Witness defends Kerry response to Taser incident: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted September 19, 2007 9:25 AM
The Swamp

by Frank James

Some have questioned Sen. John Kerry's actions during the now infamous incident at the University of Florida in which student Andrew Meyer was eventually Tasered by a campus police officer. Why didn't Kerry do more to intercede?

For instance, he could've, in that stentorian voice of his, strongly asked the police to stop manhandling Meyer. He could've even pre-empted the police before the tussle started by asking them to back off Meyer. He might've mollified Meyer by saying "Let's talk after the event."

An eyewitness to the entire episode, Clarissa Jessup, indicates Kerry did try to deescalate the matter, and did just about tell the police to stand down.

Here's a transcript of what she said in an interview that was shown on CNN. It includes CNN anchor's lead in to and tag on the video of Jessup's interview.






"John kerry did try to interfere with the police. at one point, police where holding on to meyers. kerry got to a point where he almost lost his composure and said officer guy. you, let him go. i do want to hear his question, i do want to hear to what he has to say. i do want to answer him. that was at the point the officers said will pull you aside to ask your question. but as he was attempting to ask his question. the officers themselves appeared to me to make themselves clear not allowing him to stay and hear the question and yelling into his ear."




Jessup's eyewitness account also strongly suggests that Meyer planned on instigating some fireworks. After all, he handed his camera to Jessup before he stormed the microphone, cutting off another student.

That behavior may explain why the police descended on him, why on the YouTube videos the first time you see him he's flanked by police who appear poised to pounce as he asks his question.

A story in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel the strong impression that Meyer is something of a jerk, and that's putting it politely. According to that story:

The cameras did not catch Meyer cutting off a student five words into a question, said Kathleen Shea, a junior who attended the forum.

"Not only did he jump up out of turn to the microphone, he was being very condescending," she said.

That's when students started pulling out their cameras, the student organizers cut off his microphone, and campus police tried to pull him away, Shea said.

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John Kerry is a decorated war veteran,he was not shown any respect by this right wing nut.

It doesn't matter how much of "a jerk" Meyer was/is. The last time I checked, freedom of speech doesn't end with "... as long as you're polite." This was plain and simple a violation of his rights and police brutality. These officers should be fired, and stripped of any pension plans they may have had. This act cannot go unpunished, and they must be made examples of so this sort of thing stops. We as americans should be allowed to say whatever we want in any public forum regardless of the level of politeness.

Wow this guy really had it coming...Shouting and flailing your arms around officers??? Of course they are going to tase you why would they risk there own safety on this nut bag? acting irrational MIGHT do.

Thank you UF for putting this spoiled college kid in his place

Yeah he is definitely a right wing nut... asking why Kerry conceded the election and didn't fight the results where black voters rights were alleged to have been infringed. Sounds like what Right-wingers are always screaming about... infringement of black voters. You might want to actually watch the video again... the kid was a left-winger asking why Kerry didn't stick to his liberal values and why he was such a coward for not even putting up a good fight 3 years ago.

And I believe that he got tazed for his 'Skull and Bones' question, honestly!

I love it when anarchists confront socialists!

I can't believe that some people would accept this treatmeant as being just! This student may have been out of line for cutting off another student, but tasering him because he was yelling. he was struck down for expressing his opinion with passion! This crosses the line. How would you feel if some one tasered you for expressing your opinion?

Mr. Kerry is a politician, not a cop. He dictates policy, not enforces it. Students like this Andrew Meyer are very passionate about their own view but it tends to drown out reason and they have to be delt with. I would rather have cops running around with taser than students running around without boundaries. Freedom of speech is very appropriate as long as it is not drowning out other people's voices. What if somebody had a completely different opinion than Andrew Meyer? Would anything be resolved if we had two people yelling at each other? Just ask yourself if you would allow him to say anything if he was saying racist, sexist, etc. No. He would be quieted for his own protection.

I was very surprised the way police acted brutally. Yelling/ shouting is freedom of speech. Even in India, third world country where laws are lax and police brutality on poor people is rampant, police WILL NOT do this kind of act to college Student at university level. Golly, so much for freedom, so much for people defendening police using electric shock. Sickening and supporting a police officers who tased him after he was subdued is more sickening to see.

The kid was off his meds.

There was a you tube clip of him being escorted out of the building and into a security car where he's telling the officers (who he called government operatives) that they cant cover up his impending murder because people knew he was at school today.


Andrew Meyer was an irreverent schlep, grandstanding and trying to create the exact altercation he finally ended up with. He was pre-meditated with his actions to include making sure he was being filmed and was disrespectful to both the people at the forum and to John Kerrey. The police over-reacted by tasing him, but ask yourself this, "What would we think if he had tried to kill Kerrey at some point?" Then we would have said that the police didn't act strongly enough and could have prevented it. If Meyer had complied with the officer's request to "stop resisting", then the matter would not have escalated. Do we condone people who disrespect the police doing their jobs? Only if they were out of line and Meyers was going to make sure that happened by resisting, and being a whiny little jerk. An investigation is warranted because there were mistakes all around. Maybe we need to learn that the freedoms we take for granted can be used against us as well.

I think the actions of the UF police were outrageous. I mean, he was exercising his free speech rights when those -- hey, wait a minute, you guys, what are you doing, hey, let me go, what is this! Hey, don't -- ow! That really hurt! I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything! Don't taze me, bro, don't -- aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

Thank God Those "Brave" Men And Women Had The Courage To Put That "Hooligan" In His Place.

That'll Teach Him To Ask Questions.....

The video clips don't show all that occurred, and definitely don't show this student barging his way to the microphone and hijacking the forum. BUT, what the clips do show is that this guy was only "tased" after, by my count, trying to shrug off and break free of officers TWICE while they were trying to escort him out of the room. I'm pretty liberal and still think this guy went too far. And as for the idea that he got 'tased' for the skull and bones question...be real.... the jimmy-leg police officers are not of the variety to even know what S and B is, much less have the independent motivation to quell such a question. In short, not smart enough to be political conspirators. My vote: this 21 year old ADULT (not a kid) hammed it up and got exactly what he was after. Watch for the endless interviews and speaking engagements. Guess he won't have to get a real job for a while....

The fact that we are even discussing this matter is heinous. University Police should be placed with the same demeanor the way all other police departments are handled...when they over-assert their power, they should not only be suspended, but fired. This is a total abuse of power, and why we as a society, especially at the university level, need more checks and balances in observing what it is our officers are doing. Since when did "to protect and to serve" become rendered to meaning "with all aggression and absolute force possible." This kid should sue.

It is usuallly conservatives or moderate speakers who are interrupted by these left wing loons. Kerry didn't know what to do because it had never happened to him before. By the way, why are leftists always talking about "cencorship" but invariably when a campus speaking engagement is shut down by protesters, it is invariably some lib-nut trying to prevent the public utternace of an opposing view. See e.g., the speaker from the Minutemen Project at Yale.

Reading the cowardly statements of people who would cede their right to speak because they might be impolite reminds me of Jay Leno's "Jay Walking" where he asks legal, social and historical ignorants about the U. S. constitution.

Ben Franklin was right - they don't deserver either security or freedom.

Those who defend these police actions naively promote dictatorship instead of democracy and go against the Bill of Rights. Communist police was very similar when the public eye was present. However, according to the Bill of Rights, we are supposed to be different. Obviously, there is a big difference between theory (Bill of Rights) and practice, as this video record indicates.

There are several comments for and against this student. I think one thing should be clear to all of us. We lose several mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and etc. everyday protecting the very right that this young man is entitled to. He has freedom of speech and instead of just going to work or school and letting the government never have to answer to anything, he actually got up and asked question on his mind. Most of us could learn from that. Maybe if we would follow in the same steps we would stop all the b.s. that goes on with the government. I think they have forgot they that are in place for the citizen. They are not in place as rulers and for their own benefit. Police have forgot that as well. Although this is nothing but my own personal opinion, it is exactly what this young man was expressing, his own beliefs. If you listen to it he wasn't being racist or cruel to Kerry. He was asking why he didn't stand up for himself, and if Kerry really wanted to stop the police from arresting and then using the taser on him, he could have. Thanks for reading

Who Cares Who I Am,
Nice straw man argument. Who wouldn't think the police were justified if this jerks intent was to murder Sen. Kerry? Ask yourself this: If he was being just as loud and animated but was praising John Kerry, would he have been tased, would the police have attempted to escort him out of the building?

Nice of the idiot to simply rush the mic and cut off and cut in front of another student who was attempting to speak. Then fillibustering/whining for the better part of a minute without giving Kerry a chance to respond.

The only person attempting to limit "free speech" in this scenario was the a-hole student who deservedly got his a$$ tasered after throwing a tantrum and resisting arrest.

The audience applause when he got his a$$ dragged away speaks volumes.

we live in a police state in the US. These waste of sperm and eggs should be fired today and not just put on leave.

This is a tough call for me. At first, I thought, that seemed a bit uncalled for. But as I began to think more, this is a crazy, different world than years ago. With any high profile speakers can anyone be sure? Take that chance? This isn't just about Kerry, it could happen at any event. Is it worth the risk in this day and age?

