So…is this a police state now?

meyer A 21 year old student was tasered at a John Kerry speaking engagement yesterday at the University of Florida. The student, Andrew Meyer, was asking Senator Kerry some questions when the police stepped in and tried to cut him off. In the video, you can hear Kerry saying he’ll answer the student, but the police drag him away and eventually “tase” him while he is on the ground.

Granted, the kid used up his allotted time for his question and his microphone was then cut off, but was that a cause to drag him away? He was charged with resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, which I find completely laughable, considering he wouldn’t have had to resist if they’d actually had grounds to arrest him in the first place. I’m not sure how it can be considered “disturbing the peace” if you are trying to ask a question.

The video of the event (a couple of versions are posted in our VOTD section) is actually a bit disturbing to watch, at least for me. The student seems genuinely afraid of what is going to happen to him and starts to ask people to make sure they ask for his whereabouts, so that he doesn’t go missing.

It is now being reported that he will be released today on his own recognizance, but it can’t change the fact that this man was arrested for simply asking questions that made people feel uncomfortable.

This may just be a case of the campus police going too far and getting carried away, but it is a little scary nonetheless. It would be easy to just write this guy off as some nut-job and forget about it, but just watch the video and let it sink in what is really unfolding as you watch…a man, asking a tough question at an open forum…getting arrested for basically asking that question…in America…where we have freedom of speech.

I find it a bit unsettling. Perhaps you do, too.

  • dhunley

    Amazing…how far apart we are, isn’t it?

    You’ll simply have to believe that I am being sincere here. I am astounded that anyone would even suggest that this video represents a “police state”. It’s almost as if a person didn’t really know what a police state actually is…and certainly they’ve never been in one.

    What I see is an obnoxious brat soooo obviously more interested in making a political statement than in asking a question. And what was he prattling about? Voter disenfranchisement? Ooooooh boy…sounds like techknomen stuff…lol.

    Does anyone REALLY believe anyone was disenfranchised? If so…they simply WANT to and there is nothing anyone can do with’em.

    This young man was rude, he was ignoring the rules of the forum and he got exactly what he wanted…which certainly wasn’t an answer to a question.

    You know what else amazes me? That the same people who suggest this might be the actions of a “police state” never make a peep about REAL police states…like North Korea, Cuba, pr pick about any Arab country you want. Nary a peep, I tell ya? It blows my mind!

  • dave

    peep…how’s that?

    dhunley…as you know, we aren’t trying to be the new york times here…this is just a forum to discuss issues that concern and affect all of us, and i think that when a young man is dragged by the police from a meeting for simply asking a question that made people uncomfortable, it is a cause for concern.

    he did get loud, and he may have seemed like he was asking questions which were a bit on the “conspiracy” side of things, but does that mean he shouldn’t have a right to ask it? this isn’t about whether voters were disenfranchised…this is about feeling safe to speak your mind in this country today.

    all the while he’s being dragged away, you can hear Kerry in the background saying he’ll answer the question…but why the hell wouldn’t he jump down off that stage and intervene in that situation? he missed a golden opportunity to make people stand up and take notice. if he had come down and asked the police not to take the student away, and explained that even though he felt it was not a good question, he didn’t mind answering, can you even imagine what a hero he would have been in the eyes of so many people?

    instead, he stood there…frozen by the fear of public opinion…just like the rest of the politicians these days. “what will this do for my image?”, should NOT be the first thing running through your mind when you get elected to represent the people of this country…it should be, “what is wrong here, and how can i fix it, no matter what it takes?”.

    we are slipping down a bad path right now…you can FEEL it happening. i was always told that one of the main reasons we study history is to make sure it doesn’t repeat itself…i think maybe we could all use a refresher course.

  • dhunley

    First of all, John Kerry will never be a hero—never has been, never will be.

    But…lol…at least we agree about a couple of things here. The first being that “we are slipping down a bad path right now”. Yes indeed we are…we’re slipping down a socialistic path…we’re headed down the path where the “government” takes care of us…decides for us what is best for us—and what is the lesson history teaches us about that?

    No…neither of us wish this to be the NYT (thank goodness :), but you’ve voiced an opinion and raised a question. Thus, soliciting an opinion from me…which is that this young man hammed it up, broke the rules of the forum, and forced the security to do something—which was his intent.

    As far as this country become a police state…I want to ask you something. What laws, specifically, do you want repealed? What rights, specifically, do you want restored? What freedoms do you want returned.

    Now I want to ask you something else, What laws do you want PUT in place that aren’t right now? What policies do you want implemented?

    And then let’s all see which side is more likely to lead us to this “police” state.

