back to article Student taser victim spared electric chair

Florida prosecutors have decided not to pursue Andrew "don't tase me, bro" Meyer through the courts if he keeps his nose clean during 18 months probation. Meyer caused a farcical kerfuffle at a University of Florida speech by John Kerry last month. He scored 50,000 volts and internet infamy for his trouble. He'll soon be …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

You are kidding me...

Appropriate force, seriously?

Scary.

0
0

Forced public apology

I thought this went out with the Soviets, and was currently only supported by the Chinese government.

'Comrades, I have become a better person through discipline and have improved those faults of mine that required the State to punish me deservedly.'

Yuck.

0
0
Pirate

"I am a far more reasoned individual than I was a short while ago"

That's electric shock therapy in action there, and can be delivered to your doorstep by people in smart uniforms. Nice. I'll be keeping my questions, all questions, succinct from here on in. Unless I can get into that S&B society.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Police?

I read "Campus Police", so "hired rentacops" would be closer to the mark.

So who did the enquiry and how independent were they?

0
0
Black Helicopters

Appropriate force, seriously?

3 security staff need to use a taser to remove a scrawny kid from a school hall?

If that was appropriate force for those guys, then I guess they need to be fired. They are clearly wimps, and therefore not suited to the job of security.

When are we going to start talking about regime change in the US? Torturing people for political dissent? I thought that used to be Iraq's bag?

0
0

Every day I am grateful ...

... I don't have to visit, let alone live in, 'Murcca.

Land of the free? Yeah. Right.

0
0

Possible reason for what hes saying?

The University has come to him and said, we will let you back if you dont make a fuss, but if you do your out for the "criminal offence" you commited on our property? We dont care what the corts say, we dont need profe.

0
0
Gates Halo

More

Police should be granted more powers like these, damn upstarts!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

ha ha ha!

If anybody (i.e. the campus "police", the prosecutors or the University of Florida) thinks he meant actually meant what he was saying in that statement, they must be seriously off their rockers and clearly need to be tasered and carted away to a cell with all speed.

0
0

Appropriate force, indeed

I know much of the Reg's comment appear to be from the UK, so I'll take this opportunity to provide the standard operating procedure of a taser by an LEO (Law Enforcement Officer).

1. To control a dangerous or violent subject when deadly force does not appear to be justified and/or necessary;

(The subject was deemed NOT ARMED, and the officer who had his firearm drawn quickly holstered it after acknowledging this fact. Deadly force was not required. Proceed.)

2. If attempts to subdue the subject by other conventional tactics have been, or will likely be, ineffective in the situation at hand; or

(The subject continued to resist arrest after first refusing to leave the premises under his own power and then escalating the situation by belligerently continuing to make a scene. This is considered 'disturbing the peace' and is an arrestable offense.)

3. If there is reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for officers to approach within contact range of the subject, see also the Use of Force continuum, Attachment A..

(The subjects hands were not visible during this entire fiasco, and while it was unlikely he was carrying a weapon, an LEO will not assume that risk. Additionally, he was attempting to kick and otherwise strike the officers while being escorted out. This is considered an unsafe situation.)

The LEOs were within their rights to apply the use of taser equipment in this situation. LEOs equipped with tasers are required (by federal law) to be tased themselves during training, for a better understanding of what the effects will be.

Many of our counterparts are quick to call 'police state' when something like this happens, but I make the suggestion that you are misinformed or refuse to be informed, therefore jumping to conclusions that are false.

0
0

Excuse me,

Maybe it's the Brit in me, but didn't they think about politely asking him to leave first? Even bouncers ask you to leave nicely before they lay into you.

That the "officer" pulled a gun as a first response is, quite frankly, scary.

I was also under the impression that in order for a policeman to arrest you, he needed reasonable ground to do so. In this case someone taking to long asking stupid questions doesnt really seem like an arrestable offence.

0
0
Flame

Re: Appropriate force, indeed @Michael

Ah. So because a LEO gets tasered during training to understand its effects, that still makes it alright to taser the 'violent subject' because it might lash out and strike the officer (and causing an unsafe situation)?

