Update on Tazed Florida Student – The Interview

I wrote a piece last evening about a University of Florida student who was tazed (is it tazed or tased?) by the police after asking a question of John Kerry at a town hall type forum. There are several things that are not clear in the video but I indicated that it was clear the student did nothing wrong, and from the video that was presented, this is the case. After I posted I received a comment from Tyler Antar who was at the forum and he indicated that what everyone is reporting is not what actually happened and he offered to be interviewed about the incident. I sent him some questions so that he could clear up the items that are unclear and to let us know what actually happened. Despite what some of the people who visit here would have you believe, I believe in the truth and will report it regardless of what it is (so long as it is credible). Here is the interview with Tyler about Andrew Meyer:

BD: Did he threaten Kerry or not leave after his turn?

Tyler: This is probably the most important piece that the video did not cover. While Senator Kerry was answering a student’s question about Iraq, Meyer rushed to the microphone with cops in tail. No one knew what was going on at that point and I’m sure the cops were looking at the worst case scenario (does he have a gun? a bomb?). They eventually grabbed Meyer who started shouting that Senator Kerry should answer his question because he stood in line for so long. He also said that the Senator should answer everyone’s question who was in line. Senator Kerry responded to the extent that he would try to get all the questions. Clearly he was trying to calm the student down (I can’t remember if it was Senator Kerry or a university official who said earlier that the Senator would only be taking three more questions, which meant that Meyer wouldn’t be able to ask his). The police grabbed Meyer who began to taunt the cops by saying “what, are you going to taser me? are you going to arrest me?” Senator Kerry asked the police to let him go and ask his question. They complied, and Senator Kerry began to finish answering the other student who had been rudely interrupted by Meyer’s antics. (This whole scenario is not on any video that I can find. There is a video on youtube that shows 2 police officers behind Meyer while he is giving his question. This first incident proves why they were standing behind him.)

BD: Was he a conservative or a liberal (or could you not tell)?

Tyler: From the questions he was asking, He would seem to be a liberal. However, I have no information about his official political status. Yet, just from looking at the questions we have:

  1. asking Kerry why he didn’t contest the allegations of faulty voter machines and the vote discrimination in the State of Florida. Meyer kept mentioning how a book he was carrying actually named Senator Kerry as the President in 04′.
  2. He asks why has Bush been impeached if Clinton was impeached for getting a blow job.
  3. This is the strangest question of all. It seems that Meyer is Pro-Kerry at this point, but then he asks the Senator if he was part of the same Skull and Bones secret society at Yale as President Bush.

(It is possibly that Meyer is trying to say that Kerry conceded the election quickly because he was buddy-buddy with Bush) However, Meyer’s mic is cut off because he said “blow job” and the madness ensues.

**Tyler later emailed that Meyer’s Facebook profile indicates he is Libertarian**

BD: Were his questions insulting to Kerry?

Tyler: No, not really. However, Senator Kerry only answered his first question to the audience. In no way was Senator Kerry trying to use police force to get rid of the student. As I stated earlier, he literally pleaded with the officer to let go of Meyer and let him ask his question.

BD: Was this person a known threat on campus?

Tyler: No, not that I know of

BD: Was he disruptive at this event?

Tyler: Only from the time he rushed to the podium till he was eventually brought outside

BD: Do you think the police used excessive force?

Tyler: No. When Meyer rushed to the microphone, I only saw two cops (a guy and a girl). However, when Meyer constantly resisted arrest, they had to call in for backup. As far as I can tell 4 cops were stationed in the auditorium. 2 by Kerry’s stage and 2 at the entrance with more in the lobby.

BD: Do you believe it was necessary to taze this guy with 6 cops sitting on him?

Tyler: Yes, Meyer was told constantly to put his hands behind his back and comply. He was also warned that if he did not do this, he would be tasered. From the videos, we can not actually see if he complied or not before being tasered.

BD: If this were George Bush speaking and a liberal kid had this happen would it be viewed the same?

Tyler: These were University Cops at this event. Now if George Bush were to speak, he would [have] Secret Service with him. I don’t even want to know what would happen to that kid then. Remember, as far as I can tell, Meyer is a liberal and so is Kerry. Meyer was just cracked out it seems.

BD: Could this have been handled any better?

Tyler: Kerry could have shortened his speech a lot more and therefore given more time to respond to questions. Or maybe no speech at all! I mean the event was called the John Kerry Town Hall Forum. Does that not imply that the event is going to be a Q&A session instead of being filled with speeches? However, as a hardcore conservative I do respect Senator Kerry for trying to soothe the situation down as best he could. After he closed the forum, he stepped off stage to shake hands and signed autographs. I even got him to answer my question that I wanted to pose earlier had Meyer not gone nuts. I’m really surprised that Meyer was able to get away from the officers multiple times. The kid is not bursting with strength. Maybe that could have been handled better.

