back to article Student taser victim spared electric chair

Florida prosecutors have decided not to pursue Andrew "don't tase me, bro" Meyer through the courts if he keeps his nose clean during 18 months probation. Meyer caused a farcical kerfuffle at a University of Florida speech by John Kerry last month. He scored 50,000 volts and internet infamy for his trouble. He'll soon be …

COMMENTS

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  1. Adam Auden

    You are kidding me...

    Appropriate force, seriously?

    Scary.

  2. Hollerith

    Forced public apology

    I thought this went out with the Soviets, and was currently only supported by the Chinese government.

    'Comrades, I have become a better person through discipline and have improved those faults of mine that required the State to punish me deservedly.'

    Yuck.

  3. Steven
    Pirate

    "I am a far more reasoned individual than I was a short while ago"

    That's electric shock therapy in action there, and can be delivered to your doorstep by people in smart uniforms. Nice. I'll be keeping my questions, all questions, succinct from here on in. Unless I can get into that S&B society.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Police?

    I read "Campus Police", so "hired rentacops" would be closer to the mark.

    So who did the enquiry and how independent were they?

  5. Matt Bradley
    Black Helicopters

    Appropriate force, seriously?

    3 security staff need to use a taser to remove a scrawny kid from a school hall?

    If that was appropriate force for those guys, then I guess they need to be fired. They are clearly wimps, and therefore not suited to the job of security.

    When are we going to start talking about regime change in the US? Torturing people for political dissent? I thought that used to be Iraq's bag?

  6. Sceptical Bastard

    Every day I am grateful ...

    ... I don't have to visit, let alone live in, 'Murcca.

    Land of the free? Yeah. Right.

  7. Paul

    Possible reason for what hes saying?

    The University has come to him and said, we will let you back if you dont make a fuss, but if you do your out for the "criminal offence" you commited on our property? We dont care what the corts say, we dont need profe.

  8. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    More

    Police should be granted more powers like these, damn upstarts!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ha ha ha!

    If anybody (i.e. the campus "police", the prosecutors or the University of Florida) thinks he meant actually meant what he was saying in that statement, they must be seriously off their rockers and clearly need to be tasered and carted away to a cell with all speed.

  10. Michael

    Appropriate force, indeed

    I know much of the Reg's comment appear to be from the UK, so I'll take this opportunity to provide the standard operating procedure of a taser by an LEO (Law Enforcement Officer).

    1. To control a dangerous or violent subject when deadly force does not appear to be justified and/or necessary;

    (The subject was deemed NOT ARMED, and the officer who had his firearm drawn quickly holstered it after acknowledging this fact. Deadly force was not required. Proceed.)

    2. If attempts to subdue the subject by other conventional tactics have been, or will likely be, ineffective in the situation at hand; or

    (The subject continued to resist arrest after first refusing to leave the premises under his own power and then escalating the situation by belligerently continuing to make a scene. This is considered 'disturbing the peace' and is an arrestable offense.)

    3. If there is reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for officers to approach within contact range of the subject, see also the Use of Force continuum, Attachment A..

    (The subjects hands were not visible during this entire fiasco, and while it was unlikely he was carrying a weapon, an LEO will not assume that risk. Additionally, he was attempting to kick and otherwise strike the officers while being escorted out. This is considered an unsafe situation.)

    The LEOs were within their rights to apply the use of taser equipment in this situation. LEOs equipped with tasers are required (by federal law) to be tased themselves during training, for a better understanding of what the effects will be.

    Many of our counterparts are quick to call 'police state' when something like this happens, but I make the suggestion that you are misinformed or refuse to be informed, therefore jumping to conclusions that are false.

  11. A Gould

    Excuse me,

    Maybe it's the Brit in me, but didn't they think about politely asking him to leave first? Even bouncers ask you to leave nicely before they lay into you.

    That the "officer" pulled a gun as a first response is, quite frankly, scary.

    I was also under the impression that in order for a policeman to arrest you, he needed reasonable ground to do so. In this case someone taking to long asking stupid questions doesnt really seem like an arrestable offence.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: Appropriate force, indeed @Michael

    Ah. So because a LEO gets tasered during training to understand its effects, that still makes it alright to taser the 'violent subject' because it might lash out and strike the officer (and causing an unsafe situation)?

    And because us Poms disagree with such a simplistic policy ("sir, he created a dangerous situation, so I tasered him, nevermind the fact that he's practically half my weight, outclassed by me and my colleagues and we could've subdued him by other means"), we're misinformed or refuse to be informed. Is that it? Have I summarised your posting correctly?

    Because if that's the case, then really... Oy vey. Oy. Vey.

  13. Carson

    Tasered for resisting arrest

    Tasering him may have been a little excessive, but he wasn't tasered for the questions he was asking, he was tasered for resisting arrest.

    He cut in line and wouldn't stop asking questions when his time was up. Not things you should be tasered for, and he wasn't. Again, it was for resisting arrest.

    I go to UF, and believe me, the last thing I want to see when visiting a British news site is something about this idiot. Nothing positive comes from resisting arrest, whether you're in the US or the UK, despite what some of the previous commenters seem to think.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    calling 'police state'

    I am an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, and used to be a Staff Sergeant Military Police officer, supervising about a dozen military policemen. My group gaurded convoys, and also spent a great deal of time as the "enforcers" in a military prison in Iraq (let's nip this in the bud - my unit was brought in after that Abu debacle). I was one of the people suppressing riots in the prison, etc., so things got rough sometime. Hence, I post anonymously in this case.

