick, but buy me a beer and I’ll tell you about the LAST time. That would have been some years before you wiped the mothers’ milk off your lips. It was called the sixties, and we just didn’t sit still at rallies and meetings and let cops treat us like that, even when Frank Rizzo himself was waving his stick. Fuckin A right we got up and threw chairs and rocks and pushed back in their fascist grills. What, you never saw the photos or the films?

    Robert: I saw the video. All the kid had to do was to do what the cops told him to do.

    True. That’s all every one of us EVER has to do. Worked in Germany. Still works in North Korea, Russia, and Cuba. One certain way to ensure peace and tranquility is to do what you’re fucking told. Put your balls next to your brains and conscience and bank ‘em in a blind trust.

    Enough of the melodrama. Fact is, the kid was probably looking for a stage to perform on, and he found it. Fact is, the rentacops screwed up and the real cop over-reacted. Fact is, the audience of fat white conservative obedient mutant baby-boomer spawn sat there passively while the pigs went hasslin’. Fact is, John Kerry is exactly the reason so many lefties are nauseated by dickless Democrats. I see no heroes here, but the one tiny spark of hope is the lonely loudmouth with the taser burn. And he fucked up, too.

    Resist, brothers. Just try to do it smarter and better, but resist.

    This message brought to you by the smell of fresh flowers, the taste of ripe Thaistick, and the sound of Revolution from 1967.



  35. mkh    Tue Sep 18, 09:30 PM #  

    Robert:

    If you want to specifically limit your comments to this case, I’ll be happy to do the same. If you tell people to always do a what a cop says as “a rule of thumb” then you have invited my response. Unthinking faith in authority and passivity in the face of injustice is what gets countries run by dictatorships.

    Rick:

    When I was sixteen a friend of mine got into an argument with some Plantation cops about communism. The argument got heated, the way teenage arguments do, but he never called them names. When one of them called him a “stupid motherfucker” and told him to “shut the fuck up,” he told them to fuck themselves. They slammed this scrawny kid to the asphalt, cuffed him, and tossed him in the back of the squad car. When I asked what the hell they were doing, they did the same to me.

    They drove us around the block for a while, graphically describing how we’d be ass-raped in jail for talking back to a cop, then pulled behind the Winn-Dixie and let us go, warning us not to ever fuck with cops again. I can’t speak for Mike, but they sure taught me a lesson: never trust someone with a badge and a gun until they’ve earned that trust.

    Maybe some people do turn into superheroes when they get a keyboard, but others become invertebrates when confronted by any semblance of authority at all. Which is worse: empty rhetoric in the face of injustice, or blind, fearful obeisance to authority?

    And on preview: Amen, Brother Steve, amen!



  36. alesh    Tue Sep 18, 09:56 PM #  

    First, let me see if I can lend a framework to this discussion: there are two distinct things wrong with what the police did in this episode, and between those things there is something they did which is quite justifiable.

    The second thing they did wrong was the tasering. The asshole who actually operated that taser should be thrown into prison for a VERY long time (assult with a deadly weapon?).

    The FIRST thing wrong was that police officers were in charge of the forum, and that it was their job to decide when someone had “gotten enough time.” There is a lot to say about this point. First of all, this wasn’t some super-solemn nationally-televised event, where all protocol had to be followed; it’s an also-ran giving a talk at a second-rate university — NOBODY should have been taking things that fucking seriously. We have these sort of forums all the time. TV talkshows are an example, the recent testimony of a 4-star general and the ambassador to Iraq before congress was an example, and presidential candidate’s “townhall meetings” are an example. These events have various levels of formality, and those levels rightly determine how strictly “the rules” are adhered to. This event was on the “LEAST FORMAL” end of the specturm, and even on the “MOST FORMAL”, (meet the press?) people talk over the moderator from time to time. That’s just how civil society works. If Meyer was “over his time,” and someone thought it was such a big fucking deal (putting aside the fact that he had a perfectly legitimate point), someone OTHER THEN A COP should have been in charge of shutting him down. If things got really drastic they could have turned off his microphone. The fact that the police were apparently in charge of this is probably the single most fucked up thing about this incident.