I think this is pretty telling in that the first part of the video is not included and that would have cleared a lot of this up. One has to ask why the person who took the video edited it out (assuming that a person with a video camera is taping Kerry and not waiting for a ruckus). Perhaps Meyer intended for this to take place or perhaps with the Virginia Tech murders, the police were hyper vigilant and were quick to react when he ran up. Maybe instead of being cracked up, Meyer is a truther. They can get pretty obnoxious. Tyler indicates that Kerry asked the police to leave Meyer alone and he [Kerry] would answer his question. I must retract my comment that Kerry said nothing (which is not present on the video shown) and commend him for trying to diffuse the situation. While it does not change my opinion of him, I believe in giving credit where it is due.

Tyler indicates that he does not think excessive force was used and he was there so I cannot dispute what he saw. From what I saw on the video it seems that the police could have taken this guy into custody without shocking him. Another witness who was sitting in the back row indicated that the student was already cuffed when he was shocked (and Tyler said that was not clear to him). In either case, it was a bit much for this one little fellow. Certainly six cops can handle one kid. Now that I have the rest of the story I am inclined to say that this kid should not win any kind of lawsuit but that, in exchange for no suit (for the excessive force) the school can drop the charges and they can all get on with their lives. The police in DC did not shock anyone and they arrested nearly 200. Perhaps the police here can review their policy on when it is appropriate to shock someone.

I am glad that Tyler was able to clear this up and provide us with a first hand account of the events.

Thanks Tyler. Please keep us up to date with how this gets handled.

**The words taze, tase, tazer(ed), and taser(ed) are all used to indicate shocked with a weapon. SInce I am unsure of the spelling we will go with all of them.

Big Dog

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23 Responses to “Update on Tazed Florida Student – The Interview”

  1. Raven says:

    Well I think the cops used more force then was warranted. The little punk was being testy for sure- but surely the bog bad cops could have taken him down with less drama?

    In no way I am saying that this punk was correct in his mannerisms and demeanor. But the police seem to be using excessive force more and more these days and that disturbs me.

    Great post BD!!

  2. Glenn M. Cassel, AMH1(AW), USN, Retired says:

    OC: Capstun/Pepper spray is way more fun. I know. I had to take it in the face s part of my billet as a Restriction Barracks Petty Officer in the early 90’s.

  3. chris says:

    Yeah, a 21 year of guy get’s a little excited while in the presence of a political celebrity like John Kerry, then holds a book in the air, and he deserves to be tasered because the cops are on egde, packing guns and tazers, and HONESTLY think they young guy is a threat? Is this Stalin’s Russia or something? Those cops should loose their jobs, along with whoever trained them to over-react to decent AMERICAN political dissent. Very un-American activities by the cops on this one.

  4. Billy Joe says:

    BD,

    If you ever feel like venturing out of your conservative, virtual gated community, you could pop by Daily Kos. They had several posts up about the incident including at least one first hand account.

    I’m surprised at your response, actually. I thought you’d be a huge fan of tasers and of tasering unruly people.

  5. James says:

    I have taken mace and taser action before, and while neither was fun, it certainly isn’t life-threatening. However, I don’t think this was handled the right way.

  6. […] Big Dogs Weblog » Blog Archive » Update on Tazed Florida Student – The Interview | Hot Air » Blog Archive » Was the tasing of the moonbat a publicity stunt? | Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Matthews, Conason blame Bush, Rove, Iraq, Fox for the moonbat taser incident | Neocon Express -Cops out of control at the University of Florida | Patterico’s Pontifications » The Taser Guy | Sister Toldjah » The taser incident at the Kerry campus forum | Anti-antediluvian: Only the lonely……… | Liberty Pundit » » Obligatory Post On Tasered Student At Kerry Speech | Michelle Malkin » 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 […]

  7. Bloggerheads says:

    The Andrew Mayer Tasering incident…

    BBC – Stun gun used during Kerry debate: University of Florida police used a stun gun on a student taking part in a forum with former presidential candidate John Kerry. Andrew Meyer was questioning Senator Kerry on why he did……

  8. Big Dog says:

    Of course Kos would have people all over it, it was Kerry. If Bush had been speaking they would have been talking about Bushitler.