    Now that you know my qualifications...@Michael....I am calling "police state". I am embarrassed and angered at the behavior of the campus police. Congrats to the person who took the video...it erases any doubt excessive force was used. More troubling is how the officers' behavior was found acceptable.

  15. Cheese

    @Michael

    "The subjects hands were not visible during this entire fiasco"

    They seemed to be very visible...was the book he was holding deemed to be a possible weapon? Paper cuts can be pretty nasty.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    USA = morally 3rd world country

    And they wonder why the rest of the world view them as a backward, third-world, bunch of CUNTS*.

    * ( Cowardly Unjust Narcissistic Torturing Scumbags)

  17. evil tom
    Thumb Down

    The cops are thugs but Meyers was still a bitch punk.

    @ Hollerith - Yes, that is exactly what it should seen as.

    Sadly, our fighting spirit as Americans has been so emasculated that we thank the authorities after being tortured for asking questions - yes, which is all he did.

    Although too, Meyers and anyone else who refuses to stand up for their rights - or for the rights of others they see being violated by Creedy's Fingermen - is a punk bitch, IMO. He could have given that university so much hell for violating his civil rights, he could have actually stood up for himself, but instead he cowered as his courage ran down his leg into puddle beneath him.

    Instead of pleading don't tase me bro, he should have recited the first amendment.

    I was arrested by university police in NJ for disrupting an NSA/CIA recruitment meeting once and dragged off by cops. I exercised my right to remain silent after arrest and stood firm on my rights. Rather than fight the case (since they had assaulted another one of the arrestees in the process) they reduced charges of defiant trespassing and disrupting a public meeting to a simple violation of a noise ordinance - a small fine with no record - and no disciplinary action v. the students involved.

    Nothing justifies the reaction of the police, but nothing justifies Meyers cowardice either. We just can't accept anymore excuses; "I was too afraid" sounds too much like "I was just following orders." No more good Germans, we need to be like Burmese protest monks.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Appropriate Force Re: Michael

    I would hope that, as well as procedure a police officer would try to use his brain and realise that the out-numbered student posed little threat (apart from maybe a bruise?) and could have probably been dragged out with little effort.

    I understand that most US police officers have to firstly consider the threat of a firearm and therefore take a more aggressive stance when pulling over people. However, having lived in both countries I find even though they are arseholes sometimes, UK police seem less aggressive and tend to have more respect for people as human beings.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Michael

    In your eagerness to justify tasing this guy, you seem to be missing the crucial point, which is that what he was doing i.e. asking a long and boring question instead of shutting up, hardly seems to be an offence for which you should be arrested, let alone tased.

    Indeed, in the UK, arresting somebody without reason to do so is a criminal offence.

    "I make the suggestion that you are misinformed or refuse to be informed"

    You're entitled to, just as I'm entitled to make the suggestion that you are simply a neo-con apologist for what is clearly unacceptable behaviour from a police officer.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    They tased monkey boy

    for their own reasons, policies are not laws, nor do these constitute reasonable behavior, they punished him for resisting arrest, they didn't use it because they had no choice. He made them angry, he did not instantly respect their authority, in a way their sloped brains could recognize which might be for example, laying on his back, or sniffing their butts. Who didn't expect a whitewash from this pathetic institution? They hired these barely human trolls in the first place, so it must be what they wanted. I have to say for your own good don't come to my country not until we have worked a few things out hopefully it won't be as bloody as it was the last time (I wouldn't bet on it though).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Tasered for resisting arrest

    @ Carson.

    Resisting arrest is one of the most unjust crimes ever created by a civilised society. Any protestor, (on any protest, regardless of it's merits) can be placed under arrest illegally for no reason. If they decide to resist arrest, (knowing that the arrest is illegal) they are then guilty of resisting arrest, and can then be legally arested. If that makes sense where you are, my heart bleeds for you.

  22. Steven Walker

    Show Trial?

    Did I miss it or did they forget a trick. Maybe he was in a psychiatric camp instead.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    He will have a fair trial and then be stung.

    Tasers for everybody I say.

    Why bother with costly Law Enforcement, what with all those silly laws and such?

    Isn't it ironic that the "Land of the Free" that I was born and live in today is now sanctioning torture, sometimes, and allowing minimum wage rent-a-cops to zap overzealous kids who have bad manners? That will make those darned terrorists about coming to the Land of the Brave think twice now won't it?

    Why that can't happen here. Well, I am telling you, my Dear, it has been happening here.

    I think Texas "Hanging" Judge Roy Bean had it right way back in the 1800's when he was stating his viewpoint on an upcoming trial of a gent who was accused of cattle rustling. "He'll have a fair trial and then he'll be hung".This perspective seems to have been adapted to the 21st Century by our MBA President and his lovely Rasputin wannabe sidekick, Cheney the Crusader.

  24. Nick Stallman
    Thumb Up

    Common sense

    The idiot was a jerk. He got what he deserved.

    If you want to disrupt a public forum, you have to accept the consequences.