I've done my sint as a questioner at political functions in college. Whenever I had my mike turned-off & asked to leave the podium (always at conservative functions, go figure), that's what I did. I didn't wait for security to ask me to leave, escort me, argue with them, or get myself in a position where I could get myself in trouble.

This has nothing to do with Andrew Meyer's freedom of speech, Kerry, Bush, homeland security, 04 elections, left, right, or anything of the sort.

Andrew went up there to the podium with the intent of instigating trouble & he got it. He was dumb enough to get himself into trouble, but smart enough to know he would get the notariety he was looking for.

Why else would he make sure the camera was on?

While being escorted out, he tried to break free of the officers and lunged back towards the stage where a Senator was standing, all while shouting and trying to draw attention to himself. It was only then they started to arrest the student and because he was resisting so prefusely, they had to use a taser for a few seconds so that they could cuff him. The officers being on administrative leave is not an admission by their superiors that they did anything wrong, rather to protect them from people who are not informed about exactly what happened.

This guy Meyer has done a lot of things "on film" for reaction...he set this whole thing up to be on YouTube!
This wasn't the first time he has done something like this and it wont be the last! There were stories on him the other day and he has a history of stirring the pot for negative reaction!
He was acting insane and irrational and deserved what he got! If you don't want to be tased then don't act like a lunatic when you are surrounded by cops!

Andrew Meyer cut off another speaker, turned the "forum" into his own ranting, and refused the instructions of moderators, who were trying to foster orderly, intellectual conversation. By so doing, Meyer clearly engaged in "disorderly conduct", as defined by State Statute. By pulling away from law enforcement officers, he resisted arrest, also as defined by State Statute. As his vocal and physical resistance escalated, the force of law enforcement officers escalated to meet it. Besides disrupting the event, he put the safety of a lot of people at risk. It all seemed like a terrible thing to happen. It was... thanks to Meyer.

Anyone notice that John E. wasn't posting during the timing of all this?


bill, roman, ian, bella, and all things have finally gotten to the point. This is not a case of police brutality. This is a case where somebody was asked to leave, then escorted out (notice the officer only physically had hold of one arm), then when he resisted an officer half-tackled him to push him back, then when he resisted they put him on the ground, then when he resisted, they tased him and cuffed him. Sounds to me like they followed exact police procedure for the escalation of force. Had he just left or allowed them to escort him outside, he'd probably walk free. Stop the knee-jerk 'police are bad' reactions and take the whole situation into focus.

Those were not real cops-- they were campus spam and that is why he was resisting the arrest-- he wasn't read his rights, he was threatened and feared being tased, hell yeah I would have tried to get away too--- can you imagine though, the feeling of a whole room of robots clapping that you are getting detained for asking a politician a question? Why wasn't Kerry screaming for them to let the boy go, running over to assist him? He was not trying to get them to stop--- pushover for president, aren't they all??? DON'T LET THIS ONE GO!!!!

I have seen both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party cut off microphones. It is not just a tactic of the right. See what happens to you if you did the same thing with Mayor Daley!

Yes, you have the right of Freedom of Speech, but is it not limited in how you do it?

This so called adult acted out to provoke a response that he got. What was his political point in what he did? Nothing that I can determine. He crossed the line.

I like the people who are trying to make this a right-left political incident, who cannot see past labels like liberal and conservative even where they don't apply. Meyer's website indicates is an anti-war liberal. He was confronting Kerry because he doesn't believe Kerry is liberal enough. Know the facts BEFORE you comment.

the police did their job exactly the way they were supposed to.

as far as the free speech proponents here, this guy jumped out of turn, infringed on other's right to free speech. The exact moment that happens, no one should be defending this jerk.

i would have tasered him in the throat after 2 VERY polite warnings.

The poliece did there job the guy was being a nutcase!!

I cant believe the how pathetic you yanks have become, i guy gets up and asks kerry the single most important question you could ask him, why did you concede the 04 election? Highlights for those who dont know that 5 million balck votes never got counted in 04 election.Excercises his right to ask a politician why it is he failed to carry out his duty. What does he get??..silenced. Just like anybody else who dares speak out.And you other folk who cheered and laughed when he got tased should be ashamed to call yourselves Americans, this guy was standing up for all of your people. Well done America your truly on the way to a police state and best of all and you dont even know it!!!

as far as the free speech proponents here, this guy jumped out of turn, infringed on other's right to free speech. The exact moment that happens, no one should be defending this jerk.

Posted by: George | September 19, 2007 12:15 PM

Everyone has the right to be a jerk, including this guy. This is the dumbest comment so far today. The founders would be disgusted with anyone who would suggest such nonsense as you.

Sure, this kid acted like a jerk. Sure, his question was overlong and nutty. But you get questioners like that at any public forum. There are ways to handle it short of siccing cops on the guy. And once the cops were on the guy, a taser is supposed to be used only if the suspect is in real danger of causing injury or escaping. This kid was pinned to the floor and in no danger of doing either. At worst he was being a smartass and not cooperating in getting his handcuffs on. That's not what a taser is for.

Yes, the kid was wrong in his approach, and the tasing was also uncalled for. Unfortunately, tasing seems to be a rising trend among police departments nation wide and right or wrong they played right into Andrews hands. They could have just turned off the mic and ended the session as planned, but instead elected to exercise full control even as the speaker was attempting to respond. Police state: a term which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population.

Posted by: George | September 19, 2007 12:15 PM

Congratulations!! When the Revolution comes, you will be the first against the wall.

Meyer got exactly what he wanted out of this affair. Read his website and his past statements. He fancies himself as half Michael Moore, half Ashton Kutcher. Yeah, he's crazy---crazy like a fox.

The university police made multiple mistakes, as cops/security often do in these cases. First, there is almost never an instance where a good cop needs a Taser. Any cop/security officer who is appropriately strong, fast and smart, and who has been properly trained in restraint tactics and basic martial arts, should be able to very, very quickly disable and remove from the premises someone like Meyer. You don't hold him on the ground in the same room, allowing him to holler at the top of his lungs. If he won't leave, you quickly sweep him off his feet, onto his belly, cuff him, get an officer under each of his arms, lift up and drag quickly out of the room. Won't hurt the detainee and removes him from the scene quickly---preventing escalation.

Right Wing? He was backing up that Kerry should have won and introducing the fact that Kerry may have been told to roll over by his Skull and Bones roots or other higher ups. That is what he was getting at. I'm guessing that the Skull and Bones comment was a pre-determined key word that the police were told to move on.

This isn't about right or left. This country is no longer controlled by us. This country is being puppeted by the illuminati and it's now obvious that we are at the point of no return.

The students need to respond next time. That is why I carry a weapon WITHOUT a concealed license. Those cops should have been held at gunpoint until other cops could arrive to control the situation properly...

If that was my friend, I can guarantee that I would have probably been tased too, but before that, I would have kicked the shit out of at least one of them. Next time, the students are going to be ready and the cops will be up shit creek.

This has nothing to do with the student and everything to do with the cops. Cops are using any excuse to do what they want. This is our country... not theirs and I will die fighting for it and if and in the end if the cops don't back off we will all consider them enemy's just like a terrorist or killer and they will be fair game.

A person is allowed to use deadly force if he or she feels that their life is in danger or the life of another citizen. Next time, someone still might get tased but hopefully some cops will go home in bags.....

If they leaqve me alone and I'm doing nothing wrong.. Hey, we are all good. You threaten me or try to hurt me and they might get more than a taser.

This is the beginning.... It has all begun. The cabinet have been resigning, Gov Ventura just moved out of the country along with a bunch of other well to do's and rich people. What do they know that we don't?

Regardless of Meyer's questioning manners, the point is that you cannot ask certain questions in this country anymore and you CERTAINLY CANNOT ask about Skull & Bones! We are in dire straits here and everyone is not getting it: our rights are gone, our election system is gone, and if you ask the wrong question of the selected leaders , YOU are gone! America, home of the free... RIP.

This kid should NOT have been tasered. What they should have done, is pull down his britches, bend him over the knees, and take a belt and wear his a$$ out.

DUH… if you fight with the police, (right or wrong) you are going suffer the consequences. Everyone knows that the cops are not going to just let you go. It's not like they shot the guy – IT WAS A NON-LETHAL TASER.

I don’t think the cops were out of line though. I think the guy seemed a bit nutty and the officers were just trying to ensure public safety and order.

"Some guy" said freedom of speech doesn't end with ... as long as you're polite." Politeness is not required, but the pursuit of one's rights cannot usurp or infringe upon the rights of others. This guy was infringing it seems.

Even if the guy was legitimately interested in engaging in an enlightened conversation about the political process and issues of the day (which seems doubtful), he was out of line.

He wasnt exercising freedom of speech - just the rantings of a seft absorb moron - dont waste my time with this disruption - what about my rights to go to s student forum and not have disorderly disruption - Tase him again please - he probably wasnt taking his meds anyway - remember that other college??

Hi Roman B,

I just rewrote your post, replacing just a few key words:

I've done my stint as a questioner at political functions in college. Whenever I had my mike turned off & asked to leave the podium (always at Nazi rallies, go figure), that's what I did. I didn't wait for the SS to ask me to leave, escort me, argue with them, or get myself in a position where I could get myself in trouble.

