University of Florida Taser Incident
Student Andrew Meyer was tasered when he was arrested for speaking too long at a John Kerry Q and A. Officers told Meyer he was arrested for inciting a riot. The student was annoying, but inciting a riot is pushing it. There were hardly any people at the Kerry event.
John Kerry was overwhelmed by the situation. He stammered a few words. It was obvious he had no control over the events. Kerry released this statement.
"In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way," Kerry said in a statement. "I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of responding when he was taken into custody."
University of Florida Police Chief Linda Stump will conduct an investigation into the arrest.
To students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends:
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.
J. Bernard Machen
I personally hate the use of tasers. I am certain that if several law enforcement officers are telling me to shut the fuck up or I will be tased: I'm going to shut up. This whole situation is a mess that could have been avoided. Kerry showed no leadership, Meyer ilustrated bad judgement and several law enforcement officers openly used a taser in the Youtube era.