    If he behaved like everyone else did and obeyed the rules then this would have never happened.

  25. Lexx Greatrex
    Alien

    I am a far more reasoned member of the collective now that I have been assimilated

    I am on sabbatical while the scars from the implants heal.

    All hail the the American night

  26. Matt Bradley
    Unhappy

    @Michael

    1. To control a dangerous or violent subject when deadly force does not appear to be justified and/or necessary;

    Clearly he wasn't dangerous. Strike 1.

    2. If attempts to subdue the subject by other conventional tactics have been, or will likely be, ineffective in the situation at hand; or

    Hmm. Three large security staff can't subdue a skinny kid effectively using "conventional tactics"? Strike 2.

    3. If there is reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for officers to approach within contact range of the subject

    Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't regard approaching an over excited teenager whilst backed up by 2 large colleagues of mine as unsafe. Strike 3.

    Yes: He was very naughty boy. Did he deserve to be subjected to electric shocks for being silly? Personally, I think not.

    The US can be an example to the world in many ways. However, I think I'm with majority in saying that this incident is NOT one of them.

  27. Steven Raith
    Coat

    Tasered? So what?

    The Youtube video embedded in the article made me realise where the inspiration for Mortal Kombats character 'Scorpion' must have come from.

    Which is even more entertaining than people trying to justify wanging 50,000v through a lad who appears about as dangerous [although, admittadly, just as annoying] as someone who answers their mobile in the cinema.

    Steven R

  28. Gower

    I can't deal with your questions verbally so my friends are going to use force

    that wasn't a debate it was a statement.

    poor bugger

  29. Robert Hill
    Stop

    See the video, read the news reports?

    The guy CLEARLY wanted to create a scene - the reason he was videotaped was because he HANDED HIS VIDEO CAMERA TO SOMEONE AND ASKED THEM TO FILM IT - BEFORE HE BECAME DISRUPTIVE. It was a planned disruption, not a simple "being out of line and asking too many questions".

    I'm sorry, if you plan to disrupt a public assembly, you SHOULD be asked to leave, and he was - peaceably. He refused, and continued to be disruptive. The campus police then attempted to remove him gently, and he fought back and resisted.

    Now at this point, the police can either a) tackle, push, and possibly physically restrain and hurt him in an altercation to get him to leave, or b) tase him, which will hurt but will probably do no real damage.

    See, the campus police are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. If he resists, and they use force, and he gets hurt, they are compared to jackbooted Nazis for being forcefull. If they tase him, they have used a high-tech weapon on him, and they are Darth Vader incarnate.

    Let's just call a spade a spade - he was a prick, and tried to get that reaction. He got it, let's move on. But it ISN'T a free speach issue, it ISN'T a torture-state issue - it is some idiot demanding his 15 minutes of fame. Lame, not commendable.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    We may get tased for being conspiracy theorists...

    ...but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults. As far as I'm concerned, the relatively consistent freedom of speech and thought we enjoy here - despite being severely tested - is fairly intact at a basic level, unlike in the wretched nanny state you've created in the UK, where it's actually illegal for you to own computer game because daddy government says it's bad for you.

    Think about that for a minute: You guys are *not allowed to buy a computer game* and you're trashing on us for tasing a dumbass and letting him go? You've already given up your right to think for yourselves. You don't *need* to be tased anymore.

  31. Stuart Van Onselen

    @David Wiernicki

    Erm, I missed the point where the Brits posting here compared America unfavourably to Britain. Please point it out to me.

    In fact, many of the posters here are equally disgusted at the "Nanny State" they live in. It's just that this is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    In fact, your comment comes across as an attempt to de-rail the discussion, as it actually has bugger-all to do with the electrocution of this annoying brat. It's been said before and I'll say it again: Being annoying is *not* sufficient grounds for being Tazered!

    Furthermore, no-one in Britain has been tasered for tring to get hold of an illegal copy of Manhunt II.;-)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Thank you

    Now I will feel sick all day long. Reading the article I was waiting for the "and he now sues the living daylights out of them" bit. Sadly, there was none. The time is ripe for the big cleanup.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dave Wiernicki

    "but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults. "

    What? So lets get this straight... torture of people is OK as long as someone else can buy whatever they want, provided that its apolitical? A fascinating morality there. Its easy to see why Americans are starting to wonder why they have a little public relations problem with the real world.

    "As far as I'm concerned, the relatively consistent freedom of speech "

    Relatively consistent freedom of speech? So much for that First Amendment which says that no law abridging freedom of speech can be acceptable. The key word in your statement is, of course, relatively. Relative to who? China? Pre 2003 Iraq? Iran? Certainly not Britain.

    I've been in public audiences where people like Jack Straw have been told to their faces that they are war criminals and no-one was tasered (of course in the UK we did have Walter Wolfgang assaulted by some Labour Party thugs at the Labour Party conference, but he's now on the national executive of the Labour Party. On the same basis maybe this poor student should be made vice-chancellor).

    "and thought we enjoy here - despite being severely tested - is fairly intact at a basic level, "

    Fairly intact at a basic level - another give away term. Fairly intact means not at all intact, its merely exceptional for people that the government haven't got around to yet. And what is a basic level of freedom of speech? Presumably the most minimal right is the one to ask long and boring questions of politicians without being tortured.