    Oh…lol…and thanks for the peep—you’ve already done more that the Lex-Herald and NYT has done…much appreciated!

  • dave

    the path i was talking about us slipping down led to an “-ism”, but not “socialism”, as you suggest….more like fascism.

    is it as bad as other places here in America?
    no…of course not.

    could things be much worse?
    certainly they could.

    does that mean we should stand for it when we see injustice taking place?
    you bet your sweet a*s it doesn’t.

    i don’t care how annoying that kid was being..he was on a college campus engaging in political speech…a college campus, which is supposed to be one of the MAIN safe havens of free speech…and political speech, which should be one of the most protected of ALL forms of speech…and he gets dragged away and tasered, and that is OK?

    it is not OK…even the police report was full of inconsistencies and flat-out lies. they stated he was “yelling as loud as he could” and disrupting the discussion…did it look like he was yelling as loud as he could to you?

    in another lie, the police report claimed the student said, “You will take my question because I have been listening to your crap for two hours,” to Kerry, but watch the video for yourself…he absolutely does not say that.

    why exaggerate if they did nothing wrong?

    i am not calling for any laws to be repealed…and i know you realize that just because the president or congress hasn’t signed a piece of paper specifically stating that they are taking away our rights, that doesn’t mean we haven’t lost them.

  • GeorgeWashington

    Well I dont think our founing fathers ment jump up and down and act like a fool when asking a question.
    so many times people get carried away with free speech that thay look like fools id just let him hop up and down and look like a dummy like he was and laughed about it.

  • Joebagofdoughnutz

    I’m with Hunley

  • psuedonomen

    Call it socialism, or call it fascism, doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s still a form of Hitlerism.

  • psuedonomen

    And dave is right, …just because the president or congress hasn’t signed a piece of paper specifically stating that they are taking away our rights, that doesn’t mean we haven’t lost them.

  • dhunley

    So…psuedonomen…can YOU name one right or privilege that we’ve lost under the Bush presidency? That’s what they’re saying, you know!

    They don’t say “we’re losing our rights” when they try to take away the guns of law abiding citizens.

    They don’t say “we’re losing our rights” when they enact zoning laws that tell us what kind of house we can build on our own land.

    They don’t say “we’re losing our rights” when they say they want to ban SUV’s.

    No…they only say “we’re losing our rights” when we take what reasonable people would consider reasonable measure to try to identify people who have killed thousands of Americans—and vow to kill many, many more.

    What sense does that make to anyone?

  • dhunley

    I’ve only watched the video once…may have to watch it again to make sure what it was he said EXACTLY. That’s the benefit of having a video we can play over and over and over again…lessens the chance me “lying” about what I think he might have said EXACTLY.

    However…I’m fairly certain I saw a young man using his “free speech” in a way that would NOT have been tolerated by the people who ran the Emmys. Didn’t they have time limits on acceptance speeches? I wonder if they had buttons to kill the microphones? Bet they did.

    This “free speech” right has been talked about many, many times—or at least it used to…don’t know what they say about it in school. But there are limits to it.

    You can’t yell “FIRE” in a theater, for instance. Or you can’t slander someone.

    This was not an infringment upon this young man’s free speech. The rules were laid out…he was asked properly the first couple of times…they killed his mike in an attempt to defuse the situation…yet the young man kept on yelling—trying to force his opinions onto the rest of them in an improper manner.

    I’m NOT trying to rile, insult, or offend anyone here.

    I’m just trying to point out that it is quite possible that people (with good intent) can easily see this incident in an entirely different light that someone who thinks this is an indication of our country headed toward a police state.

  • psuedonomen

    Well dhunley I for one will not accuse you of telling a lie, even if we do seem to have different outlooks and perspectives on things.
    I have to answer your question with a question, not by choice, but rather by my personal observations. But allow me to add that I’m speaking in terms of decades, so the Bush Presidency isn’t entirely to blame, and as a matter of fact has very little impact upon my sentiments…

    Can you name one single right of the people that hasn’t been infringed upon?

    Now one right that everyone could agree that the infringement thereof occurs on a daily basis would be the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, which should require a warrant, but now days your vehicle can be searched at random without any probable cause other than you are running a few mph over the speed limit. Or your person can be searched under the same set of circumstances. They call it officer safety, but if you keep your hands in plain sight and do everything you can to cooperate with the officer, then where does his justification to search without warrant come from? No it isn’t quite this bad in Morgan and Rowan counties yet, but make a wrong turn in Louisville and see what happens if you get stopped.

    I can name more, but I’ll leave it up to you (and the readers) to think out of the box.

  • MJ

    Hey, dhunley… Glad to see you’re still around!