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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, known as FDLE, has begun its investigation into the University Police Department's controversial use of a Taser on Monday.

FDLE will piece together what really happened, not judge the situation, said Sharon Gogerty, FDLE spokeswoman.

Andrew Meyer, a UF telecommunication senior, was Tasered and arrested by UPD officers during a Monday speech by Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat representing Massachusetts. Meyer was charged with a third-degree felony for violently resisting arrest and a second-degree misdemeanor for disturbing the peace.

He was released from jail Tuesday morning on the condition that he will appear in court when a date is scheduled for his case.

The State Attorney's Office will make the final judgment on the criminal charges against Meyer.

Spencer Mann, spokesman for the State Attorney's Office, said FDLE's investigation is separate from the state attorney's decision.

While the FDLE reviews UPD's Taser use, Mann said the attorney's office will review and potentially modify the charges against Meyer.

The decision on the charges will probably be made in about two weeks, he said.

Mann said the FDLE will review the evidence more slowly than the officers at the Kerry speech had time to do on Monday.

If necessary, a trial date will be scheduled after the review, he said.

"We'll talk to people with specific knowledge of the case, not just what they've seen on TV," Mann said. "There's a big difference."

He said he couldn't estimate how long the investigation will take. The office hasn't even received a complete case report, he added.

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Gogerty said FDLE will use videos to identify witnesses who were close to the officers and Meyer for interviews.

She said FDLE will use the footage to review Monday's events, but it will be intently scrutinized.

Consideration of the location of the camera, where the tape begins and where it ends are crucial to the investigation, she said. Different angles can tell different stories.

Gogerty said investigations are part of FDLE's normal responsibilities.

Any time an officer is involved in a shooting, regardless of the kind of gun, FDLE gets involved, she said.

Gogerty estimated there are usually more than 20 investigations done per year.

The investigation into Monday's Tasering will utilize four of the six FDLE officers based in Gainesville, she said, which is an average number.

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