    "unlike in the wretched nanny state you've created in the UK, where it's actually illegal for you to own computer game because daddy government says it's bad for you."

    Really? So If I was say, a Muslim, and owned one of the many Jihadi computer games that'd be fine? Apparently not, that's a prison sentence. Or - moving away from silliness like terrorism to race relations - if I was black and had oral sex that would be quite reasonable for a criminal offence? In Georgia a 17 year old black guy was sent to prison for 10 year for illegal oral sex, he was released this week after doing 2 years inside. Interesting definition of "bad for you" - Black teenagers having oral sex is clearly a major health crisis. Still, I guess these minor issues of freedom affecting Muslims and Blacks are quite inconsequential. to you - its all about computer games after all.

    I rather like the "wretched nanny state", because we can ask our politicians any question we like without worrying about torture. We should have more of it.

    "Think about that for a minute: You guys are *not allowed to buy a computer game* and you're trashing on us for tasing a dumbass and letting him go? "

    Yes. I feel pretty safe in thinking that the majority of English people would see a computer game as a thing which is vaguely nice to have, whilst sadistic security thugs sadistically torturing real people for expressing a not unreasonable political opinion are a real issue. Of course Americans might be happy in their gilded cage but I'm not sure that playing NintenDogs will make up for the screams next door.

    "You've already given up your right to think for yourselves. You don't *need* to be tased anymore."

    So the solution to people being tortured is apparently computer games. Quick! Send a thousand playstation 3's to Guantanamo! Waterboarding? Not a bit of it! We'll do virtual water-skiing.

  34. Stuart Van Onselen

    @Robert Hill

    So the guy wanted to create a scene.

    So what?

    At the risk of being repetitive, I say again: Being an annoying git is *not* reason enough to get 20,000V!

    Let's use a slightly exaggerated example to illustrate my point:

    Let's say you believe that the cops in your town are being belligerent fascists in love with their own powers. (This may just be in your own head, of course.) And you want to bring this to the attention of a wider audience. You give a friend a camera, and then you taunt the cops. You're clearly unarmed, and have the physical build of a stick-insect. You're not a threat, you're just being an annoying berk. You haven't broken any laws, except maybe the overly-broad by-law of "disturbing the peace".

    Now, if the cops ignore you, or subdue you with minimal force (build of a stick-insect, remember!), they've done their jobs, and you've been proved wrong.

    But if they beat beat you to death, then it's clear that they are 110% in the wrong, and you've (posthumously) proved your point. How does the fact that you provoked it exhonerates them? Surely this was a ridiculous over-reaction, regardless.

    Now don't tell me that there's a big difference between being tasered and being killed. I'm not a moron, I know this, and I did tell you that it's an exaggerated example.

    But let's take the cop's reactiont down a notch at a time.

    1) Is it OK if, instead of killing you, they only beat you up to the point where you need hospitalisation?

    2) Is it OK if they only leave you black-and-blue-and-stiff for a few days.

    3) Is it OK if they "only" zap you (repeatedly) with a taser, which hurts like hell but leaves no lasting damage (Hopefully! A small % of people have died from being tasered.)

    Remember that at all times they had the option of subduing you with a little effort, and only a small chance that you or they would get slightly bruised, at worst.

    At what point does it change from *subduing* a rude but harmless twit, into become brutality / torture?

    Your answer will tell us a lot about you, and the environment in which you live.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @David Wiernicki

    As you asked, I thought about what you said for a minute and my conclusion is this:

    computer games are for idiots so it doesn't matter.

    have a nice day.

  36. Steve
    Thumb Down

    @Michael

    "The subject continued to resist arrest after first refusing to leave the premises under his own power and then escalating the situation by belligerently continuing to make a scene. This is considered 'disturbing the peace' and is an arrestable offense."

    Your logic is circular.

    He wasn't 'disturbing the peace' until they tried to arrest him, which you then use as justification for why they tried to arrest him... Which is it, were they trying to perform an illegal arrest, or is talking for to long in a Q&A an arrestable offence?

  37. Simon Ball

    @David Wiernicki

    "Hot Coffee" anyone? Before you say anything, I know that the context was rather different, and that the content wasn't actually supposed to be part of the game as sold. However, I rather feel that the reason it was pulled out prior to release in the first place is because Rockstar thought that it was likely to get the game banned in the US (or classfied AO, but in the US that seems to amount to the same thing). I don't particularly agree with the Manhunt 2 decision, but in my observation the US is equally as censorious as the UK, it just objects to sexual content rather than violence.

  38. Nik Kellingley
    IT Angle

    Only a yank could be so deluded...

    Oh dear David, so what you're telling me is that in a country where the whole place went whacko over a bare nipple (a la Janet Jackson) or a game with sexual content (think GTA patches) you have more freedom of expression than us poor Brits?

    Sad really, but then again I think I've found a candidate for a good tasering here - you.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Youve missed the point there

    We don't have to ask which games we can PLAY.. there's no law against playing an overage rated game..

    The BBFC rating defines which games shops can SELL to people of which age.. and once you are an adult (18+) then its irrelevant as games only go to 18.

