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Student tasered at John Kerry forum Update: A University of Florida student/eyewitness shares what he saw; 12:15 pm Eastern 9/18 update: Another UF student speaks; Update: UF president schedules 2pm press conference…plus: Andrew Meyer, professional taunter

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 17, 2007 09:24 PM

Update 7:30am Eastern 9/19. Just like my sources said yesterday, Meyer is a publicity-seeking stunt boy:

Police have released the incident report detailing the Tasering of a University of Florida student during a campus forum with Sen. John Kerry Monday, and the officer who actually Tasered Andrew Meyer wrote in the report that Meyer later told police, “You didn’t do anything wrong.” In the 12-page report, which gives accounts of the incident from the perspective of eight different officers who were present Monday afternoon, Officer Nicole Mallo writes that Meyer would only resist officers when cameras were present. “As (Meyer) was escorted down stairs (at the University Auditorium) with no cameras in sight, he remained quiet, but once the cameras made their way down stairs he started screaming and yelling again,” Mallo wrote.

Putz.

Andrew Meyer, Taser Provocateur: Don’t taze me, bro

Update 830pm Eastern. The mugshot in case you haven’t seen it:

meyermug.jpg

I’m sure it’ll be printed on “FREE ANDREW MEYER” t-shirts and sold right next to the “FREE MUMIA” hoodies at the next World Can’t Wait confab coming to your town. My favorite blog headline so far: “Tased and confused.”

Update 3:10pm Eastern 9/18. MSM-employed blogger Matthew Felling bemoans how video elevates a story. I think his real, underlying complaint is that it’s no longer just dinosaur broadcast producers with a monopoly on TV news footage who get to decide.

More video!

Update 1:15pm Eastern 9/18. Jawn. Kerry. Speaks. More here. Kerry claims he wasn’t aware of the tasering until after he left the campus. Hard to believe he didn’t hear all of Andrew Meyer’s caterwauling as he sat on stage. Then again, Kerry’s always been tone deaf.

One of my UF sources, Tyler Antar, took photos of the incident on his cellphone. Here’s a photo of Kerry in the crowd after his speech:

kerryuf.jpg

Update 1:00pm Eastern 9/18. Another UF source, alumnus Tony C., writes:

Here is a website containing old columns written by tasered UF journalism student, Andrew Meyer. I thought you might find them interesting.

[Click here.]

It’s evident from some of his writings, that he is nothing but a spoiled little kid in constant need of attention. In one of the “personal stories” he brags about taunting Ken Griffey, Jr. at a baseball game. Now, I enjoy a good heckle as much as the next guy, but it’s just supposed to be fun entertainment at a game. In his story, he is so proud of himself that he was important enough for Griffey to take notice, not to mention all the people around him at the game. He felt the need to brag about the incident to everyone online, as if we are all supposed to be impressed.

If you watch the video of his arrest, you can see that the same mentality is on display here. He wanted to get arrested from the beginning. He was basically goading the police into doing something by shouting “what are you going to do, arrest me?” Well, Andrew, yes… When you repeatedly ignore orders to peacefully leave, that’s what happens.

As a former University of Florida student, I’m glad that they are making attempts to control these public speaking events. The university works hard to bring in speakers of all viewponts (admittedly more liberals than conservatives), and these are a valuable resource available to the students. Too many times, I have witnessed these events being hijacked by students who have no intention of contributing anything to the discussion in a civil manner. They simply want to use these events as a platform for their own crazy conspiracy theories.

Update 12:40pm Eastern 9/18. This thing is eclipsing O.J. Just obtained this e-mail from the UF president:

To students, faculty, staff:

I have received a great deal of communication and input last night and this morning regarding the incident that occurred Monday at the conclusion of a town hall forum being held by Sen. John Kerry. The incident resulted in a student being tasered.

We are interested in learning what happened and are taking the following immediate steps to ensure the university utilizes best practice protocols:

*University of Florida Police Chief Linda Stump has requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conduct a formal investigation into the arrest of UF student Andrew Meyer. An independent review such as this will make sure the results are objective and impartial. Chief Stump’s priority is to ensure that the public remains confident in the department’s ability to keep the campus safe.

*Two officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

*We plan to assemble a panel of faculty and students to review our police protocols, our management practices and the FDLE report to come up with a series of recommendations for the university.

*Administrators and police officials plan to analyze the incident and conduct an internal review and will consider changing protocols in response to this incident, if necessary.

*Finally, as is standard procedure, the State Attorney’s Office will review the charges brought against Mr. Meyer. We have communicated with the State Attorney and understand he plans to expedite his review.

I will talk about the incident and answer questions at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. in Emerson Alumni Hall.