    I do not have a problem with taser use if it is warranted just like I have no problem with the use of a firearm when it is necessary. I also do not believe in excessive use of force by the police. There were 6 of them and they should have handled it better. They could have taken the guy outside to talk with him and made him leave.

    If they decided he needed to be arrested then they 6 should have been able to handle that. They were not arresting Hulk Hogan, it was a scrawny guy.

    I imagine if this had been a black kid there would be a march about police brutality.

    I do not lower myself to the level of Kos, thanks anyway.

  9. Ethan says:

    There was a fairly sizable march on UoF that day, also i hear the school is droping the charges, theres a good video of some one who followed them out and when hthe student asked why he was arested the female officer responded with “incitting a roit”

    I dont realy care if the kid was being obstanate or a pain, he has the right in this contry, and if he real “Rushed the stage why wasn’t he taken down then, Sounds alot less like rushing and more like angery walking to me. The bottom line is it took 5 cops to cuff this kid then either they tazzerd him for the hell of it, or they we to lazzy to use real take down tecs to cuff him. Exsesive force all the way

    (im 250 and go to the gym wtf are they gona do to me if i get unrully shoot me?)

  10. Sheila says:

    It does appear that the use of the tazer was not necessary. However, when a law enforcement official tells you to do something, you have to do it. Refusing to obey the lawful order of a law enforcement officer IS resisting, and this will get you “taken down”. If the kid had not continued shouting out, waving his arms, refusing to leave, he would probably not have been tazered.

  11. […] Update on Tazed Florida Student – The Interview While Senator Kerry was answering a student’s question about Iraq, Meyer rushed to the microphone with cops in tail…began to taunt the cops by saying “what, are you going to taser me? are you going to arrest me?” […]

  12. Pete says:

    C’mon!!

    Can’t you people realize that you were taken by a master prankster? For God’s sake, let’s give this guy his 15 minutes and get it over with. If we were living in a Stalinist-Progressive state, or in Israel, Andrew Meyer would’ve been history by now. Instead, he’s doing interviews.

    VIVA AMERICA!

  13. John says:

    “Excessive force”? This was one big guy causing a disturbance. This man very blatantly broke away from the police officers, and fought their efforts to restrain him. They employed a taser and delivered a shock, which by the way left little or no physical trauma. A taser may look bad to the unaware, but it’s certainly better than the police being forced to deliver strikes to his arms, legs, and torso, in order to get him to cease resistance. At no point did he have the right to fight the police. If he felt he was being done an “injustice”, his court date is his legal oppurtunity to do so. These officers should really be commended for doing their job despite undoubtedly low pay, and criticism from ignorant bystanders.

  14. yeas n says:

    I actually attended this event, and I would like to get out there what the several infamous YouTube videos fail to show. I had my eye on Meyer for a good amount of the time once questions were started, because I knew, from his reputation, that he was probably going to ask something quite interesting and out-there, and perhaps spark up some hot topics. Unfortunatly, he didn’t seem to want to ask his “QUESTION” too badly, because he was pretty far back in line (but not actually at the end, as many would deem a good idea in his case). So, since this was a forum that only allowed a certain time for questions, (and yes, Kerry mentioned in the beginning that he would try his best to answer as many questions AS POSSIBLE in the time granted), the last question ended up going to a student on the other microphone, while everyone else who was waiting to ask a question was asked to please take a seat (while I agree it sucks that everyone couldn’t ask a question, these were the rules of the event). Meyer, who was not even the next student in line, refused to take a seat when asked, but instead INTERRUPTED the other student asking a question and went on to shout towards Kerry “You’ve been talking in circles for two hours and I’m about to be arrested..” and goes on about how everyone should have a chance to have their questions answered. Yes, that would be ideal, but its just not how this forum was set up. And at this point officers were just trying to have him sit down, not arrest him. Anyway, Kerry then said “Okay, I’ll let you ask your question when I’m done with this other gentleman” and so Meyer relaxed and waited, but obviously, when someone is getting that riled up in front of a U.S. Senator and an auditorium of people, the cops are going to have an eye on him. It was in these moments that Meyer was seen giving the video camera to the woman speaking here, so no doubt about it he was fully aware something was going to go down. At this point, there was only two cops by him, one a woman shorter than he is. Anyway, this is pretty much where the videos on YouTube pick up. Many people believe Meyers mic was cut due to his question on Skull and Bones, but in actuality, right when he said “b_lowjob,” an official standing behind him gave the cue to cut the mic, and it just took a few second to actually have the mic turned off, so he was able to get that last question about Skull and Bones in. Anyway, at this point, the two officers tried to escort him out, because he started to go a little ballistic when this happened and then he began resisting and yelping. This was what called for more police to be brought in. They actually threatened him with mace, and that seems to be what caused him to start heading towards the exit with them. As he was being led up to the back of the auditorium to leave, he was yelling “HELP ME! IS ANYONE SEEING THIS?! WHAT DID I DO!”