    If you are under whatever the age rating for a game is you can still play it if your parents buy it for you.. its just that the parent as your legal guardian then has control of the situation and 8 year old's cant be playing violent games if their parents don't want them too.. which sounds like a reasonable thing to me.

    Going by your logic an 8 year old should be allowed to walk into a car showroom buy a car, drive it (without asking for a licence) buy a gun and go on a drive by, because afterall thats ok in GTA..

    The funny thing is i love violent games and have absolutly no desire to see any games being banned outright.. id have bought the full violence manhunt 2 just to see what the fuss was about.. but that doesnt mean i think kids should!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    wow...

    I can't believe anyone is actually defending the police in this matter...

    After watching the video on youtube, I am seriously angered at those so-called "authorities" working that campus.

    I'm glad I'm not living in "the land of the free" - USA... Be ashamed! Be very ashamed of yourselves!

  41. Chris

    @David Wiernicki

    It's a video game you idiot. Learn the difference between when things matter and when they don't.

    You're not _seriously_ trying to equate the ability to buy a video game or not with the ability to avoid being tasered to the ground for asking dumb questions are you? Well done. You must be very proud that your society allows you to buy a video game, yet punishes someone who asks questions in a public forum with electric shock. Get a sense of perspective.

  42. Warren
    Flame

    2 big lads can't handle a runt?

    Sorry, but if two burly renta-cops can't run the guy out the room with an arm each, they don't deserve to be doing that job.

    Take a lesson from the Mets, (metropolitan police London, not new york);

    grab guy under the arm, 1 each per officer,

    run at full speed towards the exit.

    Officers stop at point of exit & let go.

    Guy is ejected and probably going to come to some harm at standstill, but seeing as you're not holding him, he's done that himself - it's not your fault is it?

    Americans, so much to learn....

  43. Joseph Bryant

    Act of violence

    Part of the problem with cases like these is that using a taser isn't as viscerally obviously violent as, say, punching someone in the stomach. People seem to forget that zapping someone with a powerful electric shock is an act of violence. If, reading a story like this, you're in any doubt as to whether shocking someone was appropriate, consider whether a kick to the gut would have been appropriate.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re David Weirnicki

    OK, point taken. Still pretty scary rent-a-cops in your country carry guns though, isn't it?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Before.....

    we in the UK get all high and mighty about the 'Land of the Free' would someone like to give one example of something this country used to be proud of that the authorities haven't f****d up big time.

    We all suffer the same problem, heavy handed nanny state totally out of touch with any form of reality and way out of control.

  46. zedee
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Manhunt reference

    @David Wiernicki

    It is perfectly legal to purchase Manhunt 2 (I assume this is what you're referencing) in the UK from a UK supplier, or to import it from outside the UK.

    See http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/10/24/manhunt_bbfc_online_sales/

  47. Rob

    @David

    And you seem to be a prime example of why the US is on a downward slide in terms of it's humanity.

    I'm not disgreeing with you about the Nanny state part, but please use a better argument than a computer game. We're talking about a human, who's had excessive force used on him and your talking about a poxy computer game that most of us couldn't give a toss about.

    Seriously where are your priorities, sounds like the sort of reasoning Bush would use to justify a war.

  48. Big_Boomer
    Alert

    @ David Wiernicki

    What video game is banned here? First I've heard of it.

    As for real practical freedoms, we have just as many, if not more, than the good Ole USofA.Yeah, we live in a rapidly developing Nanny State but what on earth makes you think you don't? It's your damned government that started all this "we're stomping all over your civil liberties to protect you from the nasty terrorists" crap,.... and our bunch of waste of space political pussies are rolling over and taking it like nice boys do.

    My advice is to get your own crumbling house in order before you start throwing stones at other peoples houses.

    And the student moron deserved a good tasering. Any semi-intelligent person knows that if you push your luck that far yer gonna get splatted.

  49. Wayne Dunne
    Thumb Down

    @David Wiernicki

    1. Manhunt is illegal to buy in a store, you can legally download it as a purchase.

    2. Don't talk nonsense about video games remember Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Your next President Hillary Clinton wanted that banned because it had hidden sex scenes which A: are switched off in the game and B: show no genitalia.

    Christ I would hate to wake up one day and be an american.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @ David

    I'm inclined to agree with you that we brits do not need tasering as we allow our government to write a new law and then we all follow it... like sheep follow orders from a dog.

    Our problem is that we allow our leaders to tax us out of existance and restrict our social mobility to the point where we are almost prisoners in our own country.

    Add to that the fact that our officers aren't armed and the ones that are armed are hung out to dry when things go wrong.....

    Brits accusing USA of being a Police State..... I would say we are the Sheep State.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not allowed to buy video games?

    Sorry, did I miss something? Which games am I not allowed to buy? Or did you mean to say there are games which you are not allowed to sell to me?

    Complaining about any kind of protectionism is a bit rich coming from a Merkan!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @David Wiernicki

    "but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults"

    No, you just get the nearest bible-thumping wannabe lawyer hick to start crying about "civil liberties" and trying to ban everything, including PEOPLES OPINIONS FFS! GTA ring any bells? I'm sure Mr Thompson has made the news over your side of the pond.. we've had a great laugh at his expense thankyourverymuch and his self proclaimed "crusade against video games" makes our BBFC (who actually refused to classify Manhunt 2 due to extreme and relentless graphic violence, had nothing to do with the government choosing which titles we get) look like nothing.

