Skip to comments.TASER INCIDENT - UF police cleared in 'Don't Tase me, Bro' case
Posted on 10/25/2007 8:40:44 AM PDT by Bubba_Leroy
UF police cleared in 'Don't Tase me, Bro' case University of Florida cops were exonerated in the stunning of a student. The student may face charges.
Andrew Meyer, the University of Florida student who was Tasered by campus police in September, may have staged the disturbance in an effort to disrupt a political forum at the Gainesville campus, a state police report concludes.
The report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, released Wednesday by the university, cleared UF police of wrongdoing in subduing Meyer, 21.
Meyer, of Weston, was subdued with a Taser after he resisted arrest during a speech by 2004 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John Kerry on Sept. 17.
Meyer, whose cry of ''Don't Tase me bro'!'' made him a cause célèbre on the Internet, declined to comment Wednesday. He has been charged with disrupting a public event and resisting arrest. The state attorney's office has not yet decided whether to prosecute.
His attorney, Robert Griscti, told The Miami Herald his client was not grandstanding.
``I think the suggestion is that he is looking for publicity when in fact everything that has happened is just the reverse.''
During the forum, Meyer peppered Kerry with questions and refused repeated requests to leave the microphone after his allotted time was up. He had asked Kerry about impeaching President George Bush, why he didn't challenge the 2004 election results and whether he and Bush were in the secret Skull and Bones society as undergraduates at Yale University.
FDLE said in its report that police use of the Taser was appropriate because Meyer refused police orders to leave the campus auditorium. Meyer clenched a chair to keep police from removing him.
The Taser was the safest way to remove him without harming Meyer or others, the report concluded.
''While I am pleased that the FDLE review is complete, we still have work to do on a separate front,'' University of Florida President Bernie Machen wrote in a statement.
``As an academic institution, it is our responsibility to continually review -- and improve-- how we foster an open environment that is also safe for our everchanging campus community.''
In the 17-page summary of the report, FDLE said it spoke with several witnesses who said that days before the event Meyer vowed to put on ''a show'' at the Kerry event.
According to the report, during a Sept. 11 Gators for Rudy [Giuliani] rally, Meyer got into an argument with another student and told a friend that ``if he liked what he had seen that he should go to the Kerry speech and he would really see a show.''
In addition, the report said that after his arrest, when Meyer was out of view of the cameras, he told officers that they did not do anything wrong and then asked ``if cameras will be at the jail.''
The FDLE report included interviews with witnesses, university employees, and video footage to make the determination that police acted properly, according to the summary.
On his website, www.theandrewmeyer.com, Meyer offered no statement but sought contributions to his legal defense fund.
Griscti said that although he still has to review the full 300-page report, he dismissed statements that police claim Meyer made while in police custody.
The university released only a 17-page summary on Wednesday.
''He was in the custody of police officers without anyone around him,'' Griscti said.
He also said that Meyer, a former honors student at Cypress Bay High School, is doing OK and focusing on his classes.
Whether Meyer will face criminal charges for resisting arrest and causing a disturbance will be determined in the next few days, officials said.
''It's still under review at the state attorney's office on whether criminal charges are going to be filed,'' said Spencer Mann, spokesman for Gainesville's state attorney's office.
While students at the university staged protests against the Tasering the day after it happened, students yesterday said they've had some time to reconsider whether campus police violated Meyer's right to free speech.
''A lot of people who protested obviously didn't care that much about it or they'd be out here today,'' Chris Mueller, a UF physics major, said Wednesday.
''I know I definitely feel differently than when I first saw the YouTube videos,'' he said, adding that he now thinks the officers did the right thing.
Gwen Kaster, a UF religion major, agreed.
''They should have beat him with some batons while they were at it,'' Kaster said.
Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, who read the FDLE report and saw the footage on youtube.com, said Meyer's arrest and Tasering were a sad statement on how heated political discourse is being discouraged on college campuses.
''Universities are the place for untidy, boisterous, rude, and offensive political debate to take place,'' said Simon, adding that Meyer should have been left alone to make his statements and ask his ''untidy'' questions, especially since Kerry appeared ready to answer them.
Simon also dismissed the findings of the FDLE report.
''When you have one Florida law enforcement agency investigating another Florida law enforcement agency, the conclusions are predictable,'' Simon said.
Gee, do ya think?
Jail time should fix this.
Who actually says the word ‘OW!’ when they are in pain?
Rule #1: remove the speaker and handle the disturbance. This protects the speaker and also deprives the culprit(s) of the forum the so desire.
Rule #2: Send the biggest, burliest guys to subdue the disrupter, not the daintiest ladies on the force.
My sympathies are with the police. This guy was either seriously disturbed or planning a staged disruption or both. Still, the police should be better trained.
This is what is wrong with our entire system. No consequences for ones behavior or actions.
lmao That was funny. Thanks! ~Pandora~
I support using lead filled night sticks and rottweillers.
Dainty? Dainty you say? NOT!
Doubtful. This is the most attention he has ever gotten or will ever get.
The investigation revealed that he had boasted publicly - specifically to a female fellow student - that he was going to cause a scene at the Kerry Q&A. He made these comments a week in advance. Shades of Hinckley.
It is also disclosed that he spent his phone call time from jail on the phone with his dad, telling him how happy he was to get arrested and asking him to see if he could get an interview with Matt Lauer.
Yes. And it's really really funny when liberal speakers like Kerry get harrassed by ultra-liberal, publicity-seeking students---and then the *student* gets tased!!! De-lish!
Well, I think I say "ouch". (Because I can't say what I used to say with three little kids in the house.)
Ok, these ladies were not dainty. They did, however, come up to his sholder. A couple of ugly guys who are gym gorillas are much more intimidating than any woman (excepting maybe Serena).
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.