Considering all that's happened this week - Andrew Meyer, Tasers, UPD, worldwide news coverage and so on - everything else just seems boring in comparison. Take, for instance, the Gator Party platform.
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In light of the police report being released, I hope that people will realize that the Meyer Tasering incident was not about First Amendment rights. To say that a person who was able to ask a question even though the allotted question-and-answer time was over, who saw it fit that his questions were more important than the people ahead of him and was able to yell questions at Kerry for a good bit of time before he said "blowjob" was somehow robbed of his First Amendment rights is ridiculous. The police did not remove him for being too controversial or for asking the "tough questions" but for being a belligerent, petulant kid who had complete disregard for the established etiquette of a forum. He was disruptive, and it became clear after watching the video that he didn't really want answers from Kerry, just to stump him. Tasering him was not warranted, but removing him was. If people really want to be outraged about Tasering, they should read about the pregnant woman who was Tasered in her belly in Gainesville recently.
Such brutality as conducted by the campus police at the Kerry event shows that campus Police Chief Linda Stump is either culpable for their behavior because she ordered the excessive force or gave permission for it, or she is out of control of her officers.
Kudos to Kyle Cox on his commentary regarding UF student Andrew Meyer. Thank you for covering many points the media failed to address during their biased audio clips. Anyone who has viewed the full-length videos of the incident would have to admit there were multiple non-forceful steps taken prior to Tasering Meyer. These steps, although unsuccessful, included asking him to step away from the microphone, turning the microphone off, attempting to peacefully escort him out, attempting to secure and handcuff him and warning him prior to Tasering. The video also showed at the time of the Tasering, Meyer's left arm not secured behind his back, but rather stretched out where he was using it to brace himself in a clear attempt to resist arrest.
Reading all the comments people have made, whether online or in the paper, I think that people are somewhat misguided in their anger. What happened to Meyer was wrong, but what didn't happen was even worse.
The irony of the Taser incident is that it took place on Sept. 17, the day the country celebrates Constitution Day. It is unfortunate both sides could not remain calm and work to a peaceful resolution. But that could be said about anything, including our own national government.
When I first saw the Andrew Meyer video, I was stunned that a conservative activist could act so foolish and immature. When it was revealed that he is actually a Kerry supporter, the whole ordeal made much more sense.
The broadcast media's spin on this situation is akin to that of a reality television show. Every video I've seen, including on CNN and MSNBC, has shown only the most controversial parts of what happened.
The UF student's arrest brought back memories of my years at Florida and students' protests for civil rights. It seems this student was more interested in his 15 minutes of fame than in his message.
The UF administration needs to Taser UPD after its recent display of excessive force, poor judgment and downright bullying of unarmed student Andrew Meyer. These "officers of the lawC should be ashamed of themselves.
I am appalled at the aggressive tactics used by University Police Department officers to remove Andrew Meyer from the presentation by Sen. John Kerry. How does using profanity or asking why you are being arrested justify the use of a Taser gun on a defenseless college student?
UPD was most definitely justified in using a Taser on Meyer. If it hadn't, he might have overpowered those police officers. Who knows what could have happened then - he might have asked Kerry another question.