This is in response to the article “police officers mistake in silencing a student” at the University of Florida. Author Mark Twain once said, “It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the discretion never to practice either.”
Andrew Meyer, University of Florida, should have thought of that before he disrupted Senator John Kerry during his speech. Meyer thought that Kerry should answer a number of his questions before the program ended, which Kerry was willing to do, but instead,Meyerended up being rightfully arrested and tasered by police for resisting arrest.
Meyer may have been provoking the police to tase him as a stunt that he could add to his online accounts on Facebook and Myspace. He was known as the joker and clown to get a laugh. His Web site proves this. However, after spending one night in jail for the charges, he had no comment about that night or the day before it.
A video clip of Meyer questioning of Kerry and his arrest is available online. Meyer first asks questions to Kerry in the middle of his speech. From Meyer’s tone, he was rude and did notallow time for the senator to answerhis questions. An officer asked him to leave, but he refused to and continued to talk.
The microphone Meyer was talking into was turned off, but he did not seem he care. He continued to ask questions and then answered them himself or ranted about that topic. In the background of the video, people began to leave and groan about him badgering Kerry, not wanting to hear Meyer talk anymore. Again, police attempted to get him to leave peacefully, but he was upset his microphone was turned off.
As seen in the video, there are about four police officers that attempt to escort Meyer out of the building so that they can place him under arrest for disturbing the peace. Only one officer is holding him at this point. The officers asked him to leave as they walked him towards the exit, and he would not listen as he tried to return to bother Kerry with past and current affairs. The police had no choice but to do anything they could to maintain their safety and the safety of everyone else in the building. The police were right in demanding that he leave as he was disrupting the organization the school put together for its students. He was not exercising freedom of speech as he was not protesting for a cause of what he believes. Freedom of speech does not include badgering another person to answer questions.
The audience applaudedthe police when one officer escorted Meyer off the stage. Before reaching the exit door, Meyer tried once again to break away from the police. He was yelling and throwing his arms abruptly in the air trying to get away from the police. He acted like he was the one being attacked by calling for help.He was asking what he had done wrong as if he did not know how disruptive he was.
The police were unable to handcuff him as he resisted them.Now the four police officers tried to put him on the ground facedown in order to handcuff him to gain control over the situation. As the police were unable to handcuff him, they clearly warned him that they would use a taser on him if he did not cooperate. Meyer continued to resist as the order was given to taser him. He yelled for them not to do it, although he was warned and he still pursued to break away from the officer’s grip. The police were only able to get the student to stop resisting arrest and trying to return to the speech by using a taser gun. Meyer was tasered and then taken into custody. The police were only able to get the student to stop resisting arrest and try to return everyone’s attention to the speech by using a taser gun.
No matter what Meyers’ reasons were, he brought the situation on himself. The police are allowed to take precautions for their safety as well as the citizens around them. They were not able to get the college student removed from the building safely, on his own free will andhad struggled to handcuff him. It took several officers to restrain him as well as the use of an electricshock.
After this, handcuffs were placed on him and he was searched and booked. What he did was not to prove it was to stand up for his right to freedom to speak his mind. The point was not about police brutality because they responded quickly for the safety of others that would supersede his freedom of speech. They had not searched his pockets, which madeit hard for police to know if he had anything illegal on him or any weapons on him. He was potentially harmful to the police as hedid not listen to them and tried to break away from them.
Some believe that Andrew Meyer “deserved what he got” after he would not cooperate with the police as he was asked to leave. If he had left, he would have prevented being arrested and tasered with an electric shock. Law enforcement officers were doing their duty and took the proper measures in obtaining the arrest. The video clip shows what really happened.