This has nothing to do with Andrew Meyer's freedom of speech, or any of the other political issues of Germany's Third Reich.

Andrew went up there to the podium with the intent of instigating trouble & he got it. He was dumb enough to get himself into trouble, but smart enough to know the notoriety he was looking for.

He may have died at the hands of the SS, or perhaps he's working in a concentration camp somewhere (we'll never know). But this is exactly what he wanted, to become a martyr -- why else would he have had all his journalist friends there, taking notes?


This discussion reminds me of an old proverb:

"Stick a frog into a boiling pot of water and he'll jump out right away. But put the frog into the pot with the water at room temperature and gradually raise it to the boiling point and he will die in the pot. The change is too gradual for him to notice and it kills him."

As Huey Long once said, "Of course we will have fascism in America, but we will call it democracy!"

... and Ray Lewis is also a
murderer, but you Baltimore
losers don't want to admit the truth about that either

People should make a stand against all the publicity this 21 year old will get for this.

Are you sure he is not planning to try for "America Got Talent" next year. Frankly, he is pretty good at planning and exercising his plans.
This maybe his ticket to try for the local legislation this year.

maybe he had WMDs on him, and the effort made by the heroic officers was a preemptive strike! Seriously, if you think the cops were justified to use tasers, you might as well go outside and put a torch to Ol' Glory...

Meyer's had a right to speak whether or not he was a right winger or a lefty. He had some legitimate questions and the fact that he passed his camera to this young woman is proof of that. We live in a YouTube world and there are many people out there that WANT TO DO THE REPORTING THAT THE ROM (republican owned media) refuses to do. There are many progressives like myself that would like to hear John Kerry answer the question as to why he did not stand up for the voters of this country, especially against George Bush and his Band of Thugs who have completely disrespected it!

I'm glad to hear that John Kerry did at least try to get the cops to back off. From what this young woman is saying is he did want to hear his questions and to answer them. It's too bad the cops were eager to use their taser gun on this kid and instead decided to "protect" the people in the room from the young kid who wanted to use his 1st amendment rights for crying out loud!

Sick world we're living in today. I want my country back the way it was prior to the 2000 election.

Obviously this guy pushed his way into the vocal spot. He cut off another young american's free speach by grabbing the microphone. When asked to stop (there are rules at forums and public questions, etc.) he was upset and pulled and pushed the officers. At this point the officers have a choice to make, allow someone who is already disruptive and pushing and pulling to continue speaking, or get him out of there. Getting him out of there is the correct course of action. When asked to leave by the police you should do so (especially when you are being aggressive). By pulling away and moving toward the podium you are showing increasing aggressive behaviour and the officers are well within their right to tase you. Would you rather they beat you into leaving? No.

Freedom of speech does not permit disruptive behavior. Otherwise there could be no public forum. Consider if ten people had stood up with portable microphones, perhaps some of them wanting to shout comments about the Yankees chances in the playoffs... of course, that would be chaotic. Everyone has has a "reasonable expectation" of public tranquility and protection from intrusion into their individual personal rights. Freedom of speech does not grant the right to deny others their ability to speak publicly or to prohibit people from hearing those for whom they purposefully assembled.

I thought the situation was crazy when I first heard it, but after hearing what really went down, I can't see ppl defending this guy too much. Yes, free speech and all, but that comes with a certain degree of responsibility. Understand this: the guy did not get into any trouble at all for WHAT he said, but rather for how he conducted himself in a forum where there are clear rules to follow. Nobody here seems to be worried at all about the "free speech" of the student who was waiting his/her turn and got cut off by this person. We can debate whether use of a taser was called for...looked to me like they already had him on the ground at that point, personally...but why you people are defending this guy for screaming and yelling out of turn, cutting off other students who probably had some good questions of their own, is beyond me. Free speech does not give you an automatic license to throw temper tantrums at the expense of other people whenever you feel like it. Go into any public speaking forum and start screaming your head off out of turn, and cutting off other attendees, and I guarantee you'll be escorted off the premises every time regardless of what you’re actually saying. This isn't a free speech issue, as much as some of us want it to be. If this person would have stayed within the established rules set for the forum, and conducted himself like a human being, then he would have been able to freely ask any question he wanted.

Mr. Meyer received exactly what he deserved and exaclty what he sought. He was not tasered for free speech, he was tasered for refusing police instructions. He wanted the attention so he capitalize on the publicity. If he really cared about making his point to Sen. Kerrey he would have addressed him with the respect deserving of a US Senator. Instead he acted like a punk and was treated accordingly. When the organizers realized that Meyer was at the podium to harrass the Senator they decided to cut Meyer off and end his tirade directed at Sen. Kerrey. Meyer's 'questions' had nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with Meyer's intent to get onto Youtube, mission accomplished. For all those weeping for Meyer because he was tasered remember this: he would not have been treated that way by the police if had followed their instructions and left peacefully. Instead he chose the path of greatest resistance. Which begs the question, why? Why not address the Senator repectfully? Sen. Kerrey would certainly listen more intently to a person making his or her point intellignetly than to a person who is berating him. Another question is why the concern for the cameras? This whole episode was a set up by this young man to get famous, albeit for 15 minutes.

He got exactly the attention he so craved. Oh good for him. He was RUDE looking for a fight and got one. Good for the officers of UF Police (fire them strip them of pensions??!?! Gimme a break 'some guy'. Bunch of bleeding hearts. Boo hoo. And Kerry had no reason to intervene on his behalf. Frankly grow up, be polite (didn't your parents teach you anyhing Mr. Meyers??) Too bad for the rest of the UF population you represented so badly by your ridiculous behavior.

READ the book he was supporting the Armed Madhouse. It's amazing and will change your life! And watch the right video!

I do not believe as some have said that this guy is a nut bag. It seems more likely that what he did was carefully planned street theater performed at the expense of the campus police officers who were there to keep order and protect everyone. He repeatedly disobeyed a lawful order and the police had every right to use force. Did they have to use a taser? I don't know, I wasn't there. It is definitely better than using a club. This has nothing to do with free speech. The only one who showed no respect for free speechwas the loudmouth jerk who was arrested. This was nothing more than political stunt. I feel badly for the police officers who are now being villified by people who see this jerk as some kind of hero.

I saw the video that has footage before he started to ask his questions. There was no student that he cut off and the student was arrested as soon as he asked about Kerry being in the same secret society with Bush. He was tased because he was outraged that he was being arrested. The blog that this is in response to is completely false.

Actually, the guy was a left winger as I understand it, and was questioning Kerry's membership in Skull and Bones along with Bush. Confirms Florida's image as a quasi-Confederate nuthouse.

How is everyone missing the LEGAL issues so badly? To you people who say that he violated the other speaker’s first amendment rights: Read the Constitution!!!!! The 1st amendment APPLIES to government actions that suppress speech not the actions of private individuals. The problem here is the cops appeared to move in without a school authority telling the speaker to leave or shutup for a valid reason. The school can establish procedures or codes of conduct for discourse but they didn't seem to have any procedure for this discussion which is ultimately their mistake. They probably could have lawfully had him leave the premises if they would have been more careful in planning this event. But they let the kid take the Mic and John Kerry wanted to answer the questions. Suddenly without warning the cops restrained him. COME ON! This is obviously not the right way to handle it. Yes the kid is a idiot but that’s not grounds for arrest. The arrest was unlawful and he has a right under FL law to resist.

Yeah, this American should've been completely polite and impassionate...Also, the colonies should never have stepped out of line, they should never have wasted all of that tea in Boston, what the hell were they thinking?

Oh, wait a minute, what the hell are you all thinking? Andrew Meyer has been, as a person, a means of demonstrating how far from the tree of freedom we have fallen. Those of you who support the police actions are simply lambs to the slaughter. All of you speaking of Andrew Meyer being off his meds have been sedated yourselves as you willfully swallow the illusion of democracy. The students that clapped have missed out on their own education about what this country represents.

Our freedom is a sham, a facade, an article in the pages of history.

I doubt this comment will make it to "print".

I find it completely laughable (in the worst way) that my comment was "held for approval". Are you flipping kidding me right now?

This was a setup from the beginning. Just ask his attorney. You all are a bunch of lemmings being led to the cliff. Have fun on the way down.

Watch the video where you see the television camera in the back as the cops wrestle this dude to the ground. Where is this video? My guess is that it was a school camera, and the school is withholding the footage...
I have managed security at rock concerts for a number of years, and this WAS NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO HANDLE THE SITUATION! Yeah, the guy was obviously outraged, and was delivering his speach in a disrespectful manner... but I've seen reporters almost do the same in the room with the president and his cabinet. Security here obviously jumped the gun, and are trigger happy due to all the incidents at colleges and schools for loose cannon students. But come on!!! When does it stop? If they would have let the kid ask his Question, Kerry would have answered it, and it would have been over. Tasering him was uncalled for. I have had to remove 15 very angry skinheads from a concert before, with the help of about 5 other gaurds, and noone had to be tasered, and noone had to be wrestled down to the ground. It creates more problems, and these "campus cops" are overzealous, ego-trip maniacs.
It's bullshit. People are allowed to speak, and given the opportunity, should be allowed to speak directly to the people that are trying to run our country.