    And if you really want to start crying and getting petty, why not go ask Walmart for an opinion before you post next time? They refuse to even sell content which your government and the world in general has approved, just because it has an 18 certificate!

    We have a centuries old government and very well established authorities to make rules, you have a supermarket chain with deluisions of grandeur. Who has the big-brother-nanny-state now?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @David Wiernicki

    While Robert Hill probably has it, I'd just like to point out that if the argument about him being tased was justified, since when was complaining about a computer game even comparable to someone being electrocuted for trying to express their right to free speech?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Robert Hill

    Let me explain what would have happened in the UK.

    If he was being disruptive, the guy would have been asked to leave. If he was using a microphone, it would have been turned off. Let's assume he didn't co-operate, and kept yodelling.

    Let's also make the unlikely assumption that a disruption was expected, and three regular police - "campus cops" are still pretty unusual - were in attendance. They would have asked the guy to leave, too. If he declined, he would have been arrested under the Public Order Act, cuffed and removed. This is stuff our officers do every day, they're good at it, and rarely need to resort to the few weapons (batons and perhaps CS spray) they carry. And it wouldn't usually need three of them, either.

    Three armed and armoured cops Tasering an unarmed teen is malice and cowardice, pure and simple.

  55. Ben
    Thumb Down

    Re: We may get tased for being conspiracy theorists...

    > ...but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults.

    IANAL but...

    That's utter rubbish. In the UK, as long as the material is not a recording of a criminal act (such as a recording of pedophilia) it is not an offense to possess or play.

    Only if the BBFC refuses classification, does it becomes an offense to *sell* or provide *rentals*. You're free to play whatever sick game you want as long as nobody makes any money supplying it to you.

    > As far as I'm concerned, the relatively consistent freedom of speech and thought we enjoy here - despite being severely tested - is fairly intact at a basic level

    As long as America holds people without trial or judicial oversight there is no freedom of speech. Together with the dragnet monitoring of calls, you've given up the Constitution that you claim to hold so dear.

    Furthermore, causing pain to extract what you want is called torture. Tasering somebody in handcuffs to shut them up is exactly that. In public no less. You should be ashamed.

    At least China doesn't pretend.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No reason for arrest?

    There seems to be a couple common misconceptions here.

    A: There was no reason for the arrest. It's called "Disturbing The Peace", a law enacted similar to noise level laws to prevent people from creating public nuisances of themselves, and possible starting of riots or fights. I'm not saying this was a true case of it, just that the person in question was indeed breaking the law, and was indeed eligible for arrest, whether people think it's right or not.

    B: Tazer'ing was too strong a punishment. Tazers are put to use against unarmed people resisting arrest for a simple reason. Yes, there were 3 people against him, no he wasn't armed, BUT he was trying to kick and punch those arresting him. I don't care if there's 20 people going after him, I'm not going to take a chance on him kicking in my knee and doing damage that requires surgery to fix, or even cause me pain by a kick in the balls, when there's a handy, non-lethal solution. Screw everyone who says tazer'ing is wrong, why should it be all right for the police to be hurt and injured, and not the person being arrested?

    C: People complain the cop had his gun drawn. A political rally, someone deliberately causing problems in it. Those are how a lot of assassination attempts starts, and politicians are popular targets. Again we go back to, why should police be expected to put their lives in immediate danger when facing an unknown situation? For all the cop knew, the guy could have had a bomb or a pistol in his jacket. The PROPER response was exactly what he did; draw his weapon until he could positively ascertain there was no deadly threat, then on seeing that, immediately holster it. Which he did.

    This bullshit of expecting cops to not be armed when confronting an unknown situation is as stupid as telling a soldier he can't put a magazine into his rifle until he's been shot at. But I guess there's many who would espouse exactly that sentiment, better one of our own get killed then maybe hurting that terrorist/ enemy soldier/ gangbanger, right?

  57. Parax
    Stop

    is Death Appropriate Force?

    It wont be long before Uni renta cops kill someone, yes sometime soon one of the 1-in-a-1000 events WILL occur. just because 999 times its non harmful does not make it safe or appropriate!

  58. Joe Blogs
    Stop

    @David Wiernicki

    Yeah, you are right, damn nanny state. Not allowed to buy a computer game, or kiddie porn, or murder someone, or rob bank. It's unaccaptable. We should all go on strike or move to America where it seems (from Mr Wiernicki's post) that all this is allowed.

    [/removes tongue from cheek]

  59. Scott Michaels

    One other thing

    After watching the video again, I also noticed one thing everybody else seems to have missed. If he didn't deserve the tazer'ing, why aren't any of his fellow students getting upset? Watch them, they're ignoring him or laughing at him getting tazer'ed. I'd say that says more about the whole thing than any arguments. He set the whole thing up to make the security look bad, probably hoping for a big lawsuit or a public embarassment to the college. His fellow students even knew it for what it was, and so laughed at him getting what he deserved. lol

    And as soon as he realized the college wasn't backing down or going to give in to him, and he had 0 chance of a lawsuit, and as a sidenote probably 0 chance of continuing at any college if he kept it up, he backed up and apologized. That sounds more like the real reason for his apology and statement.

