One thing I’ll readily admit is that as more video of the incident surfaces, the situation looks a lot worse for University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, the student tasered by UF police for disrupting a speech by John Kerry and resisting arrest. In this video you see that he was being quite disruptive, and that he was resisting arrest. It demonstrates that the university police had reason to be concerned. In this video, you get a longer view of the incident, and you get to see him dazed, confused and more than a little unhinged afterwards.
I was fully expecting this to be hot news today, but I have been impressed nonetheless by how much press it is getting. I was also expecting to get some angry e-mails from people saying that the University Police responded reasonably and a few have already come in. The full video from different angles makes the case that the fellow may have been out of control, far more dramatically than the video posted on CNN, but I still have to say I believe that tasering him was an overreaction. I am certainly not saying tasering is never appropriate, and that police are not free to use force when someone is not cooperating, but I just think the tasering went too far.
As for the free speech analysis, I think David French is right on the money:
If a person is disruptive, not only can that person be removed by security, sometimes their removal is actually required to protect the free speech rights of the speaker (and other questioners).
So, let the discussion continue and let us know what you think!
Schools: University of Florida