If he was disturbing the peace then why did they wait for him to finish asking his question before they started manhandling him?

John Kerry should do something to help that student. He stood there as numerous police tackled him and then used a taser on him. Instead of trying to intervene by simply saying to let the young man go, Kerry rambled on like a robot to try to answer the student's question. This should not have ever been allowed to happen unopposed at forum set up by Sen. Kerry. I was Kerry suppoter in 2004 and I am disapointed in him as an elected official and a leader.

This is the same Alex as the 3:12 and 3:15pm posts.

First of all, thank you to the blogger for posting all of my comments. I understand that you want to screen for profanity, etc. Of course, you could be screening for content, but you've demonstrated your integrity and I appreciate that.

I'd like to make an important observation about the video.

The young American did not cut anyone off. To those of you that "heard what happened" you were not given an accurate account. Even after Mr. Meyer began raising his voice in passionate speech Senator Kerry was responding to him. Listen as the Senator says "Right..." after Mr. Meyer brings up the issue of the black votes. That shows that the Senator was responsive and willing to hear the questions he was being asked. In the background you can hear that the Senator even attempts to answer the question as Mr. Meyer is about to be tased.

Those "peace officers" were not giving lawful orders because Meyer never did anything wrong. And no he didn't cut anyone off. Did you hear anyone protesting? Did you hear the alleged student shout, for example, "Hey! It's my turn, man?" Wouldn't any of you have protested to being cut off in a similar fahsion. In fact you can see that Senator Kerry recognizes Mr. Meyer and listens intently to his questioning.

In, regards to the police brutality, you can hear Andrew Meyer begging not to be tased. The fact that he was aware of the danger was threat enough for the police to pursue him. These "cops" should be fired immediately and consider themselves lucky that they are not themselves charged with federal offenses.

It's disturbing what some of you will believe without looking further into the facts for yourself.

Excellent Civis gets its. Finally someone who is not a robot. Being louder than someone else does not mean you have taken away someones right. Tasering someone who speaks critically has a chilling effect on the next person who is considering speaking out.

We have freedom of speech in this country, but we also can place reasonable restrictions on that speech. You can't stand up in a crowded movie theater or an elementary school play and start lecturing on whatever topic you feel the need to speak about. A one minute restriction on questions and making students stand in line is reasonable. Why is nobody upset about the free speech rights of the student whose question he interrupted or the other students who were prevented from speaking by his outburst?

On the taser issue, the police are allowed to use any force necessary (short of deadly force) to bring someone under control. Using a taser looks brutal but tasers and pepper spray put the subject and the officer in much less risk than other types of force. They're often the best way to get someone to comply with minimal risk of bodily harm. If a fight had broken out or other people had been injured, the same people screaming police brutality would be asking why the police did nothing to prevent it.

I've been to Auschwitz, I've seen forests riddled with Nazi machine gun bullits twenty feet above my head on mature tree trunks where mass unmarked trenches of the dead rest. My grandparents knew people who disappeared, never to be heard from again. & all this & more before Communism took-over.

To compare what happed to Andrew Meyer to Nazi's & fascism has to be one of the most ridiculus things I've seen written on this post.

John Kerry is a US Senator & security was tight becasue of it. With Andrew going up there starting to rant & rave & not leave the podium & not listen to campus police & totaly resist arrest with a couple of officers, what would you expect to happen?

Do you want to see US Senators be put in a position where security personnel did absolutely nothing & allow an agitaded guy not listen to security & ignore instructions?

Andrew's freedom of speech was not violated. If he wanted to ask questions about the elections, skulls & bones, Iraq, whatever, fine. But if his intent is to cause a disturbance in the presence of a US Senator, what do you expect to happen?

Hey Jessica Smith-
Try learning how to spell and the difference between there and their. After that you might be taken serious.

After watching the video of the incident, I am shocked that a taser was used.

I have seen many students get upset or just be inconsiderate towards a speaker, but usually they are booed out or just ignored. Most students in the audience are mature enough not to pay attention those who speak out of turn or are just jerks during situations like that.

So why were the police angry with this one student? Am I missing a part of the story where he did something that would have harmed Senator Kerry or any of the students around them? It seems that he was just being a jerk and if that calls for tasering, then we have come to a sad, sad world.

I think he got more than what he bargained for. Not only did he get to speak, but now everyone and his dog got to hear it. Not bad for a student...

okay, kerry is aa veteran blah blah. but what threat did this guy who was just asking a question, however moronic sounding it was, pose to him? erm, im gonna go with... none.

im gay m'self but i dont believe anyone, left or right wing deserves to be treated like that... its insane.
im just glad i live in england, if our police acted like that, id emigrate.

WOW! I didn't expect so many bloggers who have no understanding of decorum, civility, and respect for authority. When 4 cops tell you to stop fighting or you'll be tasered and you keep fighting, you will get what you deserve. My guess is the four guards could hold him down, but they felt they couldn't control him if they tried to escort him out, which is what they needed to do. If any of you believe they WANTED to shock him (which by the way stings but doesn't really "harm"), you are idiots who don't know much about security. He can express himself at other times, places and ways. He got his 15 minutes of fame, which is what he wanted, and it didn't cost him much. He's lucky the secret service wasn't in charge.

What, if anything, is the U.S. Attorney's Office in Florida doing about the civil rights violation? It was a clear Deprivation of Rights under the Color of Law.

Kerry, what an ineffectual (and boring) Jerk! A student is dragged out before his eyes for the "crime" of asking a question, and then he is tassered, and all Kerry does is blab on, ....and on,.......and on.

Kerry: What a spineless jerk!

They should have tasered him more...

Here is the rule, right or wrong a cop tells you to do something you say yes sir and obey. period. If you disagree with it you can question the actions at a later time, maybe even bring up a law suit, but you obey, until the time is right to be questioned.

The cops should not listen to Kerry, i don't care if Kerry was trying to protect myers. The cops were there to protect Kerry and that meant removing Myers from the scene, regardless of Kerry's comments. What would have happened had they let him back after Kerry said he would answer the question and Myers were to have shot Kerry? The officers would have lost their jobs and Kerry his life.

"An eyewitness to the entire episode, Clarissa Jessup, indicates Kerry did try to deescalate the matter, and did just about tell the police to stand down. "

Key point: did just about...John's life story.

So, I hear some people saying that this kid was a jerk who interrupted and wanted to have his outburst caught on tape, so he deserved to be tazed. Hummm Sounds like Bill O'Riley. I wonder if this conversation would be turned around if O'Riley was tazed?

Wow! Whitness defends Kerry's response (his non response). A student who tries to ask him a question gets arrested and tassered and Kerry's only response is that he "ALMOST loses his composure".
Wow, I'm really impressed! Kerry almost lost his composure.

Some of you people are nuts... seriously. Thank you Alex for being the voice of reason.

And to Tom, for being so petty as to get onto someone for spelling... what about your capitalization skills eh? Practice what you preach dude!

The kid resisted arrest, which apparently in this country if you think you are being wrongfully arrested you can't fight back... talk about losing our freedom, that's the most important of all... Habeas corpus anybody?
Also, they never read him his rights, in all the video footage I've seen, they never read him his rights... another mistake.
But the biggest mistake of all was the tasering. BC said it best, there were 5 guys on top of him, and they couldn't control him, with 5 of them on top of him? And also, why was there a need to taser him for 5-6 seconds? Maybe 2 seconds I could understand, but 5-6? Ridiculous, and complete overkill.

You people seriously need to realize our freedoms are no more. It's not 'we're losing them' it's 'they're already lost'!

It was the profanity. duh.

Here is what I propose:

Whenever the Board of Regents for the UFL meets, if anyone ever exceeds his floor time or speaks out of turn, he gets wrestled to the ground, hit with a taser, and thrown into a jail cell overnight.

After all, if it's appropriate in one situation, it should be equally applied to all. Starting with the Board of Regents of UFL, and being a policy for every meeting that ever takes place on that campus.

Kerry was the moderator and did not indicate that the man was out of line. In fact, he said, "That's okay. Let me answer his question."

Why was he arrested if he was not, in the judgment of the moderator, out of line?

As far as our constitution goes, any American has the right to question authority. Has the right to fight off any government that is going against the constitution, as long as he does not infringe upon the rights of others. Passive resistance is better than violence any day of the week. However, in this day and age of loud-mouths and shock-values, your voice will not be heard unless you rise to the top of your game. The ball is in Kerrys court now. Will he publicly answer the very relevent questions? It does not matter how you do your job, as long as the end result is your job done right. Those three "key" questions are what many people are wanting to know.

That student was asking for it, however five officers do not need to taze someone in order to control him. They could have just cuffed him.

That student was asking for it, however five officers do not need to taze someone in order to control him. They could have just cuffed him.