    Okay . . . having said all of that, I think that one of the things our society is founded on is a respect for the police, and that when the police tell you to GET OVER THERE (or whatever), barring some compelling circumstance, you DO it, because at that point you have NO OTHER CHOICE. You can question (and sue) them later, but you don’t evaluate in the moment whether you resist a police officer or not. If they try to subdue you and you fight back, they need to bring whatever power they need to bear to get you under control, and it needs to be understood that they’ll do that, no questions asked.

    So once Meyer started fighting off the first cop, I think the others were, in a fucked-up way, right to step in and get him down. Once he was down, though, the tasering was some weird torture/punishment/sadistic bullshit.

    On preview, seeing Steve, mkh’s, and Carlos’ responses to Robert and Rick, I see that mine were redundant. I’ll sign off by seconding their sentiments.



  37. Rick    Tue Sep 18, 09:58 PM #  

    Has it occurred to anyone here that with the letters this guy has written to the campus newspaper and his Facebook page that the reason why some of the audience there was laughing when this clown started into his schtick (yeah, watch the tape…right in front of him) was because they knew he was a blowhard and a guy looking for attention.

    No, no, no…this is Kent State, Tiananmen Square and Chicago 1968 all friggin’ wrapped into one. The only things missing were Joan Baez and a couple hash pipes.

    Holy sh**, folks, I mean, I consider myself fairly liberal but you guys are off the scales.

    Carlos: Really, man. Tell it to the judge.

    .



  38. alesh    Tue Sep 18, 10:03 PM #  

    Hmm… wow Rick. Your inability to address Carlos’ comments speaks volumes.

    I hope it haunts you.



  39. Steve    Tue Sep 18, 10:23 PM #  

    Rick: I’m sure I noted above that the kid was a self-promoter. But were there ever better self-promoters than Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, and the Chicago 7? This is how you get things noticed. This is how you get people thinking and moving. And if there weren’t any hash pipes, that’s a sad sign of the times.

    Yeah, Rick, I consider you fairly liberal, too. Liberals have always been a real problem to those of us out here in the ether where “right” is the opposite of “wrong,” not “left.”

    Does that make sense, Kevin?



  40. NicFitKid    Tue Sep 18, 10:44 PM #  

    So, what did police use before tasers when they had to remove someone from a venue but couldn’t shoot them or club them over the head with a nightstick? The taser seems to have become an all purpose tool to enforce police commands. Like when that Alachua sheriff’s deputy tased a pregnant woman while she was breaking up a fight between two teenage boys. Pregnant women are so terribly threatening, after all.

    Possible new police mottoes:

    Tase and Deliver

    To electrify and serve

    In God we trust, all others get tased

    For those of you who think it makes perfect sense to pull a loud-mouthed college student (is there any other kind?) away from a mic at an open forum, wrestle him to the ground, and electrify his outspoken ass, here’s your new bumper sticker:

    I for one welcome our new high-voltage overlords.

    What’s sad about those of you supporting the UF police officers involved in this incident is that you keep focusing on the student’s supposed “resistance,” (seriously, at one point the kid’s saying he’ll leave) while ignoring or downplaying the rapid and disproportionate escalation of force on the part of the officers. Why not let him ramble on for a few more minutes and then walk him out? What was so damn important about getting him off the (already dead) mic at that instant? Would some terrible crime have occurred if he had finished his question? It’s like the officers were following some protocol that required the student’s complete and total limp-dicked submission before the could remove him from the hall. What, they weren’t strong enough as a group to simply haul him out of there? Gimme a break.

    The taser has become a law enforcement crutch, and encourages the most short tempered and least savvy members of a police force to escalate their response to a minor civilian encounter when it’s really not needed.



  41. TJL    Wed Sep 19, 06:30 AM #  

    It is sickening to see the taser used to control dissent. The taser should only be used as a last resort, but cops are using it routinely – even against children for gawd’s sake – and for that fact alone, they generate disgust for their actions.



  42. Christopher Jahn    Wed Sep 19, 09:26 AM #  

    I find it chilling that anyone could watch that video and then believe even for a second that the cops were not waaaaay off base. This is the legacy of George W. Bush; an America where authority tramples on free speech, and its pundits shrug and say ‘He had it coming.’