And because us Poms disagree with such a simplistic policy ("sir, he created a dangerous situation, so I tasered him, nevermind the fact that he's practically half my weight, outclassed by me and my colleagues and we could've subdued him by other means"), we're misinformed or refuse to be informed. Is that it? Have I summarised your posting correctly?

Because if that's the case, then really... Oy vey. Oy. Vey.

0
0

Tasered for resisting arrest

Tasering him may have been a little excessive, but he wasn't tasered for the questions he was asking, he was tasered for resisting arrest.

He cut in line and wouldn't stop asking questions when his time was up. Not things you should be tasered for, and he wasn't. Again, it was for resisting arrest.

I go to UF, and believe me, the last thing I want to see when visiting a British news site is something about this idiot. Nothing positive comes from resisting arrest, whether you're in the US or the UK, despite what some of the previous commenters seem to think.

0
0
Stop

calling 'police state'

I am an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, and used to be a Staff Sergeant Military Police officer, supervising about a dozen military policemen. My group gaurded convoys, and also spent a great deal of time as the "enforcers" in a military prison in Iraq (let's nip this in the bud - my unit was brought in after that Abu debacle). I was one of the people suppressing riots in the prison, etc., so things got rough sometime. Hence, I post anonymously in this case.

Now that you know my qualifications...@Michael....I am calling "police state". I am embarrassed and angered at the behavior of the campus police. Congrats to the person who took the video...it erases any doubt excessive force was used. More troubling is how the officers' behavior was found acceptable.

0
0

@Michael

"The subjects hands were not visible during this entire fiasco"

They seemed to be very visible...was the book he was holding deemed to be a possible weapon? Paper cuts can be pretty nasty.

0
0
Thumb Down

USA = morally 3rd world country

And they wonder why the rest of the world view them as a backward, third-world, bunch of CUNTS*.

* ( Cowardly Unjust Narcissistic Torturing Scumbags)

0
0
Thumb Down

The cops are thugs but Meyers was still a bitch punk.

@ Hollerith - Yes, that is exactly what it should seen as.

Sadly, our fighting spirit as Americans has been so emasculated that we thank the authorities after being tortured for asking questions - yes, which is all he did.

Although too, Meyers and anyone else who refuses to stand up for their rights - or for the rights of others they see being violated by Creedy's Fingermen - is a punk bitch, IMO. He could have given that university so much hell for violating his civil rights, he could have actually stood up for himself, but instead he cowered as his courage ran down his leg into puddle beneath him.

Instead of pleading don't tase me bro, he should have recited the first amendment.

I was arrested by university police in NJ for disrupting an NSA/CIA recruitment meeting once and dragged off by cops. I exercised my right to remain silent after arrest and stood firm on my rights. Rather than fight the case (since they had assaulted another one of the arrestees in the process) they reduced charges of defiant trespassing and disrupting a public meeting to a simple violation of a noise ordinance - a small fine with no record - and no disciplinary action v. the students involved.

Nothing justifies the reaction of the police, but nothing justifies Meyers cowardice either. We just can't accept anymore excuses; "I was too afraid" sounds too much like "I was just following orders." No more good Germans, we need to be like Burmese protest monks.

0
0
Alert

Appropriate Force Re: Michael

I would hope that, as well as procedure a police officer would try to use his brain and realise that the out-numbered student posed little threat (apart from maybe a bruise?) and could have probably been dragged out with little effort.

I understand that most US police officers have to firstly consider the threat of a firearm and therefore take a more aggressive stance when pulling over people. However, having lived in both countries I find even though they are arseholes sometimes, UK police seem less aggressive and tend to have more respect for people as human beings.

0
0
Stop

@Michael

In your eagerness to justify tasing this guy, you seem to be missing the crucial point, which is that what he was doing i.e. asking a long and boring question instead of shutting up, hardly seems to be an offence for which you should be arrested, let alone tased.

Indeed, in the UK, arresting somebody without reason to do so is a criminal offence.

"I make the suggestion that you are misinformed or refuse to be informed"

You're entitled to, just as I'm entitled to make the suggestion that you are simply a neo-con apologist for what is clearly unacceptable behaviour from a police officer.