    Yes, I'm from the US, and I admit that's one of the biggest problems we face, the frivolous lawsuit just to make money (McDonald's Coffee, "slipping" on wet floors, etc). And usually when the people in danger stand their ground, idiots like this guy just try to slink away and make people forget they existed. I say "Way to go" to the college for sticking to their guns.

    Hmm, wonder if we can name this guy the Tazer War Kid? lol

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    he should count himself lucky

    it was not the LAPD!!

  61. Risky
    Thumb Up

    Seems reasonable....

    I can see the positive aspects, anyone pompously droning on in a political meeting gets a quick 50kV. Perhaps Mr Kerry and his ilk should be worried.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Watch the videos again

    I personally think the Kampus Kops were surprisingly restrained for rentacops. Let us review events.

    1) The guy refuses to leave the mike after one question and continues to ask questions (stupid questions).

    2) The mike is turned off and he is asked to leave.

    3) He refuses to leave again and continues to ask his stupid questions.

    4) The campus police attempt to escort him out. He refuses to leave.

    5) The campus police begin to remove him forcibly.

    6) He starts yelling about police brutality and yelling for help.

    7) He breaks out of the policemans grasp and attempts to run away.

    8) The campus police pile on. He resists being cuffed.

    9) He is tazered. Believe it or not, this is actually about the best the best thing to do if someone is resisting in a dogpile. The other alternatives all run a high risk of broken bones, apparently.

    10) He is lead out the building, all the while yelling that the campus police are going to kill him or sent him to Guantanamo.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Re: Watch the videos again

    I think Mike would be pretty mad about you confusing him with a mic.

  64. Jon

    Maybe not the most popular view

    but I think the force was reasonable. Despite one's opinion of John Kerry, he is a public figure and as such may attract the attention of the usual glut of nutters. Andrew Meyer was making a big fuss and attracting negative attention to himself. If the cops hadn't stepped in it all could have gone horribly wrong, for which - guess who? That's right, the police - would take the blame for not stepping in sooner. He should be glad to get away with a tazering in my opinion. I suspect I don't trust the government any more or less than the average Reg. reader but I know rational behaviour when I see it, or indeed, when I don't. The police are damned when they do and damned when they don't and I think it behooves us public to consider, when we debate something, whether we are valuing the point or action that is least damaging to society as a whole, or simply pointing the finger at easy, accepatable targets just so we can be seen to be doing something, or - horrors! - just to fit in.

  65. Cyberspice

    @Watch the videos again

    Obviously you never watch those reality TV cop shows on Sky and Bravo where some small woman police office smacks a large drunk bloke to the ground and cuffs them. If they struck smack them one. Wimpy American cops...

  66. Andrew Armitage
    Thumb Down

    @ Maybe not the most popular view

    "The police are damned when they do and damned when they don't" If I see this one more time I'm gonna lose my mind...This is their job! They are 'supposed' to diffuse situations with the least amount of force. You cannot possibly defend this type of behavior. We still do not have acceptable use of tasers in Canada either, but that doesn't mean I would condone this behavior when it occurs. Stop waving the flag and look seriously at what happened....

  67. Stephen Gray

    Nobody likes Yanks anyway

    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A COUNTRY THAT ALLOWS TORTURE OF SUSPECTS? Damn Caps Lock

  68. Bob
    Dead Vulture

    The only thing better then tazering a college student...

    is beating the snot out of him with batons.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *sigh*

    "Oh, it's just illegal to buy in stores."

    Right. So that's OK, then.

    We've had politicians *propose* banning games - none of those proposals have gone into effect. Because of the first amendment. That was kind of my point.

    Are there plenty of ludicrous things going on with respect to terrorism? Absolutely. But they're going on in the UK too (think 'no liquids on planes', etc). And to be honest, a rent-a-cop tasing this guy is totally irrelevant to the *real* issues of freedom we have here. Focusing on it does nothing more than prevent attention to the real problem - a social mindset where security is appropriate at any cost. Every breath wasted complaining about Don't Tase Me dude helps the rest of the issues slip by.

    And is the next defense for the nanny state going to be of the proposals to make pretend pedophilia illegal? And the next one going to be of drawings of sex acts most people don't like? And the next one?

    We, at least, have a codified barrier. It may not be enforced adequately in some situations, but it's served us well so far. And with any luck, when we boot out our current jackass, some of these idiotic 'security' policies will go with him.

    But at least I cannot be arrested for having links to web sites that are pro-islam (see other stories on The Reg). At least I cannot be arrested for pretending to be a kid on Second Life. At least I cannot be arrested for selling an adult a video game in a store. At least I cannot be arrested for playing music over 140bpm in a public place (that one's an oldie but goodie, from 1994 or so. The only response from a Brit I ever got was, "but but, they don't enforce it").

    That seems to be a common response. Everything is illegal, but they don't enforce it, so it's ok.

    And even now I see people responding to what I said by saying, "But the video game is bad! If you're not doing something wrong it's not a problem!"

    Yes. Exactly. My point exactly.

  70. Jon

    @ Andrew Armitage

    I'm not clear on your point. Are you saying that they correctly used the "least amount of force" option available to them, or that they didn't and went overboard? Define "this behaviour", as there are two sets of people behaving differently.