Claims KERRY made that Andrew Meyers "barged" in front of others, and that he couldn't see Meyer being tasered and that he "hoped" the student and officers were unhurt, each one is refuted by the video: If Meyer had barged in, WHY did Kerry address him as "sir" to solicite his question and not tell him to stand aside for the person(s) who'd allegedly been displaced? There was no one near Meyer while he asked his questions other than police, so the phantom people he "barged" ahead of must have been so meek as to sit down quietly or they were invisible. The layout of the auditorium makes Kerry's statement that he didn't know Meyer was tasered implausible - as he was in the back of the room screaming with officers kneeling on him, and a woman screamed they've got a taser on his chest. That he hoped the victim was unhurt is bizarre, because all present could hear he was hurt. That he hoped the officers were unhurt is equally bizarre, as it was apparent they were unhurt, unless they were tripping over one another to attack Meyers, but since they all walked out under their own steam, no limping, no sound of anquish on the part of any of the officers, Kerry could conclude they were unhurt. Sounds like his statement was framed to avoid irritating law enforcement with the truth.

Has everybody in favor of the tasering forgotten the First Amendment? It doesn't matter if in your opinion he was rude, or if in your opinion he was being disrespectful. Last time I looked, he was still in the United States, where we have a little concept called Free Speech. This is yet another example of how YOUR rights are being eroded in this country. Some day it might be YOU who is considered rude and disrespectful for voicing your OPINION and asking a few QUESTIONS of a PUBLIC figure - and I STILL won't condone it or accept YOUR beat down as "OK". Wake up people - demand respect for EVERYBODY'S rights or LOSE THEM!!

Trying to blame John Kerry for the actions of the police is ridiculous. The only people responsible for this are the one's who did it. Period.

1. It is great that we have enough freedom in this country to have this blog. Seriously.
2. It is sad that we live in a nation of laws and so few know them.
3. "Basic Law" should be a requirement for all grade school students, let alone university students.
4. Upon knowing the laws, we as Americans should demand of our legislators that the laws we want are the laws that we have.
5. We pay law enforcement officers, through our taxes, to enforce our laws. Change the laws before blaming law enforcement.
6. "They didn't read him his rights" is right out of Jack Webb movies of decades ago. Reading of Rights has has never been required by law unless the suspect is questioned about the offense after being taken into custody.
7. America, the country, is a result of rebellion against authority. Keep it up, but know the law and work to change it if you want. Don't blame those we pay to enforce it.

Here is the thing; John Kerry is a politician who works for the people and is elected by the people. He, just as any other public official, is held accountable by the very people he is serving.

Freedom of speech does not mean "sometimes" or "if it furthers my own personal political agenda to get me voted in" or "Four miles away in a Free Speech Zone".

This is why you have to be a registered republican to attend RNC and also do the swear the oath to Bush in order to even remotely get near his conventions. This is why we have Free Speech Zones for the press and protestors located miles away from the events and surrounded by chain fence and barbed wire.

In that this individual was cut off, taken away forcefully, and even tazered as a result of him simply asking questions (albeit loud and rude), such is not an excuse to treat him in that manner. The campus cops should be immediately fired and stripped of pension for such actions.

As the man on stage, and of political importance, all Kerry had to say were the following simple words:

"I will be glad to address your questions in an orderly fashion. Please let the person prior to you finish his turn and we will field what you have to say. If we do not get to you in line, I will be glad to speak with you in private."

Or when he was mobbed by the campus cops:

"He is visibly angry, but he has a reason to be. Take your hands off of him!"

Kerry did neither. The guy cutting in line, visibly boisterous and angry, asking questions - yelling them in anger and disappointment... He did not deserve that treatment.

And as a potential leader, Kerry outright failed to diffuse a simple miscommunication and misdirected anger from a college kid, allow his multiple rights to be overtly trampled before his eyes.

This is shameful on multiple accounts. I do not side with Kerry nor the Campus Police in this matter. Being loud, willing to stand up for what you believe, and not back down just because what you are saying is not convenient to hear... those are the traits of a true patriot.

In our past, our forefathers were the same and were willing to take a bullet for it. And you call that kid crazy?

No, I call the rest of us sheep. Too tame and weak to stand up and make our voices heard, even if it's not what they want to hear. Even if there is a punishment to keep us quiet.

Before Sept 11th we would have sided with the college kid on this... it would have been blatantly obvious. Now we're conditioned to think twice.

Just like Fahrenheit 411, the people are sheep... and proud of it.

You still don't know what laws Meyer broke or why he was arrested and tased? Read my blog above at 11:35 A.M. Change the laws if you don't agree.

Obviously, a lot of people are commenting about this without watching all of the videos. Go back to Meyer taking over the microphone and taking over the event. This is not about free speach. This is about disorderly conduct, as defined by law, and resisting arrest. Know the laws. If you don't like the laws, work to change them.

Kerry should have used his position to intervene. This got WAY out of control. He could have stopped it.

He did not.

Makes you wonder about him as a President.

"But as I began to think more, this is a crazy, different world than years ago. ... Is it worth the risk in this day and age?"

It's comments like those that sadden me the most. Americans, wake the hell up, please. This is NOT a different world since 911. It's the very same world it's always been. You are allowing yourselves to be manipulated into giving up the exact freedoms that once made your country great.

Hello America

Your police Taser and arrest people who have been invited to ask a question by a politician.

You do not live in free country.

For everyone that even suggests that this is police brutality, you should go read the law about using reasonable force to subdue someone. yes, people have the right to free speech, but when you cause a scene the way he did and caused a disturbance, offending people with rudeness, etc., it is against the law. And since it is against the law, the police had every right to remove him and arrest him. A tazer is used to gain compliance from someone and obviously the cops were not getting that. If you watch the video, you can't say the charges against him aren't depicted by his behavior. Also, his "question" wasn't a very answer-able question since Kerry couldn't even speak because this jerk kept going and going. This kid deserved everything that happened to him. Freedom is your right, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever the heck you want...

In my opinion the cops were too quick in getting physical with Meyers. However, once that happened Meyers could have avoided all his subsequent problems simply by being quiet and abiding by the cops orders, regardless of whether he was in the right or not.

It's pretty clear to me he wanted to make a spectacle of himself. His prolonged speech and his antics once the cops got involved were all very obvious. I'm fairly sure he didn't want to get tasered, however.

Bottom line - if he was more respectful with his questioning this wouldn't have happened. Once the cops escalated it, if he had just done as he was told to do, this wouldn't have happened. And yes, Kerry seemed rather impotent to the situation. I guess everyone was in the wrong. But no, this is NOT the demise of democracy or our freedoms. This is what happens when you combine an idiot and over zealous cops in one room.

It seems that everyone is thinking that the campus security acted independently. There are two videos on "You Tube" that show a man in a black suit standing between the two campus officers and consulting with them. When Andrew started asking about Skull and Bones, the man in the suit signaled to shut the mic off. I believe he was responsible for having Andrew removed. I also believe that he was the head of the group that asked Senator Kerry to speak. This would make him responsible for this incident.








I love how everyone is a legal expert. Keep watching Law and Order and let me tell you things really working before shouting your mouth off.

1. "they never read him his rights".... They didn't HAVE to. The Miranda Warning only applies when you have someone IN custody and you are ASKING questions that pertain to the offense. I have arrested plenty of people and NEVER gave them the Miranda Warning. This usually happens when I have enough probable cause to know the person committed the offense (ie: watching a goof mouth off and act disorderly at a public function)

2. Use of a Taser... As police, we follow a Use of Force model. It starts with the least amount of force (presence) and ends with the most amount of force (deadly). The model goes like this... 1. Police presence. 2. Verbal commands 3. Taser. The police gave this goof more then enough opportunities to comply. When they asked him to leave and he refused, they could and should have used the Taser. They gave this goof more then enough opportunities to comply and when he was RESISTING, they deployed the Taser. (And the Taser cycle is 5 seconds. One shot and you get a 5 second ride.)

3. For all of those calling this "Fascism" and "Police State" just remember that the next time you are a VICTIM or call for help. You know who shows up to protect and help... the Police. Certainly not this goof from Florida who got what he deserved. A lighting bolt ride!

This guy needs learn some respect and stop looking for attention...
I say, he deserved to be tasered...I hate violence but part of me was yelling.."taser him again..

This guy needs to learn some respect and stop looking for attention...
I say, he deserved to be tasered...I hate violence but part of me was yelling.."taser him again..

When did freedom of speech become contingent on manners? I read a post that suggested this crazy kids outburst should be prevented just like racist and sexist speech; Racist and sexist speech, unlike this college student's outburst, impedes on other peoples civil rights. This kid was obnoxius at best but, offered no clear and present threat, so why taser him? why even take him into custody? It is so funny that this should take place in the same week as Constitution Day. Firing political rivals from the judicial branch, A vice president that suggests his title of "President of the Senate" entitles him to more than a tie breaker vote, a "war" fought on terrorism turned into the "brining of democracy" to another country and now a college student tasered for speaking out however obnoxious he may have been. Perhaps we have always been just on the bleeding edge of losing the democracy we claim to value but it just seems that lately it is a little more obvious.

The fact that police officers are publicly defending this outrageous, brutal attack on free speech is an ominous sign. What the hell do you dirty little fascists imagine his crime to be? This shows that the type of personality attracted to law enforcement is often quite happy to brutally suppress opposition to the American ruling class and its criminal policies and has absolutely no respect for basic democratic rights.

If they act like this, they shouldn't be suprised when citizens start preparing to defend themselves. Perhaps we should take a lesson from Iraqis, who don't put up with repressive brutality.