0
0
Black Helicopters

They tased monkey boy

for their own reasons, policies are not laws, nor do these constitute reasonable behavior, they punished him for resisting arrest, they didn't use it because they had no choice. He made them angry, he did not instantly respect their authority, in a way their sloped brains could recognize which might be for example, laying on his back, or sniffing their butts. Who didn't expect a whitewash from this pathetic institution? They hired these barely human trolls in the first place, so it must be what they wanted. I have to say for your own good don't come to my country not until we have worked a few things out hopefully it won't be as bloody as it was the last time (I wouldn't bet on it though).

0
0
Thumb Down

Re: Tasered for resisting arrest

@ Carson.

Resisting arrest is one of the most unjust crimes ever created by a civilised society. Any protestor, (on any protest, regardless of it's merits) can be placed under arrest illegally for no reason. If they decide to resist arrest, (knowing that the arrest is illegal) they are then guilty of resisting arrest, and can then be legally arested. If that makes sense where you are, my heart bleeds for you.

0
0

Show Trial?

Did I miss it or did they forget a trick. Maybe he was in a psychiatric camp instead.

0
0
Alien

He will have a fair trial and then be stung.

Tasers for everybody I say.

Why bother with costly Law Enforcement, what with all those silly laws and such?

Isn't it ironic that the "Land of the Free" that I was born and live in today is now sanctioning torture, sometimes, and allowing minimum wage rent-a-cops to zap overzealous kids who have bad manners? That will make those darned terrorists about coming to the Land of the Brave think twice now won't it?

Why that can't happen here. Well, I am telling you, my Dear, it has been happening here.

I think Texas "Hanging" Judge Roy Bean had it right way back in the 1800's when he was stating his viewpoint on an upcoming trial of a gent who was accused of cattle rustling. "He'll have a fair trial and then he'll be hung".This perspective seems to have been adapted to the 21st Century by our MBA President and his lovely Rasputin wannabe sidekick, Cheney the Crusader.

0
0
Thumb Up

Common sense

The idiot was a jerk. He got what he deserved.

If you want to disrupt a public forum, you have to accept the consequences.

If he behaved like everyone else did and obeyed the rules then this would have never happened.

0
0
Alien

I am a far more reasoned member of the collective now that I have been assimilated

I am on sabbatical while the scars from the implants heal.

All hail the the American night

0
0
Unhappy

@Michael

1. To control a dangerous or violent subject when deadly force does not appear to be justified and/or necessary;

Clearly he wasn't dangerous. Strike 1.

2. If attempts to subdue the subject by other conventional tactics have been, or will likely be, ineffective in the situation at hand; or

Hmm. Three large security staff can't subdue a skinny kid effectively using "conventional tactics"? Strike 2.

3. If there is reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for officers to approach within contact range of the subject

Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't regard approaching an over excited teenager whilst backed up by 2 large colleagues of mine as unsafe. Strike 3.

Yes: He was very naughty boy. Did he deserve to be subjected to electric shocks for being silly? Personally, I think not.

The US can be an example to the world in many ways. However, I think I'm with majority in saying that this incident is NOT one of them.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Tasered? So what?

The Youtube video embedded in the article made me realise where the inspiration for Mortal Kombats character 'Scorpion' must have come from.

Which is even more entertaining than people trying to justify wanging 50,000v through a lad who appears about as dangerous [although, admittadly, just as annoying] as someone who answers their mobile in the cinema.

Steven R

0
0

I can't deal with your questions verbally so my friends are going to use force

that wasn't a debate it was a statement.

poor bugger

0
0
Stop

See the video, read the news reports?

The guy CLEARLY wanted to create a scene - the reason he was videotaped was because he HANDED HIS VIDEO CAMERA TO SOMEONE AND ASKED THEM TO FILM IT - BEFORE HE BECAME DISRUPTIVE. It was a planned disruption, not a simple "being out of line and asking too many questions".

I'm sorry, if you plan to disrupt a public assembly, you SHOULD be asked to leave, and he was - peaceably. He refused, and continued to be disruptive. The campus police then attempted to remove him gently, and he fought back and resisted.

Now at this point, the police can either a) tackle, push, and possibly physically restrain and hurt him in an altercation to get him to leave, or b) tase him, which will hurt but will probably do no real damage.

