Know your rights: The Kerry Taser incident

Police use a Taser on a college student who doesn't go quietly after posing an overlong question to John Kerry.

Published September 18, 2007 2:38PM (EDT)

We've just watched the videotape of University of Florida police wrestling with and ultimately using a Taser on a 21-year-old student who asked John Kerry a ranting and overlong question at the end of a campus talk Monday.

We can't quite decide which aspect of the thing is the most disturbing:

a) That the student group that sponsored the event reportedly asked police to remove Andrew Meyer from the event when his question -- about Kerry's decision not to contest the 2004 election, about the impeachment of George W. Bush and about Kerry's membership in Yale's Skull and Bones -- ran too long, even as Kerry said, "That's all right, let me answer his question";

b) That students in the audience cheered as the police moved in;

c) That Kerry, after appealing for calm, jokingly lamented that Meyer wasn't "available" to "come up here and swear me in as president" and then continued to talk in his usual sonorous tone as Meyer resisted arrest; or

d) That the half-dozen officers on hand couldn't come up with a better way of dealing with Meyer -- to the extent he needed to be dealt with at all -- than by shooting him with a Taser.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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