    I would also like to try to clear up all this talk about how the audience and Kerry should have done something to help. Kerry actually told the police to let him go several times. Kerry wanted to answer Meyer’s question, but when he was being escorted away, it was probably a better idea to just be calm and anwer the question to the remaining audience members. Seriosuly though, I can’t imagine anyone was fortelling what would happen next. It wasnt until Meyer was brought to the top of the auditorium that he began to really pull away and resist and was then brought to the floor in an attempt to handcuff him for restraint. He was resisting the police for quite some time while they were trying to handcuff him. There wasn’t really a reason for anyone to stop them. It was then in the next few moments that you hear “Don’t tase me, bro!” and a few people run up to the pile and yell to stop, after he had been tasered. I personally stood up and yelled “What the f_uck, don’t do that!” So, while I was totally appauled by him being tasered, there wasn’t much we as audience members could do to stop it. Right after being tasered, he was taken out, so there really was not enough time for anyone to act. I personally couldn’t have done much alone besides just be pushed aside by the cops or possibly injured myself (and I know that seems like a small sacrifice for human rights, and it is, but it would have just been pointless by now), as I am a teenage girl with a small frame, and, as stated, there wasn’t enough time for most audience members to say “Hey, lets get together and throw these heavily-armed cops off this kid!” No one saw it coming and up until then, to be perfectly honest, it seemed appropriate for Meyer to be escorted out. He first broke a rule by jumping onto a microphone out of turn and then asked a chain of questions that turned into more of a rant and speech of his own. So it wasn’t the fact that he was rude or passionate about what he was saying, or even WHAT he was saying; it was that he was turning the Q&A into a dialogue, and that’s not what it was. Then, however elementry it may seem, “b_lowjob” was inappropriate to say in the given situation. This was an organized event in which you needed a ticket to attend, so it was not just open for anybody to walk in randomly. These are the events that have guidlines that need to be followed to ensure the safety of the people (not that he himself was a threat at all) and the smoothness of the discussion.

  15. John says:

    He himself was a threat to the officers that were called to do tneir job. People need to realize that police officers are people like you and I, as well as individuals that have been trained to deal with confrontational situations. They have been trained to escalate the force necessary to effect the power of arrest they have been given by the state. More importantly, they are people like you and I, who do not wish to be hurt at work, and will use their training in order to keep from being injured by some jackass that cares nothing for them. This man needed to be tased in order to safely and effectively complete the arrest. If he had simply been beaten into submission with batons, people would have been going ballistic…. the sad truth is that if a taser had not been readily available, this may have been the only option.

  16. […] videos are shown in context and never the full picture. Read these: Interview of student witness Big Dogs Weblog

  17. Adriano Esposito says:

    Questa volta avete passato il segno.

    Vergognatevi, avete dimenticato cosa è la democrazia, americani del ventunesimo secolo!

  18. Unreasonableman says:

    Civil discourse should be allowed on a University Campus. That is right out of the mouth of University President. John Kerry spoke along time. I would be pissed off too, if I waited a long time in line and then was told that there was no time for my question.

    Meyer went to the event expecting the opportunity in this “Town Hall” to ask his questions. When he was told that he would not be able to ask, he asserted himself because of that injustice. Is that illegal? He found a Mike and asserted himself. Is that wrong? Don’t we want more young people like that?

    At first I thought he was rude, now I do not think so. All of you that think he should have been tased are probably fans of Ann Coulter.

  19. John says:

    Unreasonableman,
    To answer your questins: Yes, his manner in doing so was illegal. In becoming “assertive” when not being able to ask his question, he stormed the mic and disrespectfully entered his rant “out of turn.” In doing so, he was violating the structured rules of the event, and additionally causing a disturbance. The peace officers present made every attempt to bring the event to order peacefully, by telling him to wait his turn. He persisted, and they determined he was now unwelcome at the event: as a trespasser, he was escorted out. He then very blatantly became violent with the police officers, who responded with their state-given authority to escalate the force in order to effect an arrest. He was tased, and brought into custody with little or no physical harm.

    You then asked “Don’t we want more young people like that?” The answer is a profound “No.” We want young people who respect everybody’s right to a peaceful and comfortable event. This man obviously did not recognize the proper means of channeling his frustration, and subsequently got himself arrested without ever achieving any of the points he may have had by posing his question/rant.