See, the campus police are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. If he resists, and they use force, and he gets hurt, they are compared to jackbooted Nazis for being forcefull. If they tase him, they have used a high-tech weapon on him, and they are Darth Vader incarnate.

Let's just call a spade a spade - he was a prick, and tried to get that reaction. He got it, let's move on. But it ISN'T a free speach issue, it ISN'T a torture-state issue - it is some idiot demanding his 15 minutes of fame. Lame, not commendable.

0
0
Thumb Down

We may get tased for being conspiracy theorists...

...but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults. As far as I'm concerned, the relatively consistent freedom of speech and thought we enjoy here - despite being severely tested - is fairly intact at a basic level, unlike in the wretched nanny state you've created in the UK, where it's actually illegal for you to own computer game because daddy government says it's bad for you.

Think about that for a minute: You guys are *not allowed to buy a computer game* and you're trashing on us for tasing a dumbass and letting him go? You've already given up your right to think for yourselves. You don't *need* to be tased anymore.

0
0

@David Wiernicki

Erm, I missed the point where the Brits posting here compared America unfavourably to Britain. Please point it out to me.

In fact, many of the posters here are equally disgusted at the "Nanny State" they live in. It's just that this is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

In fact, your comment comes across as an attempt to de-rail the discussion, as it actually has bugger-all to do with the electrocution of this annoying brat. It's been said before and I'll say it again: Being annoying is *not* sufficient grounds for being Tazered!

Furthermore, no-one in Britain has been tasered for tring to get hold of an illegal copy of Manhunt II.;-)

0
0
Thumb Down

Thank you

Now I will feel sick all day long. Reading the article I was waiting for the "and he now sues the living daylights out of them" bit. Sadly, there was none. The time is ripe for the big cleanup.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Dave Wiernicki

"but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults. "

What? So lets get this straight... torture of people is OK as long as someone else can buy whatever they want, provided that its apolitical? A fascinating morality there. Its easy to see why Americans are starting to wonder why they have a little public relations problem with the real world.

"As far as I'm concerned, the relatively consistent freedom of speech "

Relatively consistent freedom of speech? So much for that First Amendment which says that no law abridging freedom of speech can be acceptable. The key word in your statement is, of course, relatively. Relative to who? China? Pre 2003 Iraq? Iran? Certainly not Britain.

I've been in public audiences where people like Jack Straw have been told to their faces that they are war criminals and no-one was tasered (of course in the UK we did have Walter Wolfgang assaulted by some Labour Party thugs at the Labour Party conference, but he's now on the national executive of the Labour Party. On the same basis maybe this poor student should be made vice-chancellor).

"and thought we enjoy here - despite being severely tested - is fairly intact at a basic level, "

Fairly intact at a basic level - another give away term. Fairly intact means not at all intact, its merely exceptional for people that the government haven't got around to yet. And what is a basic level of freedom of speech? Presumably the most minimal right is the one to ask long and boring questions of politicians without being tortured.

"unlike in the wretched nanny state you've created in the UK, where it's actually illegal for you to own computer game because daddy government says it's bad for you."

Really? So If I was say, a Muslim, and owned one of the many Jihadi computer games that'd be fine? Apparently not, that's a prison sentence. Or - moving away from silliness like terrorism to race relations - if I was black and had oral sex that would be quite reasonable for a criminal offence? In Georgia a 17 year old black guy was sent to prison for 10 year for illegal oral sex, he was released this week after doing 2 years inside. Interesting definition of "bad for you" - Black teenagers having oral sex is clearly a major health crisis. Still, I guess these minor issues of freedom affecting Muslims and Blacks are quite inconsequential. to you - its all about computer games after all.

I rather like the "wretched nanny state", because we can ask our politicians any question we like without worrying about torture. We should have more of it.

"Think about that for a minute: You guys are *not allowed to buy a computer game* and you're trashing on us for tasing a dumbass and letting him go? "

Yes. I feel pretty safe in thinking that the majority of English people would see a computer game as a thing which is vaguely nice to have, whilst sadistic security thugs sadistically torturing real people for expressing a not unreasonable political opinion are a real issue. Of course Americans might be happy in their gilded cage but I'm not sure that playing NintenDogs will make up for the screams next door.