    Meyer was passionate, yes. Rowdy? Not at all. I’ve watched several videos, and in all of them, there is no apparent justification for the campus thugs to get involved.



  43. Flav    Wed Sep 19, 09:29 AM #  

    FIGHT THE POWER! YEAH BOYEEE!



  44. Biscayne Bystander    Wed Sep 19, 10:01 AM #  

    Let’s bring sanity back to law enforcement. Please.



  45. Guv    Thu Sep 20, 04:28 PM #  

    Police report. Interesting.

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20070919/NEWS/709190335/0/sports



  46. John    Thu Sep 20, 04:49 PM #  

    I think the cops should react the same way during a Presidential debate when the candidate goes over their time answering a question…

    Moderator: “Red Light sir, your over your time.. “

    Candidate: “But I have more to say on the matter…”

    Police officer (hovering 3 feet from behind the candidate) “Sir, you better stop or I’m going to taser you..”

    Candidate: “But…”

    BZZZZZZ



  47. alesh    Fri Sep 21, 06:39 AM #  

    Oh, here’s the story about the police report. Here’s part of an e-mail I sent to someone earlier today:

    There was a story in the Gainesville Sun [a couple of days ago] that quoted the police report as saying that he completely calmed down once he was out of public view, told the police they did nothing wrong, that this was a staged-for-youtube event, etc.

    My thing is, even if true (and I’m far from convinced), this makes zippo difference to me regarding whether what the police did was even remotely appropriate. This is similar to the Carlos Miller case, and I don’t see how the “he was an asshole/he had it coming” line is a defense of terrible police behavior.

    ###

    Now, Rick, after first attacking me for posting this story, later attacked me for not posting a follow up. It’s sad, but not unexpected, that Rick doesn’t see how all this is somewhat beside the point.

    Oh, and anyone who thinks the police had reason to fear physical harm from a kid pinned to the ground by SIX of them . . . um, yeah. Right.



  48. Rick    Fri Sep 21, 08:36 PM #  

    Why is it “sad” that I don’t hate all cops like you, Alesh? Why is it “sad” that I have respect for the job and the person who does it?

    Live with it, man.

    BTW, I’m really looking forward to the post about your new bike. You know, like, where you’re going to keep it and all that exciting stuff. Chills. I got chills.

    .



  49. me    Sat Sep 22, 01:55 AM #  

    rick and alesh are so stupid…who is right? neither one! cops can be nice and they can be assholes. most of the time, it’s the one or the other, everybody just relax. the other day my friend who was drunk, got pulled over and he said he wasn’t, so miraculously enough the cop let him go…nice cop or asshole? if something bad had happened, he’d be an asshole but since nothing detrimental happened he was a nice cop….eesh! idiots.
    both your blogs post some lame shit when there isn’t anything good happening…period. get over yourselves, i love both sotp.com and criticalmiami.com even when you’re both retarded..!



  50. alesh    Sat Sep 22, 02:18 AM #  

    Rick~

    It’s sad to the extent that your perspective is shared by a small but not insignificant portion of the USA’s population who believes that a person believes forfeits their civil rights if they’re an asshole.

    PLEASE PLEASE have lunch soon with your police friend who set you straight about the Carlos Miller case, so he can set you straight about this, too.

    “me”~

    OK, I realize this is some complicated shit, so let me try to put it in terms you can understand.

    Let’s say you’re on vacation, and you give your keys to a friend so he can water your plants and keep an eye on your shit, and you give him a hundred bucks to do that.

    Now you get back from your vacation, and your place got robbed.

    Well, cops abusing their position to do fucked up shit to people is like if your “friend” used your key to get into your place and steal your shit.

    If someone breaks in, it’s just run-of-the-mill crime, a bad break. But when someone we’ve ENTRUSTED to keep us safe breaks that trust, it’s something else again.

    Cops who break with the trust we’ve granted them are twice as bad as a common criminal, because the common criminal is not BETRAYING the single thing that’s been asked of them.

    Now, get serious for a second and tell me . . . when Rick says “Why is it ‘sad’ that I don’t hate all cops like you, Alesh?” . . . is he deliberately ignoring the point I was making in comment #49, or is it just over his head?