  71. C Wall
    Coat

    Title

    I can't wait for Andrew's sequel video.

  72. Wayne

    Redundant

    To re-iterate:

    First, @AC Staff Sergeant: Your CV is cool and all that, but from a Marine Sniper who has a brother who's a BUDS instructor and another that's a SEAL, my wang is bigger and purplier than yours.

    Second, as a person who trains security personnel and who has an uncle who owns a small security firm. (He provides personal and property protection to professionals.) The campus cops were right to do what they did.

    Is this an ideal situation? No. However, there are more than a few risks that others have touched upon.

    1. It was an unsafe situation.

    I have worked a lot of different events and a lot of different venues. Never, ever assume that someone who is 'acting out' is non-violent and unarmed. I haveseen several people seriously injured or killed by bypassing this assumption. Including one stabbing by pencil that resulted in brain damage and loss of sight.

    No one has the right to force their will on a venue. Period. If you are asked to leave, do so and protest on public property. No, the Uni meeting room is not public property. If you do not leave, you are at least an annoyance, and upon further resistance, a threat. As you are all aware, as the need for someone to conform to a behavior becomes more urgent the conflict will escalate.

    Regarding the physical stature of the security guards, had this confrontation been in the parking lot it would not have been prudent to tase the gentleman as tacticly it would have been safer to distract, restrain, and disarm him. In an environment where the person can come in contact with several people quickly and you cannot effectively surround him w/o coming within stabbing range, I would recommend the taser to someone who wasn't comfortable with risking severe injury to themselves and the perp. If you engage without the taser and the perp attempts to stab you with the pencil and you break his arm in self-defense, then you may be liable, depending on the venue and the perception of the jury. In this case, there could be little confusion as to what actually happened as the security professionals kept their distance.

    If you want to protest something, there are far more effective and safer means to do so.

    Personally, I would rather walk up to the guy, tell him to stop making as scene and leave quietly or I'll break his arm and drag him out, but I'd be sued out of my pants for that.

  73. Tawakalna
    Stop

    however, in our more civilsed Gulag nation..

    ..we don't taser people for making a fuss; we get burly rentacops to manhandle octogenarian concentration camp survivors who dare to heckle the Politburo out of Supreme Soviet meetings, as well as kicking the face in of anyone who tries to protest, and then get the NKVD to arrest them both as a suspected terrorist

    (look up Walter Wolfgang - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4293502.stm)

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @David Wiernicki

    David, its a simple test. Everyone here thinks its ridiculous except you. Perhaps its your opinion that is unreasonable and not everyone elses?

    I'm sure in any country there are problems with brutality from the police. But in your country where the people are dumber than nearly every other 'civilised' country, the police end up being that more dumb and brutal.

    [Excised by moderator] i dunno. have some fun. enjoy life. ignorance is bliss. don't ask any difficult questions and life will be fun.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    annoying twit...

    he shud have been tased for two reasons:

    1. being annoying

    2. asking wanker questions...i mean...generally all conspiracy theorists should be tased. how much more stupid can you get? conspiracy theorists are people who take the obvious, pretend its a secret, and yell every once in a while "Hah! Gotcha!"...either that or they're kooky tin foil hat theorists...what kind of questions were those anyway...he could have easily put Kerry in a spot by asking legitimate questions.

    its simple, he's a slightly dull, very annoying, shiet-disturber...he asked for trouble, and got trouble. if anyone has issues with the fact that he got in trouble, consider this: this would have happened in any country/region...he would have been:

    1. kicked in the nuts

    2. sued

    3. ostracized

    4. expelled

    5. egged

    6. tortured

    7. berated

    8. sent to prison, or

    9. just plain ignored

    depending on where he tried this stunt.

    but no one would have given him an award for being an arse. arguning about the severity of force used against him is a tomayto tomaato thang...there is no right answer...

    and long as intellectual discussions are safer from the likes of him, there is still hope...

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    If the officers were within the rules they have to work to, when tasering a student being anoying, then there is something wrong with those rules, and with the minds of those who thought otherwise and approved them.

    Force used should always be appropriate. It seems the vast majority of folk agree that was clearly not the case in this incident.

  77. Stephen Gray

    The appropriate response

    That would be to nuke the entire site from orbit...its the only way to be sure

  78. Law
    Black Helicopters

    Yo - Taze Me Bro! :)

    The newly reformed "dont taze me bro" should be relabelled "yo, taze me bro".

    He's obviously been forced to stick to a script and keep his head down or else.... it's disgraceful.

    I don't know whats worse tho, the fact he sold out in the end, or the fact you forced me to watch MC Hammer again..... *sobs*

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Wierdnicki

    "At least I cannot be arrested for playing music over 140bpm in a public place"

    Get your head out of the clouds FFS, if you had half a clue what you were on about this wonderful second city and most of the country in which I live would have been banged up years ago. It's all about da speed garage, innit? safebrobigupyafacerespecaiiiiight?

    If you want to quote stupid laws go look up the one says a pregnant woman can piss in a police officers helmet if she's desperate (and has the guts to ask). Maybe this should be applied and expanded across the atlantic too...

  80. Rob

    Forget what I said...

    ... everyone line up behind me (in front of David), I'll pass you the taser after I have finished....

    Who's next?

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