Bottom line: He was wrong to do be impolite by moving someone else away from the microphone. It was right to escort him away, regardless of what he had to say to the right or left, but there was no need to taser him. He should've been escorted out, and that should've been easy enough for those officers to do without weapons.

Most people (especially the two above) don't understand how to evaluate a risk. "A real officer" should know, but apparently doesn't.

According to principles set down by the supreme court, speech is protected unless it causes direct harm. Speech is not protected if you yell "fire" in a crowded theatre when there is no fire, and panic ensues. However, no matter how rude or lacking civil respect a question may be, it is in fact protected under the US Constitution.

When I saw the video, it was what one would expect in China or in other regime's where speech and political views are not protected. Sadly, this follows a general trend in the US where "enemies" are locked away without due process, citizens are spied upon by their government without judicial oversight, and where parents can have their property seized due to their children's drug habits. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003891514_forfeit19m0.html)

Thank goodness for elections, as the people still have the power to vote change in the US.

What a minute. There is a big difference between a policeman arresting someone and a judge throwing someone in jail for speaking. Don't you see?

The policeman must act quickly , and err on the side of public safety.

The jurist can consider all the facts, the relevant law etc.

If we expected policemen to only arrest the real criminals, then there would be no need for courts to consider the facts.

Give the police a break ( I can't believe I just wrote that). Andrew will have lots of opportunities to voice his views in the days to come.

In a true totalitarian state, Andrew might have been sentenced by a judge then shot in the back of the head and his family billed for the bullet. That would be trampling on someone's right to free speech, but not this.

Chill. Freedom is still alive!

Kerry is a Senator of the US and a person who toured for freedom, more that anyone else he should have taken a stand on this, after all I believe we live in America where we have a Constitutional Right. This case is not necessary about Meyer but about police abuse and respect for our constitutional rights. As far as I am concerned this is not a police state, if these officers have the need of power why don't they take a tour to Iraq for six months, they sure can use lots of energy there. Whats wrong is wrong, if anything police is here to serve and protect shamefully they keep forgetting this, part of it is to protect citizens rights very well spelled out in our constitution. (THANKS TO OUR FOUNDING FATHERS)

I think this is again yet another example of why tasers should be highly controlled.

This man was already physically restrained on the floor, there was no need to taser him.

"Thank goodness for elections, as the people still have the power to vote change in the US."

I think Andrews line of questioning will show you that is wrong. He was hinting at the Skull & Bones, which leads to the Illuminati... and that is a no/no to talk about in this country. But man, I give him chutzpah for trying... I wish the rest of the American citizens would stand up and do that... realize our country is in pretty bad shape. Do you people realize that we have no allies now? And if the rumors are correct, we might be heading into another world war pretty soon... with maybe England as our only ally? This country needs change, and bravo for Andrew realizing that, and then having the guts to DO something about it!

And you people, I've seen the video footage... and unless someone has one that SHOWS Andrew butting in front of somebody, I don't see it. I hear Kerry answering a question, and turning to Andrew and asking him what his question was... that was it, no shoving, no person saying "Hey it's my turn" nothing. So unless you people have PROOF of that, I refuse to believe it.

And as far as you cops coming to defend your brethren, your opinions mean nothing to me, because you are all one-sided, and stick to your own. Go out and drive like a maniac and then catch others when they speed. Turn your lights on so you don't have to wait at red lights, yet we're the ones that are horrible drivers? Hypocrites of the law!

"He would be quieted for his own protection"

IS just one on the 60 IQ comments gracing this board.
Free speech for all, or its not free speech - geddit?





If Andrew Meyer was only charged with resisting arrest with violence, it begs the question, what was the original offence he was arrested for? If he had committed an offence that was deemed arrestible, surely he would have been charged with two offences, the initial offence, whatever that may be and the secondary offence of resisting arrest with violence. Preemptive strikes are the way forward, as evidenced in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lets throw somebody out of the building, just in case. If he resists this, we'll taser him, bro and then charge him with an offence of resisting arrest with violence. You never know, he might be an evil doer. Duh!

Yes, the student was being a rude jerk in search of a photo op. No, being a jerk of that sort isn't illegal yet (or we'd really have grounds for impeachment, eh?)

Police nationwide behave as though the official policy is to catch and release vehement dissenters at any forum where a politician is present.

This time it got ugly because the guy resisted what was obviously a bogus arrest, but most of the time, the police just round us up, shut us up, and let us go the next day, when people aren't watching.

So, we all learn this lesson: dissent won't put you in jail for long, but be ready to be rounded up if you express your opinion outside the designated 'Free Speech Zone'.

Hey soldiers, is that the America you want to die for?

"This guy needs learn some respect and stop looking for attention... I say, he deserved to be tasered...I hate violence but part of me was yelling.."taser him again.."

I have news for you Paula: If part of you was yelling "Taser him again", you don't really hate violence after all.

We wouldn't be having this discussion in China, Iran, etc., etc.

Who said the guy was being arrested initially? Seems to me he was being told - in more physical than need be terms - that his time was up, that he was now crossing the line and he should let Kerry answer his previous numerous questions. He physically fought back, started making a disturbance and things escalated.

Is there an issue with police too quickly escalating situations? Perhaps, but I'll never have sympathy for people who don't understand the simple concept of authority and that when a cop says to do something, you do it. If they are in the wrong, you prove that at a later time. Meyer's response was flat out wrong in this case and none of this had to happen if only he had just shut up and peacefully walked out with them.

Not only would we not be having this discussion in China, Iran, etc., etc...
We wouldn't be having it if Andrew Meyer was in charge of this blog, because he would be doing all of the talking.

For those of you who says Andrew was out of control or police did the right thing? Ask your teacher to Taser after you for expressing about your feeling or thought! Then you'll know for real. The main point here was that John Kerry rigged the vote! This should of have been taken care back then at the court. At least Andrew had guts to stand up and give speech. On the video, most of students were just watching and some were laughing. Shame on all those people!

For those of you who says Andrew was out of control or police did the right thing? Ask your teacher to Taser after you for expressing about your feeling or thought! Then you'll know for real. The main point here was that John Kerry rigged the vote! This should of have been taken care back then at the court. At least Andrew had guts to stand up and give speech. On the video, most of students were just watching and some were laughing. Shame on all those people!

He was being arrested initially, otherwise he couldn't have been charged with resisting arrest. It's logically impossible to be charged with that offence when you've not been arrested. After all it's called resisting "arrest", so they must have had grounds in the first place to arrest him. If they did, what were those grounds, if there was any, and if not, why did they feel the need to arrest somebody when they've done nothing wrong. It's common sense. Of course he was being arrested.

1. The young man should not have resisted arrest, however, there should not have been an arrest made.
2. If someone would have explained to the man why he was being removed, instead of just grabbing him (police initiated violence), this situation would have never happened.
3. Why couldn't the police allow Mr. Kerry to answer this man's question?
4. Somebody explain why these people were so willing to use a WEAPON to get this guy to stop talking. I mean come on, what's next shooting into a crowd of protesters? Kent State much?

Dave, I disagree. When the two cops first grabbed him by his arms he might not yet have been under arrest. When he refused to leave, they then decided to arrest him, and then came the resisting arrest charge.

If there's a crime scene and you, by accident, are standing behind the police line, it's very likely a cop might grab you by the arm and request you get on the other side of the line. At that point you are not under arrest. Now, if you fail to move, you might then get arrested, and if you fight that, you get the resisting arrest as well.

Have the actual charges and an explanation for them been made public yet?

Why must everything be so extreme? This grown man got the attention he was obviously garnering for. He has a right to his opinions and questions, and he can voice them as he wishes. The louder and more outrageous, the better in this, our society.
The campus police were just doing their jobs, for which they are not paid nearly enough. They screwed up. Used too much force. He got tasered, though. Not shot. The police should be reprimanded, not fired. And now students are demanding that tasers be taken completely off campus? What? Have these young people forgotten the rampant crime on college campuses? Hello. Virginia Tech. Not so many years ago there were murders going on at Florida campuses. What do they want the police to do should they happen upon a crime? Throw rocks? No, when the police show up unprepared to help a student in true need, the students will be the first to complain.
And the best thing to do for Meyer is forget him. He's had his 15 minutes.

If this student is arrested and caused to feel pain (shot with a taser gun) for speaking during a question period at an event, where did our rights of freedom of speech as Americans go? This country is quickly becoming a repressive police state, and we better pay attention and stand up/speak up for each other now, before it's too late.

Frank, I am aware of what happened but what was the initial arrest for, was it a public disorder offence? Lets use your crime scene allegory, if you fail to move from the crime scene and then resist arrest, you would be guilty of failing to move from the crime scene (There's probably a sepcific terminology for this offence) and for resisting arrest. Two offences. Anyway, after some further researching he was charged with two offences, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest with violence. Which proves my point that you can't just be arrested for nothing and then charged with resisting arrest. The Police can't just grab hold of you and then when you resist they can charge you with resisting arrest, for them to arrest you, you have to have committed an arrestible offence.