Sincerely,
J. Bernard Machen [president, UF]

Update 12:15pm Eastern. 9/18. The usual protest mob is preparing to protest the University of Florida tasering incident. Meanwhile, I’ve heard from a second UF student source. Justin J. Klatsky is a law school student at UF, with many astute observations and questions:

Several videos are circulating showing Andrew Meyer’s crazed questioning and the aftermath, but are these videos being edited with a political motivation behind them? Tyler Antar’s information about what led up to the confrontation has been confirmed by several other students, and one such student posted on a Facebook group friendly to Meyer:

“As much as I concur that this was excessive force, let me remind you what led to this:

Andrew spoke up after the Dean of International Affairs had stated final question. The final question was being asked about Israel, and then Andrew got on the mic on the other side of the room (noting he was next on the mic), and then proceeded to tell Kerry that its not fair not to be able to ask more questions after listening to him for an hour, and the Dean exclusively asking Kerry questions for another 45 minutes, leaving students 25 minutes to ask questions. At that point, the officers try to subdue him, but Kerry sternly told the police officers to back down. Kerry then asked Meyer if he can finish the other question and then proceed to his. Meyer consented. After the last question was answered, Kerry asked Meyer, what is your question. Then you enter the video that has been circulating around, where he asks his question, not before Accent Speaker’s Bureau president, Stephen Blank (in some videos, front row left side of right aisle), signals the AV guys to cut Meyer off. Meyer then was confused what happened, and then was dragged up the auditorium. Meyer kept screaming why is he being arrested. The other videos do not show that Meyer was handcuffed, before he was tasered. I sat in the back row, with this occuring less than 5 feet from me.”

Police (or security) are often present when important guests speak at college campuses – I should know, I was President of the Johns Hopkins College Republicans when you spoke there a few years back. Never in my experience are police as close and as focused on a questioner as the police in the videos, which should spark some questions from the media about the sources and length of the proffered videos that purport to show an unbiased look at the truth.

The people offering these videos claim to be offering an unbiased view of the events. As I type this to you now CNN had a video and interview with one of its “IReporters,” a UF student that filmed the incident, and the student’s video has her standing next to Meyer when his question started. What made her film him then?

I do not mean to suggest that every video was planned by Meyer as part of his plan to capture his lunatic rantings, but instead that the people submitting the videos should have the integrity to show the incident in its entirety. These videos are out there, since many of the attendees were likely filming the entire speech – it is not everyday that a failed presidential candidate comes to UF.

The creative cuts shown of the videos cannot even be blamed on the MSM, because even on YouTube and Facebook the videos are cut to focus only on the question and the ensuing events. The MSM does deserve the blame for not asking these questions about the videos and what went on before the question started.

I have two explanations for why these questions are not being asked and why the videos have been only posted in a blatantly biased form. One explanation is that the MSM and the
videographers are acting with clear political intentions and that this is a clear political strategy. The other explanation is just as plausible and perhaps more disturbing – the MSM does not think to ask these questions out of pure lack of ability or incompetence and the students that filmed the event do not even think of how their editing affects the perception of events.

The MSM is beyond hope for now, and students are the only hope for the future. These videos suggest that the corruption and crumbling state of higher education, which has been so infiltrated by the pseudo- and un-intellectual false scholarship of the far Left that bias is not even considered or bias is taught as the norm. These videos may be the product of the teachings by Leftist professors that if the facts do not fit your thesis, then ignore them.

Just a few thoughts for your consideration, and I’m sorry to see the moonbats have come home to roost at UF – I thought I had escaped most of them when I graduated from Hopkins,

Justin J. Klatsky
J.D. Candidate
Levin College of Law
University of Florida

Now, compare Klatsky’s informed, calm analysis to this hysterical one likening Meyer to a “pig” being “dragged” to “slaughter.”

Update 10:00am Eastern 9/18. Andrew Meyer’s milking his 15 minutes of fame. Check out his email address: “famouswriterman@aol.com.”

Update 12:15am 9/18. UF student Tyler Antar was there and e-mails his account of what happened. Looks like there was more to the story than meets the eye:

So I went to the John Kerry town hall forum this morning trying to get students registered to vote. I run a student government organization called Chomp the Vote. Anyway I went inside to watch the event. Senator Kerry took the podium and began delivering a speech about the Middle East, Iraq, dimplomacy, etc. Anyway, after he was done, a university ambassador asked Kerry a few premade questions. Once that was over, Senator Kerry announced he would take questions from the students. There were two
microphones placed on each side of the aisle. One on my side and the other on Andrew Meyer’s side. Senator Kerry began answering the student’s questions from each aisle. Eventually it was announced that there would only be a few more questions answered. Since Meyer and I were both in the back of each line, it did not seem likely that our questions would be answered.

However, while Senator Kerry was responding to a student’s question, all of a sudden Meyer rushed to the microphone with cops in pursuit. At that point no one knew what was going on. Could he have a gun, a bomb? Immediately, Meyer began yelling into the microphone that he had been waiting in line forever and that Senator Kerry should “spend time to answer everyone’s questions!” Senator Kerry tried to calm the student down by telling him that he would “stay here as long as it takes to get the questions answered.” The police approached Meyer who began taunting them by saying “what! are you going to taser me? are you going to arrest me?!” The police grabbed Meyer, but Senator Kerry asked the
police to let him go and that he would answer his question. Senator Kerry finished answering the other student’s question and then proceeded with Meyer. (*This entire scene is not in any video I can find so far. This is why 2 cops are seen right behind Meyer at the start of some videos*).