"You've already given up your right to think for yourselves. You don't *need* to be tased anymore."

So the solution to people being tortured is apparently computer games. Quick! Send a thousand playstation 3's to Guantanamo! Waterboarding? Not a bit of it! We'll do virtual water-skiing.

0
0

@Robert Hill

So the guy wanted to create a scene.

So what?

At the risk of being repetitive, I say again: Being an annoying git is *not* reason enough to get 20,000V!

Let's use a slightly exaggerated example to illustrate my point:

Let's say you believe that the cops in your town are being belligerent fascists in love with their own powers. (This may just be in your own head, of course.) And you want to bring this to the attention of a wider audience. You give a friend a camera, and then you taunt the cops. You're clearly unarmed, and have the physical build of a stick-insect. You're not a threat, you're just being an annoying berk. You haven't broken any laws, except maybe the overly-broad by-law of "disturbing the peace".

Now, if the cops ignore you, or subdue you with minimal force (build of a stick-insect, remember!), they've done their jobs, and you've been proved wrong.

But if they beat beat you to death, then it's clear that they are 110% in the wrong, and you've (posthumously) proved your point. How does the fact that you provoked it exhonerates them? Surely this was a ridiculous over-reaction, regardless.

Now don't tell me that there's a big difference between being tasered and being killed. I'm not a moron, I know this, and I did tell you that it's an exaggerated example.

But let's take the cop's reactiont down a notch at a time.

1) Is it OK if, instead of killing you, they only beat you up to the point where you need hospitalisation?

2) Is it OK if they only leave you black-and-blue-and-stiff for a few days.

3) Is it OK if they "only" zap you (repeatedly) with a taser, which hurts like hell but leaves no lasting damage (Hopefully! A small % of people have died from being tasered.)

Remember that at all times they had the option of subduing you with a little effort, and only a small chance that you or they would get slightly bruised, at worst.

At what point does it change from *subduing* a rude but harmless twit, into become brutality / torture?

Your answer will tell us a lot about you, and the environment in which you live.

0
0
Coat

@David Wiernicki

As you asked, I thought about what you said for a minute and my conclusion is this:

computer games are for idiots so it doesn't matter.

have a nice day.

0
0
Thumb Down

@Michael

"The subject continued to resist arrest after first refusing to leave the premises under his own power and then escalating the situation by belligerently continuing to make a scene. This is considered 'disturbing the peace' and is an arrestable offense."

Your logic is circular.

He wasn't 'disturbing the peace' until they tried to arrest him, which you then use as justification for why they tried to arrest him... Which is it, were they trying to perform an illegal arrest, or is talking for to long in a Q&A an arrestable offence?

0
0

@David Wiernicki

"Hot Coffee" anyone? Before you say anything, I know that the context was rather different, and that the content wasn't actually supposed to be part of the game as sold. However, I rather feel that the reason it was pulled out prior to release in the first place is because Rockstar thought that it was likely to get the game banned in the US (or classfied AO, but in the US that seems to amount to the same thing). I don't particularly agree with the Manhunt 2 decision, but in my observation the US is equally as censorious as the UK, it just objects to sexual content rather than violence.

0
0
IT Angle

Only a yank could be so deluded...

Oh dear David, so what you're telling me is that in a country where the whole place went whacko over a bare nipple (a la Janet Jackson) or a game with sexual content (think GTA patches) you have more freedom of expression than us poor Brits?

Sad really, but then again I think I've found a candidate for a good tasering here - you.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Youve missed the point there

We don't have to ask which games we can PLAY.. there's no law against playing an overage rated game..

The BBFC rating defines which games shops can SELL to people of which age.. and once you are an adult (18+) then its irrelevant as games only go to 18.

If you are under whatever the age rating for a game is you can still play it if your parents buy it for you.. its just that the parent as your legal guardian then has control of the situation and 8 year old's cant be playing violent games if their parents don't want them too.. which sounds like a reasonable thing to me.

Going by your logic an 8 year old should be allowed to walk into a car showroom buy a car, drive it (without asking for a licence) buy a gun and go on a drive by, because afterall thats ok in GTA..