  51. Just Little Ole Me    Sat Sep 22, 12:03 PM #  

    I love cops.



  52. knowless    Sat Sep 22, 09:08 PM #  

    who has entrusted anyone on the basis of them being a cop?
    trust isn’t gratuitous, au contraire, it’s earned!

    i, normally, hate cops.



  53. alesh    Sat Sep 22, 10:22 PM #  

    knowless generally heckles cops. it’s disconcerting.



  54. Rick    Sat Sep 22, 11:23 PM #  

    I’ve never said that people lose their rights when they act like a-holes, Alesh. I’ve always said that people will get arrested if they fail to follow the lawful order of a cop.

    Go to a Dolphins game sometime, Alesh. There are hundreds of a-holes in the stands. They won’t get arrested unless a cop tells them to chill out and they keep up whatever it is that they’re doing.

    It’s a real simple concept but one that a person who hates cops is never, ever going to understand or accept.

    But go ahead and try out your theory, Alesh. Next time a cop tries to pull you over, ignore him. Or wait until it’s convenient for you to give the officer your time and then pull over. Sorta like Meyer. He just wasn’t ready to give up the mike. See what the reaction will be and see what you get charged with.

    I’ll be willing to bet you that your excuse that you didn’t pull over because you felt like you weren’t doing anything wrong is going to be worth diddly squat to the judge.

    .



  55. alesh    Sun Sep 23, 11:29 AM #  

    Rick~

    You’ve never said that people lose their rights when they act like a-holes . . . does that mean you agree that your follow-up post was irrelevant, since it only addresses WHY Meyer did what he did?

    I agree with you about the lawful order business. I said up in #38 that there were two distinct things wrong with this incident, #1 being that the police were in charge of the microphone, and #2 being the tasering. In between those two events, the police were merely inept, not wrong — once they tell you to move, as Mick Jagger said, you gots to move. Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough before.



  56. knowless    Sun Sep 23, 09:31 PM #  

    “disconcerting?” what did i miss?



  57. Rick    Mon Sep 24, 12:29 AM #  

    Alesh: I’m glad we can agree on something.

    Regarding that follow-up post. There were actually 4 parts to it but I’m assuming you were referring to the first part.

    I don’t agree that the post was irrelevant. I was trying to post as much info as I could on the incident and thought that the info added more depth to the story. Do you believe that it shows that it was all a stunt? I don’t. I think it does give us a better idea of what Meyer was doing and that is, quite simply, causing a disturbance on purpose. That may be important as to whether or not he was resisting, as police will no doubt argue, and it also might lend itself to bolstering law enforcement’s case that the kid was not going to stop without the use of force. To this day, I don’t know exactly why Meyer did what he did.

    That’s why I posted it and had a problem with you not noting it. I’m of the opinion that it will help law enforcement’s case in court. Given your stance on cops, it seems to me that you may have omitted it because it may ultimately put the cop’s behavior in a better light.

    .



  58. alesh    Mon Sep 24, 06:32 AM #  

    So… first I’m wrong for posting about something, then I’m wrong for not posting ENOUGH about it?!?!?!? It sure is hard keeping you happy, Rick.

    As far as Meyer’s “motivations,” you’re getting very confused, Rick. They’d be relevant if we were talking about his wrongdoing. We’re talking about the police’s wrongdoing here; his motivations have exactly 0 to do with that.

    In fact, none of the four parts of your post had anything to do with that.



  59. Christopher Jahn    Wed Sep 26, 07:47 AM #  

    Rick, your attitude is VERY scary in this day and age.
    If you truly believe that Meyer was in the wrong, you must also believe

    - that all the civil rights activists of the 60s deserved to go to jail because they knew they belonged in the back of the bus, and they knew they had their own counter.

    - that the Kent State students deserved to die, because they were also disobeying campus police.

    You keep sputtering on about the probability that Meyer intended to create this situation. So did those people in Selma on a hot day in the 1960s. So did those students at Kent State.

    Is he a self promoting asshole? Sure. As noted above, so were most of the counter-culture civil rights heroes of the 60s and 70s. Just because you’re a self-aggrandizing asshole doesn’t mean that you’re not right.