Meyer approached the microphone and began to talk about a book he had which stated that Kerry won the 2004 election because of disenfranchisement of black voters and faulty voter machines that produced “Bush” as the winner. He then posed another question about why President Bush had not been impeached. “President Clinton was impeached because of a blowjob, why not Bush?”. The third and strangest question he posed to Senator Kerry was asking him if he was part of the skull and bones society with Bush at
Yale. Meyer’s mic cut off after that, probably because he had mentioned the word “blowjob”. The cops grabbed him, but Meyer was able to get away several times. Eventually more cops were brought in to help subdue Meyer. Meyer continued to resist arrest, scream, curse; however he was enventually subdued by about six cops up around the entrance. As he is on the ground, he is told several times to put his hands around his back. He is also warned that he will be tasered if he does not comply. Eventually he is tasered twice. The video does not show whether he complied or not.

Senator Kerry was trying to answer his question to the audience, mostly the one about faulty voter machines. I am a die hard conservative Republican but I do respect Senator Kerry for trying to soothe the situation as best he could and trying not to escalate the situation. He DID intervene by letting the student at least present his question. I never received an opportunity to ask my question, but when Senator Kerry ended the show after the Meyer incident, he did come off stage to shake hands and give autographs. At that point, I was able to ask him my question, shake his hand, and get a autograph at the same time. Now why couldn’t Andrew Meyer do that?

I don’t know if this is relevant or not, but Andrew Meyer is a former sports writer for the school newspaper The Alligator. In his columns, he has been known to make ridiculous statements in order to gain attention for himself. Was today a publicity stunt?

Tyler also sends this link to another video of the incident that gives a different angle and length of the event.

***

Everyone’s sending me the video of the University of Florida student tasered at a John Kerry forum today. The police start to take him away as he’s challenging Kerry on the Dems’ failture to contest the 2004 election. The student takes one last jab at Kerry, questioning whether he is a member of a “secret society.” It degenerates from there:

Stop the ACLU wants the ACLU to get involved.

Ace points out liberal/conservative speaker security double standards.

The Gainsville Sun reports:

U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s speech at the University of Florida came to a dramatic close Monday, shortly after a vocal audience member was hauled off by police and shot with a Taser gun.

The audience member was preliminarily identified by UF officials as Andrew Meyer, a UF student in the College of Journalism and Communications.

Toward the conclusion of Kerry’s UF forum, Meyer approached an open microphone at the University Auditorium and demanded Kerry answer his questions. The student claimed that University Police Department officers had already threatened to arrest him, and then proceeded to question Kerry about why he didn’t contest the 2004 presidential election and why there had been no moves to impeach President Bush.

A minute or so into what became a combative diatribe, Meyer’s microphone was turned off and officers began trying to physically remove him from the auditorium. Meyer flailed his arms, yelling as police tried to restrain him.

He was then pushed to the ground by six officers, at which point Meyer yelled, “What have I done? What I have I done? Get away from me. Get off of me! What did I do? … Help me! Help.”

Police threatened to user a Taser on Meyer if he did not “comply,” but he continued to resist being handcuffed. He was then Tased, which prompted him to scream and writhe in pain on the floor of the auditorium.

You know what the lamest part is? Listening to impotent John Kerry’s voice droning apathetically during the entire incident.

***

Update: Speaking of tasers, did you know that immigration officers cannot use them against illegal aliens in federal detention facilities? Yep. Tom Tancredo is challenging the differential treatment. Too bad Meyer didn’t claim he was “undocumented”…

Update: A few more details

Meyer was charged with resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, according to Alachua County jail records. No bond had been set. Meyer was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning, a jail official said. It was not known if Meyer had an attorney.

***
Commenter ThackerAgency: “John Kerry should have stopped it. Great ‘leader.’”

Commenter TrinityTim:

My take is a little bit di[f]ferent. Once the police ordered him to stop and comply he had an obligation to obey the orders of the officers. He could contest the arrest later if he so wished but the officers had no choice but to force him to comply.

After the decision to arrest was made, the student must comply by law. The use of multiple officers was for the protection of both the student and the officers. A one on one fight could have resulted in injuries to either one. Strength in numbers prevented the injury of the student and allowed for the arrest to be completed. The use of the Taser was justified by the continued resistance by the student. If he would have complied with the directives of the officers, the taser would not have been used.

As to why he was ordered to leave the open mic, I don’t know. It looked like the first officer was directed to remove him be someone associated with the forum. The officers seemed to me to be responding to a directive by someone in authority. That’s usually how that works. Officers at such an event would not intervene unless directed to do so.

Bottom line: Student arrested with no injuries to anyone involved.

***

Flashback to another student tasering under much different circumstances: Screaming UCLA student tasered

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