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Friday, June 21, 2024

WTF, FDLE?

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's investigation of the Andrew Meyer Tasering incident - Tasergate, as we like to call it - is complete.

And the University Police Department has been absolved. Never mind that the Tasering was heard 'round the world. Never mind that it was covered by nearly every major news outlet in the country. Never mind that the videos on YouTube made UF a laughingstock to the world - and Sen. John Kerry, live and in person.

No, once again all is well and good in the world, and UPD officers Eddie King and Nicole Lynn Mallo are back on the beat.

Using a Taser gun on Meyer was well within the guidelines for use of force, the FDLE's report stated.

That may be true, but one part of the job is knowing how to adapt to different situations and react accordingly.

Was it well within the guidelines for use of force for six UPD officers to hold down one average-sized student? If they could drag him all the way to the back of the University Auditorium, couldn't they have just moved him another few yards into the lobby?

Who knows - once the cameras were off of him, Meyer may have actually acted reasonably. He did, after all, tell the officers they didn't do anything wrong while he was in the police car afterward.

This seems to be a case of an overactive student and some power-hungry cops - a volatile combination, to be sure.

So now it's up to UF to determine what to do next. A UF panel is still looking into UF policies in light of the Taser event, and will be doing so for at least the rest of the semester. We hope it takes less of a technical approach than FDLE took and more of a common-sense approach.

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