    If we know that the cops will violate our rights if we take a stand – even an obnoxius and irritating one – and we take our stand, it doesn’t make the cops any less wrong.

    Meyer was right. Meyer’s a fucking hero. An obnoxious prick of a hero, but hey, at least he’s standing up for something.



  60. Rick    Wed Sep 26, 10:07 AM #  

    Sorry my opinion scares you, CJ. Playing Monday morning quarterback after the fact makes any decision-making a lot easier. But not knowing Meyer’s mental stability, not knowing if Meyer was armed, and having to cope with his resistance during the incident helps me understand law enforcement’s reaction to his behavior.

    I’ve expressed here and over at SotP my feelings on the issue over the last couple weeks. And I’ve made clear that I felt the officer’s actions were prompted not by him being an a-hole but by a totality of the circumstances, including his continued resistance. But yet you still charge me with having my opinion because the guy was a jerk. What else can I say, really?

    We disagree. If you want to make this into some grand civil rights issue, go right ahead. I just happen to think it was something far less than that. And I will be willing to bet you that Andrew Meyer isn’t going to appear in any history book, no matter how much you think he should.

    Comparing Meyer to Rosa Parks or this situation to Kent State does a huge disservice to both.

    .



  61. alesh    Wed Sep 26, 11:31 AM #  

    Rick~

    In case you haven’t noticed, your crazy opinion doesn’t just scare Christopher — it scares almost everyone. I hope you’ll have lunch soon with your police officer friend who set you straight on the Carlos Miller case, and maybe he can talk some sense into you about this, too.

    Please let us know when that happens.



  62. Rick    Wed Sep 26, 12:08 PM #  

    I hope you’ll have lunch soon with your police officer friend who set you straight on the Carlos Miller case…

    Heard you the first time, Alesh. How many times you gonna repeat yourself?

    I’ve never been one (like some I know) to change opinions simply because I see things differently than others. Alex and I happen to disagree on this, too.

    Life will go on.

    Really.

    .



  63. Alex    Wed Sep 26, 04:04 PM #  

    Jeje. Let’s split teh difference with some perspective: I don’t think Rick’s opinion is crazy or scary, nor do I think Meyer raises to the Rosa Parks or Chicago 7 standards (Ok, maybe Hoffman). In this era of youtube and instant news, it’s easy to confuse notoriety with advocacy. Still doesn’t justify the cops. But Meyer is no hero.

    It reminds me of something written in Slate by Richard Thompson Ford about the Jena 6. The real symbols of resistance to racism are not the black kids who beat up a white one. It’s the ones who sat under the “white” tree to start with. But we have been so desensibilized that we need hyperboles, not symbols, and so nobody knows who those were.



  64. Steve    Wed Sep 26, 05:17 PM #  

    Alex makes a good point. If we were there at the time, we would’ve tased those brothers’ asses, too. — UF Police



  65. knowless    Thu Sep 27, 03:29 AM #  

    alex,
    you mean desensitized, right?

    no making-up words allowed///sorry.

    i’d never tase anyone…well, maybe alesh…



  66. Alex    Thu Sep 27, 07:58 AM #  

    Yes, desensitized. Thanks. Hey, isn’t “knowless” made up?

    Steve, if you mean the Jena 6, yeah they deserved their asses tasered if they had been caught in the act of beating another kid. 6 against one too. Some heroes.



  67. Steve    Thu Sep 27, 09:33 AM #  

    Alex: Actually, I meant the ones who sat under the “white” tree. After all, like Meyer, they were upsetting the Established Order police officers are hired to maintain.

    BTW, I rather like “desensibilized.”



  68. C-Note    Thu Oct 4, 09:17 PM #  

    As much fun as it is to see a whiny liberal with old tired facts be made to shut up, what happened to him is inexcusable, deplorable and a stain on the university and their policies regarding students’ rights. I would like to know whose idea it was to tase him and with what authority they did so. Are these cops really so incompetent that they needed to tase him to get him quiet? It was a six-on-one struggle and the ‘one’ was basically a pacifist while the six were ‘trained’ (that’s a laugh) and armed campus police. Disgusting.