The bottom line is police officers have rules of engagement. From what I saw this kid was being rude and obnoxious but in no way presented a threat to safety. Police can't use a taser on you for being a jackass, and that is what appears to have happened. Who really cares that John Kerry did not step in. The incident was between the student and the officers. The last time I checked police do not have to follow the orders of a politician.

"What they should have done, is pull down his britches, bend him over the knees, and take a belt and wear his a$$ out."

Like what your father did to you, eh?

Many of the comments here justifying the tasering no doubt reflect childhood abuse. I'll bet George Sr. and Babs whipped GWB too.

"When he refused to leave, they then decided to arrest him"

Um, Dave's question is, what did they decide to arrest him for? I would presume disturbing the peace.

"The main point here was that John Kerry rigged the vote!"

Uh, no one's point, certainly not Meyer's, was that John Kerry rigged the vote. Where do peope get such nonsense?

"Not only would we not be having this discussion in China, Iran, etc., etc...
We wouldn't be having it if Andrew Meyer was in charge of this blog, because he would be doing all of the talking."

You don't seem to understand how blogs work.

It's pretty clear that a lot of the hostility here to Meyer has to do with the claims he was making, not just to how he made them.

The point is that what Meyer did (at the Kerry speech) is *clearly* not illegal. It is against policy, but that is not an enforceable "crime". That is, though he did take over the mic after the time limit was up, he was then given permission to speak. When he was done (though someone did cut his mic, which I don't quite understand, either), he was GRABBED BY POLICE.


Kerry was responding, Meyer was willing (I believe, though that's debatable) to listen to the response. He actually was grabbed after Kerry had made it clear that he would respond; Kerry even very quickly told the police directly that he would like to respond.

What WERE the police doing?

There is no crime they were enforcing. There was no disturbance of the peace, since there was only the two of them (Kerry and Meyer) talking - heatedly, but without any real or implied threat to Kerry. There was no point at which there was an ARRESTABLE offence.

I don't think anyone understands why Meyer was being manhandled, or "arrested" as was claimed post factum. Just because a police officer grabs you does not mean that they are trying to "arrest" you. Resistance without an arrest is within our rights.

And just because they *say* they are arresting you does not mean they have any legal grounds. Our rights are immediate, vital and defensible. Who are they defensible *against*? Any government representative who would attempt to infringe on them: in this case, the police. This is our constitutional right, not something subject to the whim of university police, and not a mere a disappointing lack of political debate.

Our rights only exist immediately and vitally, and not after the fact.


To get the real story from actual STUDENTS. Meyers got what he deserved. People do not understand when "free speech" is applicable. This was not about free speech. Meyers was angry that he may not get to ask his question because he was at the back of the line and the forum was about to end. He got out of control, possibly putting other students in danger. The police were not arresting him at first, only going to escort him out. He got arrested for being a dumbass jerk. Everyone who is ranting against the police, "police-state", and other nonsense, well, next time you're at the grocery store when some nutjob is making angry threats at you or asking weird questions, the nearby police officer should just stand by and let the lunatic have his free speech. Freedom is alive! I think many of you are just whiners. Probably ghetto too. I'm rich now, but when I was growing up in the ghetto, everyone hated the police for some reason, even me. Now I can't understand what our problem was. Why do you HATE the police?

Whether Meyer was out of line or not doesn't justify what the police did to him. Even if he went in there trying to get a video of the police tasering him. Just goes to show how predictable police brutality has become in this country.

Hmmm... were his rights being violated, or was he violating the rights of the other student whom he cut off?

The police were justified. This guy is nuts. He was witnessed shouting "They're giving me to the government! They're going to kill me!" There is thankfully more than one video coming to light now and one with him yelling those crazy lines. My wife first heard about this and was angry as hell about the tasering. I calmed her down and said, let's look at the video on YouTube, and not just go by what CNN shows.
After a quick analysis, I felt he was disrupting and causing a scene which could have led to violence. He was certainly a physical person. Also telling was the audience reaction when he was going to be escorted out by the police. My wife wondered why the audience was clapping and cheering at his removal. He was not a "victim" of police brutality, and he will forever be laughed at as Taser Boy. "Don't taze me bro." He is not a hero, and when it all comes out about his personality (his own website, he states he's a born heckler) supporters will feel like suckers. Meyers actually works against the protection of real free speech issues.

To democracy for all...there is a substantial difference between a threat and "a wierd question". One is a crim eand the other isn't meatball...I for one didn't here buddy threaten Kerry

Senator Kerry might seriously consider the impeachment question that Meyer asked. It could be a necessary step enhancing his career. je

I am heartened to read so many voices in favor of free speech, regardless of how obnoxious (though I draw the line at hate speech, which this wasn't). We can find Mr. Meyer offensive, obnoxious, and out of line, but he was no threat, and what ensued is unacceptable in a "free" country.

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abe Lincoln

Kerry = coward.

Let's see, 6 cops, 2 standing around and 4 holding the kid down, and they still use a taser? 4 cops holding down one kid? That's why they work at a university in the delightful city of Gainesville. They wouldn't last five minutes in Miami or Atlanta...

This from a UF grad. 4 yrs in G'ville baby. Very nice place to live.

This has been an interesting read. There have been many calm voices here reminding us that police go by the law and go by what they are told. Right or wrong considering the immediate needs of the human situation. If anything, police officers can act much like robots (same as soldiers) without using their own heads.

There have also been impassioned voices telling us not to let down our guard in this day and age. That rudeness is called for given extreme circumstances.

One voice was wise enough to remind us that this world is still the same as it was pre 9/11 - to not let our fears get in our way. I´ve been around since the early 70s - things change, but not that much. Kent State again? No doubt.

I liked reading the opinions of a couple of police officers and others trained in crowd control. Stuff I have had no clue about.

Kerry is definitely part of this whole mayhem - his lame attempts to "help" were of the polictical type - CYA and do things from a distant. Don´t get too close or do anything that would cause bad publicity. Sen. Kerry should have been YELLING for them to let the student go, as he is supposed to be the FIRST AND FOREMOST PROTECTOR AND VOICE of the PEOPLE as someone from The Hill!! (ALSO - he had the microphone - he could be heard the loudest!!).

Obviously, Andrew was nervous - I would be too talking in person in front of a crowd to a famous US Senator; he wanted to stir the pot; he was rude in his style, and very aggressive towards the guards from the onslaught. By the way people are snickering at the beginning of the video and smiling towards the end, the other students knew Andrew was up to something entertaining.

I am still proud to be a US citizen - and it is entirely due to the loud, dissenting voices out there helping us all stay impassioned, but intelligent, and considerate towards others, to a point (no tasering allowed). Thank you, my fellow bloggers, for being the root of my pride.

It's shocking how little people understand about the First Amendment. The "content" of Meyer's rude questions (which is ALL the First Amendment protects) have nothing to do with his being escorted out. His earliest disorderly conduct was at the very least in violation of university policy which the officers have the responsibility of enforcing.

When he became louder, erratic, and began shoving officers, the officers were suddenly confronted with probable cause to arrest him for disturbing the peace--this is a real law that has a legitimate purpose rooted in public safety. No one can claim ignorance to the reality that security will be somewhat heightened in the presence of a U.S. Senator, just as it would be in an airport terminal or a dense crowd. The officers had to make a quick decision in the face of a wildly erratic, unpredictable, and possibly violent threat and so they decided to escort him out.

Any opposition from Meyer regarding the police determination of probable cause up to that point should have been made through a court proceeding, he certainly had no shortage of witnesses. That should have been the end of his participation in the forum. He knowingly sacrificed that privilege of participation by becoming disorderly and breaking university policy...

...but then he made the unprovoked, inexcusable, and STUPID decision to USE PHYSICAL FORCE to fight back against the officers who were merely doing their job to this point. After repeated failed attempts to get him to stop physically resisting, they met his force with equal force and only tased him AFTER ADVISING him that they would do so if he did not stand down.

Whether police should be carrying tasers or not is a separate issue, but the fact is that for the time being they do, as a means of non-lethal force, for the protection of both the arestee and the officers. If you are going to FIGHT police officers with force, they have no choice but to try to neutralize you and to act decisively. Regrettably, this kind of instantaneous decisiveness must occassionally result in the use of force, which hopefully can be applied minimally and without injury. Luckily, in this case it was, despite Meyers' shrieking before during and afterward. He asked for pain and he received pain. He did not receive injury, as if for example he had been struck with a fist or a club.

The bottom line is that this has nothing whatsoever to do with free speech and Meyers' actions were NOT constitutionally protected.

The suggestion that working class campus police officers are a politically motivated group that sought to repress political dissent is nothing more than conspiracy theory drivel and a lazy argument indeed.

A perfectly executed arrest of a trouble making puck, kudos to the campus police. As far as Kerry you expect he statements to change from day to day, he truly is the king of flip-flopping.

alright, theres one big BIG mistake that most people in this forum are making.

you keep saying "when asked by the police to leave" or things to that effect, but those officers were NOT police they are CAMPUS SECURITY.

Procedures for use of force by campus security differs from college to college but it is MUCH different than police.

Whether or not these officers' acts were police brutality or not is debatable. A strong argument can be made for "the escalation of force" ( Read above) as Myer didn't leave peacefully.

