I get a feeling of total fear and revulsion as I watch the YouTube video (scroll down) of hand-cuffed 21 year-old Florida University journalism student Andrew Meyer being tasered repeatedly — while he was already on the ground — after refusing to leave the microphone at a Town Hall Meeting for Senator John Kerry two days ago.
What did John Kerry do while Meyer repeatedly screamed “Don’t Taser Me Bro!” within his plain sight? Kerry stood there barely audibly saying, “That’s all right, let me answer his question” and later, in a typical double-speak political statement, denied he knew what was going on:
“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.”
Meyer’s Only Weapon Was Words
Meyer was unarmed, unless you believe words are weapons. He resisted police, but he was not violent. The six University police responded too quickly and too violently, and they certainly didn’t have to taser him repeatedly. He kept asking “What did I do?” and saying “Help me! Won’t somebody help me”? Unless the response to either question was edited out, neither question was answered. (There’s already a mashup here. )
But the behavior of the cops is not the only horrifying part of the story. Consider:
o The kid was obnoxious, but he certainly didn’t seem dangerous.
o Why didn’t Kerry stop the cops? He just keeps talking!
o Why didn’t other students help him? Fear? Indifference?
o Why didn’t University officials intervene?
o Why is that big beefy cop laughing as the kid is being shocked?
o Why did I ever think Kerry was presidential material?
o The video has received more than 2.6 million views and 45,000 comments since Monday, making it the Number One viral video on the Internet.
Six Hours in Handcuffs for Skateboarding
A few weeks ago, my 17 year-old twin nephews were detained for six hours, in handcuffs, by police in their suburban town, and not allowed to make a call to their parents.
My brother and sister-in-law were, of course, beside themselves when the kids were missing and unreachable from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. The crime? Skateboarding.
They weren’t arrested.They were detained. Perhaps you only get your one phone call if you are actually arrested? I’m not a lawyer.
The point is, cops over-reacting is not an isolated incident. Maybe you think I’m just saying this because of my politics and my aging hippie views. But you’d be wrong. I’m saying this because I love my country, and the fact that it was founded on the principle of freedom of speech and the right to protest.
And incidents like these tell me that those rights are a little farther from us every day. That makes me want to cry. It also makes me want to protest, and here’s my way of doing it — I’m asking you to write to Senator Kerry, and call his office and email him and tell him that he should have stopped the police from tasering Andrew Meyer.
Posted by BL Ochman, all rights reserved.