    This man would have been much better off, and much more well-received, contacting Kerry at a later time with his questions. In hindsight, he may have written a compelling letter at a later time to the University of Florida student newspaper, addressing the issues he felt were missed at the event. This man did neither of these things; he simply broke the law. Thankfully, none of the police officers were injured while dealing with this violent student.

  20. Marv says:

    People seem to think that there is some magic technique that the cops would use to take people into custody if there were no Tazers or pepper spray that will subdue resistive persons. The fact is, all other physical control techniques involve either inflicting pain until they give up, or just plain injuring people till they can’t fight anymore. You can use leverage for some things, but when someone is resisting like this guy is, especialy in a restricted space, it is almost impossible to get a resistive person’s hands behind him. These techniques involve a high risk of injury to officers and suspects alike. The reason that pepper spray and tazers are used is to reduce the risk of injury. For some reason, the very effectiveness of these weapons upsets people, who seem to think that if they had not been employed, everything would have been resolved peacefully.

    In the case of Mr.Meyer, he was just being escorted out of the building without being arrested until he chose to pull away and start fighting. He was determined to resist until someone used enough force on him to look bad. His behavior was that of an exhibitionistic jerk. He looked like a fit, muscular young man who could put up significant resistance. It appeared to me as though the officers had one cuff on him, and he was resisting getting the second cuff on when he was tazered. This is an appropriate use for the tazer, since the worst injury he will get from it is a couple of minor burn marks versus the possibility of bruises, muscle tears, broken bones, or other injuries with conventional techniques. You may notice that no one punched, kicked, choked, or did anything else to him other than hold on and try to cuff him. It was not the officers who were using unreasonable force, it was Mr.Meyers.

    I was in law enforcement for about 30 years, and it is much less common for people to be injured in arrests than it used to be, due to the availability of tools like the tazer and pepper spray. In Mr.Meyers case, as in every arrest I have ever witnessed, the suspect chose the level of force needed to subdue him.

  21. Irriated and Concerned says:

    So, here’s what so often happens. The officers became irriated with the kid. John Kerry didn’t say escort him out. If fact if you listen closely John Kerry says “Let me answer his questions” as campus security moves toward the kid to remove him. But campus security had made their minds up. What you see happen so often are cops or security becoming emotional. How many videos have we seen with cops tazing people who are already on the ground in cuffs? (And by the way folks, they are NOT a safe tool). Or screaming at people about how they could make up anything they wanted to have you thrown in jail. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for the job officers do, several of them are my friends, but there are a lot of super ego cops out there. So watch out! Have you seen this police video, person on the ground in cuffs, six police officers standing around, and one with a tazer saying, “I said stay still, TAZE,(person screams and rolls around) I said stop moving, TAZE,(again person screams and rolls) STAY STILL, TAZE,etc” for a total of six times. Sadly it is only the excess use of force we see, but they are the cops aren’t they, here to serve and protect. Shouldn’t they be held to a higher standard? It’s not like you don’t know what the job is when you hire on. (Free donuts and coffee) Maybe not, after all they are just human.
    It is said that tazers affect muscles, therefore making it a SAFE weapon. I don’t know who missed biology 101 but the HEART is a muscle. We use electrical jolts to start the heart muscle up when it stops beating. There have been in excess of 100 deaths documented of people who died having heart conditions when they were tazed. That 100 only speaks for the ones someone was willing to go against the “status quo” and state that it was the tazing that killed them, their have been quite a few, 10-100 times that many?, put down as the suspect died of a heart condition while being detained. I knew, personally, an individual for quite some time that was tazed, and died as a result, (psst, he had a heart condition). I guess they mean that his heart killed him and not the tazer, because that’s how its listed.
    So be warned, don’t be emotional about anything, remember to be politically correct and say oral sex, instead of bl@w-j@b,(don’t know if Clinton would have understood that one, after all he didn’t have sexual relations with that woman), if you have a heart condition you definitely don’t want to get tazed (that means leave all the peaceful demonstrations and expressions of your 1st ammendent rights to healthy people), and if there is a conspiracy, you never here the truth of it. Because no one really cares, they just want to get on with their lives.

  22. Irriated and Concerned says:

    P.S.
    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

  23. Irriated and Concerned says:

    I just finished reading the police report. Yes, Meyers was grandstanding in front of the camera. More than likely filming himself for his website. However, the two officers standing next to Meyers, stated they decided to remove Meyers as soon as he finished speaking. Therefore not allowing him to opportunity to peacefully depart nor allowing John Kerry to answer his questions and bring the event to a civil close. Way to go guys.