However Campus Security officers are generally NOT supposed to use force UNLESS THEY BELIEVE AN INDIVIDUAL IS AT RISK OF HARMING HIMSELF, THE OFFICER OR THE PUBLIC.

before he is tasered, there are 6 security officers surrounding him on the ground. Last time i checked one unarmed guy who is obviously scared shitless is NOT a risk of harm to anybody. The only problem was that his yelling, which personally i believe was more driven out of fear than anything else.

The Officers could have EASILY picked him up and dragged him out of the room. simple. These campus security members should be fired, and a seriously review of procedures should be conducted.

i would appreciate feedback on this post, this issue interests me deeply.

He didnt run towards the stage, he was breaking away from the campus security that had no right to touch him in the first place. before they grabbed him all at once some lady security grabbed his arm and he pulled away and she let go. she had absolutely no right at all to do that.
Ive looked at this in a lot of vids and its the same thing. did they arrest the girl that was screaming for them to stop because the security and the TWO POLICE OFFICERS that WERE INVOLVED were acting brutally??? it was about the first things he was saying, resisting the natural tendency to fall under "authority" and ask what people are too shallow to ever talk about? it was when he asked about being in the "skull and bones"...which makes you wonder a little bit...
To clarify a little bithe was charged with RESISTING ARREST which incidently you can only get if there were acutal city or state police officers involved. there were two. He was also charged with disturbing the peace. Which he did not do by definition..as far as they have proved through media. there were people getting upset when he was arrested but not becuase of him becuase of the security. Those officers that are on leave will be back to stay, they arnt really in trouble theyre just looking out for the well being of the shallow minds in america so that they can somewhat keep things on a mediating level. whcih they blow at.
Also it is not relevent why Meyer aked those questions for attention or publicity. He asked a question thousands of people are thinking but dont have the balls to ask.
Question Authority

Overdone, I'm a democrat but I don't want more trash in govermnent. This guy doesn't have a chance anyway. And the hell if I'm going to vote for another republican. Vote or die. Republicans will dismantle this country, and democrat-wanna-bes will as well. I'll vote clinton if I have to.

Using a taser in those circumstances is clearly an unwarranted and unauthorized use of force. The guy was cuffed and on the ground. If 5 cops can't handle a guy in circumstances like that without tasing him, then they have no business in uniform. I

If the questions are not too inconvenient, I should still like to know why John Kerry conceded the election and if his membership in the Skull and Bones had anything to do with that concession.

Andrew Meyer evidently went to a great deal of trouble to ask those questions. We'll never get the answers as long as we are being distracted by armchair lawyers and fourth-hand eye witnesses.

If you want to mess around and cause a scene at an airport like that, one shouldn't expect to be treated lightly. Probably had it coming to him

Without question...this is the most despicable thing I have ever seen. Who cares if the "authorities" may not have agreed with his thoughts. He still has a right to address his concerns with a public official. In Europe, the government is actually afraid of the people...not the other way around. It is also a shame that many of the people just sat around doing nothing and hoping to not get involved...what happened to this country!

It is obvious that this clown went to this assembly to cause trouble. Just listen to how well rehearsed he was while being detained. All of his questions to police were being directed to the camera. Any type of meeting or assembly needs some type of order. Without it, you have chaos and accomplish nothing. If they would have let this idiot carry on for another 5 or 10 minutes, then what? Maybe he produces a handgun or explosive device and we have numerous people injured or killed. Then what would your opinion be of what the officers did? It would be " Why didn't they do something about this guy ". All the comments this guy made are radical related and attention getting.. No question.


In 2004, 20 Million Single Women Did Not Vote

From The Desk Of www.20millionvotes.com and www.askthepresident.tv

Log On Ladies, Register To Vote, Chat with Women Across The USA about what matters to you and Upload Your Questions For The Candidates. Women face disparities in all walks of life, if we want change we must come together for change. Let us work together to let the candidates know our voices will be heard in the 2008 Elections.

Red White And Pink Movement


“(U)nmarried women may play the same role for Democrats in 2008 that white evangelicals played for George Bush and the Republicans in 2004,”

Here’s to all the single women out there


Step aside soccer moms, NASCAR dads.

A new sought-after voting bloc is emerging in American politics: People like me — unmarried women voters.

Pollsters have recently discovered that this country has more than 53 million unmarried women of voting age. That’s more than a quarter of the electorate, encompassing more potential voters than many of the usual highly sought after groups, including seniors, racial minorities and union members.

“(U)nmarried women may play the same role for Democrats in 2008 that white evangelicals played for George Bush and the Republicans in 2004,” said a study by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research. More than 20 million unmarried women did not vote in 2004. Capture their votes and take the oath of office, or so goes the theory.

Thanks for noticing, fellas.

But let’s slow down before putting on these women’s foreheads a label that couldn’t possibly capture the wide range among unmarried women voters. A young woman just out of high school, a career woman new to her profession, a divorced 40-something, a widow in her 80s — all could fit.

Some headline writers and pundits were quick to label this group the “Sex and the City” voters. Nice TV show, but the “Sex and the City” girls curiously never seem to work, yet are able to splurge on shopping daily and eating out nightly in New York City — and never seem to gain an ounce of weight. Not reality.

The “single, anxious female” is how a senior strategist for Hillary Clinton’s campaign terms unmarried women, noting their angst about money. She is right on; two incomes often do make life easier.

Money, or strains about it, is the taboo subject between many a married woman and her unmarried girlfriend. Mrs. Married often will complain about bills, the mortgage, car trouble and so forth, and her unmarried friend will nod and grit her teeth, knowing she is burdened with the same things, but with the resources of only one salary.

But don’t point this out too explicitly, candidates. Women, to their detriment, do not like to admit money woes. So a candidate who speaks to single women as distress cases is likely to chase away their votes, not court them. Convince a single woman that you could possibly do something about her financial situation and you might get a vote, but you’d have to break down some of society’s myths about marriage along the way.

The institution of marriage has changed significantly over the past 30 years. A majority of women are now unmarried. Most people, 90 percent, marry at some point in their lives, but they are spending more of their lives single. And they live longer — especially women, who are more likely to outlive spouses and wind up in the unmarried category as widows. And, yes, people cohabitate, often forming lifelong bonds, minus the religious or civil ceremony.

Yet laws and policies often presume that marriage is the default condition in life. And that can make life more difficult for the single. Imagine the allure of a candidate who would candidly speak to tax disparities among married and single people, or to the situation of singles who don’t have the option of health-care coverage through a spouse, or to the way education in America is structured around the assumption of two-parent families, with one available at home.

Most women of voting age were raised with a few pixie dust-laden ideas that a magical kiss would produce Prince Charming, complete with a nice house and a bulging 401K. But we unmarried women are much less likely to view marriage as a solution to our problems — especially as we have watched our married counterparts (or possibly ourselves) sink financially after a divorce.

Unmarried women, experts say, are far more likely to believe they need a network of support systems — family, friends, employers, private agencies and, yes, government — for their worlds to run efficiently. Hillary Clinton got this part right when she touted the African proverb, “It takes a village.…”

The Greenberg study found that 78 percent of unmarried women believe the country is on the wrong track. That is a lot of skepticism for candidates to mine. The study also suggests that unmarried women, in a departure from the past, are now more interested in voting than married women.

As anyone can attest who has ever watched a bargain-seeking woman plow through a sale rack, women will go to great lengths if they know the effort will bring value to their lives. Candidates who convince women their platforms are worth the effort just might earn a valuable token of an unmarried woman’s love: her vote.

Log On Ladies to www.20millionvotes.com or www.askthepresident.tv

Register To Vote, Chat with Women Across The USA about what matters to you and Upload Your Questions For The Candidates. Women face disparities in all walks of life, if we want change we must come together for change. Let us work together to let the candidates know our voices will be heard in the 2008 Elections.

Red White And Pink Movement



Shirin Sharkawi To Become Homeownership Expert for Nationally Syndicated Warren Ballentine Show
Shirin Sharkawi, Founder Of Fair Community Lending Services Inc, can now be heard every Monday at 12:05 Eastern on the nationally syndicated, Warren Ballentine Show (www.truthfighters.tv) .

You can listen in a market near you, or online - Click here to Listen Online

Shirin Sharkawi is The Founder of Fair Community Lending Services Inc, a company dedicated to educating families on the home buying process and protecting families from Predatory Lending for over 6 years. She is the Host of Homeownership Talk, a national and onlinel talk show that focuses on homeownership (www.homeownershiptalk.com ) Shirin is also the Author of upcoming book "Saving The American Dream" and the Founder of Saving The American Dream Foundation. Shirin has been noted as an Advocate for Fair Housing by La Opinion Newspaper. Shirin continues to work to bring about change in laws, as well as to educate and protect consumers everywhere against Unfair Lending Practices.

She is a regular featured guest or has been featured on Los Angeles based radio stations such as KIIS FM, 100.3 BEAT, KJLH, Hot 92 Jamz, 1460 AM and nationally on XM Radio and Urban Radio Networks

Miss Sharkawi, is also an 18 year marketing executive who is the Founder Of Reach Marketing and Advertising Inc. a software, marketing and web/development company *( www.reachmarketinginc.com )

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