The funny thing is i love violent games and have absolutly no desire to see any games being banned outright.. id have bought the full violence manhunt 2 just to see what the fuss was about.. but that doesnt mean i think kids should!

0
0
Thumb Down

wow...

I can't believe anyone is actually defending the police in this matter...

After watching the video on youtube, I am seriously angered at those so-called "authorities" working that campus.

I'm glad I'm not living in "the land of the free" - USA... Be ashamed! Be very ashamed of yourselves!

0
0

@David Wiernicki

It's a video game you idiot. Learn the difference between when things matter and when they don't.

You're not _seriously_ trying to equate the ability to buy a video game or not with the ability to avoid being tasered to the ground for asking dumb questions are you? Well done. You must be very proud that your society allows you to buy a video game, yet punishes someone who asks questions in a public forum with electric shock. Get a sense of perspective.

0
0
Flame

2 big lads can't handle a runt?

Sorry, but if two burly renta-cops can't run the guy out the room with an arm each, they don't deserve to be doing that job.

Take a lesson from the Mets, (metropolitan police London, not new york);

grab guy under the arm, 1 each per officer,

run at full speed towards the exit.

Officers stop at point of exit & let go.

Guy is ejected and probably going to come to some harm at standstill, but seeing as you're not holding him, he's done that himself - it's not your fault is it?

Americans, so much to learn....

0
0

Act of violence

Part of the problem with cases like these is that using a taser isn't as viscerally obviously violent as, say, punching someone in the stomach. People seem to forget that zapping someone with a powerful electric shock is an act of violence. If, reading a story like this, you're in any doubt as to whether shocking someone was appropriate, consider whether a kick to the gut would have been appropriate.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re David Weirnicki

OK, point taken. Still pretty scary rent-a-cops in your country carry guns though, isn't it?

0
0
Black Helicopters

Before.....

we in the UK get all high and mighty about the 'Land of the Free' would someone like to give one example of something this country used to be proud of that the authorities haven't f****d up big time.

We all suffer the same problem, heavy handed nanny state totally out of touch with any form of reality and way out of control.

0
0
Dead Vulture

Re: Manhunt reference

@David Wiernicki

It is perfectly legal to purchase Manhunt 2 (I assume this is what you're referencing) in the UK from a UK supplier, or to import it from outside the UK.

See http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/10/24/manhunt_bbfc_online_sales/

0
0
Rob

@David

And you seem to be a prime example of why the US is on a downward slide in terms of it's humanity.

I'm not disgreeing with you about the Nanny state part, but please use a better argument than a computer game. We're talking about a human, who's had excessive force used on him and your talking about a poxy computer game that most of us couldn't give a toss about.

Seriously where are your priorities, sounds like the sort of reasoning Bush would use to justify a war.

0
0
Alert

@ David Wiernicki

What video game is banned here? First I've heard of it.

As for real practical freedoms, we have just as many, if not more, than the good Ole USofA.Yeah, we live in a rapidly developing Nanny State but what on earth makes you think you don't? It's your damned government that started all this "we're stomping all over your civil liberties to protect you from the nasty terrorists" crap,.... and our bunch of waste of space political pussies are rolling over and taking it like nice boys do.

My advice is to get your own crumbling house in order before you start throwing stones at other peoples houses.

And the student moron deserved a good tasering. Any semi-intelligent person knows that if you push your luck that far yer gonna get splatted.

0
0
Thumb Down

@David Wiernicki

1. Manhunt is illegal to buy in a store, you can legally download it as a purchase.

2. Don't talk nonsense about video games remember Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Your next President Hillary Clinton wanted that banned because it had hidden sex scenes which A: are switched off in the game and B: show no genitalia.

Christ I would hate to wake up one day and be an american.

0
0
Alert

@ David

I'm inclined to agree with you that we brits do not need tasering as we allow our government to write a new law and then we all follow it... like sheep follow orders from a dog.

Our problem is that we allow our leaders to tax us out of existance and restrict our social mobility to the point where we are almost prisoners in our own country.

Add to that the fact that our officers aren't armed and the ones that are armed are hung out to dry when things go wrong.....

Brits accusing USA of being a Police State..... I would say we are the Sheep State.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums