Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Andrew Meyer: Enjoy your ten minutes of fame.

The international media is reporting that UF student Andrew Meyer was held down and dragged before he was tasered at the John Kerry form here at UF. Fox News and NBC reports he was thrown to the ground. Other media reports are that the police used excessive, unnecessary force, blah blah blah.

My goodness, those evil University police and that poor innocent young student. Innocent my ass.

Andrew Meyer is not the least bit innocent. The Q&A session was already over but because Meyer forced his way to the front of the line and insisted he be heard, Senator Kerry said he would let him ask a question. But instead of asking John Kerry ONE question Meyer went into a long and drawn out diatribe about this book he recommended to Kerry, the last presidential election, how Bush stole the election, Bill Clinton's "Lewinsky", Iran and just continued badgering the Senator and wouldn't let Kerry respond. He was in fact attempting to take over the show. He was asked politely to step down, he would not, his mike was turned off (not by police but by the ACCENT speakers bureau representative which scheduled the event), he still wouldn't leave. They attempted to calmly lead him out, he became irate, insane, and started flailing his hands, screaming (for the camera no doubt), and resisting the officers attempts to peacefully subdue him. Officer Mallo warned him over and over again, pointing her finger at him, attempting to get him to relax and do what they instructed him to do. He would NOT listen to her instructions. He was becoming out of control. You would have thought this guy was on drugs, maybe he wasn't but it sure as hell seems like it. They didn't know if he had a weapon or what his motives were. Anyone can tell they did not want to hurt him, in fact they were doing their best to forcibly restrain him without causing any harm. Had the police not had the taser, they may have been forced to use more injuring type physical force.

I've watched the videos of what happened and I believe it was a setup from start to finish! He even has his own website where this is now being played out (with a rather touching "Free Andrew" march following at noon)--excuse me while I heave. Andrew's website is one giant advertisement of him selling I still don't know what--he doesn't seem to have any kind of talent or special skills that make him something people would want to buy. Perhaps that's why he chose a publicity stunt like this.

Andrew's friends and supporters talk about his right to free speech. Sure, free speech is a right but with this right comes a responsibility, something Andrew Meyer never learned in Journalism school. One thing is for sure, Andrew Meyer got the publicity he wanted but it could backfire on him.

This is NOT a free speech issue. The only questions here are was it necessary to subdue him? I think so. Was it necessary to use a taser? Possibly. The FDLE investigation will be available soon and we will all know. Even then, it is difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a police officer. What if it had been someone who was dangerous and the police did nothing? What would you have said then? You would have called them incompetent and called for their dismissal.

So the police are, as in many situations, in a no-win scenario.

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous9/18/2007

    Amen sister! I watched the video. He was obnoxious. All he had to do was leave and he wouldn't even have been arrested. He wanted all of this to happen. So what if he got tasered. He will not surely die.--ST

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  2. Anonymous9/18/2007

    Even before I read your comments I felt that Andrew Meyer had staged this event to have his moment in the spotlight. His actions in each video I have seen seem choreographed. He is a publicity hound, who fully intended to upstage everyone else at the Kerry event. Take a look at his freakin' web site. This was a total publicity stunt. It's a damn shame that good people (UPD) got sucked into this guy's little "game". He set the stage, they will pay the price. ~RQ

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  3. Yep. We have to do what we have to do to support our pal. They're going to try and use her as the scapegoat in this....

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  4. Anonymous9/19/2007

    An interesting alternative point of view that we are not getting out there. I must say that I think Meyer was acting completely immature. This lack of decorum is becoming all to frequent in public discourse. That being said, what is the point of publishing his e-mail here? Is it that you are hoping to insure he gets hate mail? I am not sure that is terribly appropriate.

    Also, I do not support Michael Savage's words about Mallo and the others. He is a provocateur, not a legitimate commentator. If you want to see legitimate comment, read the Wall Street Journal editorial pages.

    At any rate, the footage does speak for itself. They easily could have hustled him out the door or even used pepper spray. Mallo and the others are professional police and that is all the more reason why they should be held to a high professional standard. They are paid to be professionals and deal with people a lot worse than Meyer.
    Your friend may be a decent person, but she and the others did nothing to enhance the reputation of law enforcement.

    wkopp@wnec.edu

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  5. Anonymous9/19/2007

    I read your profile and I think I must be your male twin in New England. It's eerie because I am also a Libra born in 1968 and I love old time radio & talk radio, genealogy, film noirs, big band and making calligraphy cards. Eerie.... And, I majored in history.....

    Just so you know though I thought your film list was great but I would add:

    1. Sunset Boulevard (1952)
    2. The Big Sleep (1944)
    3. Gilda (1946)
    4. Double Indemnity (1944)
    5. M (1933)
    6. Sunrise (1929)
    7. Touch of Evil (1960's)
    8. The Letter (1940's)
    9. City Lights (1933)
    10. Casablanca (One of the best of all time).

    I like old time radio. For a while I was getting into Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Suspense, the Shadow and others. You can download a lot of them on the internet.

    Anyway, if your interested in seeing my lists of interests (even though we may disagree on the Meyer thing) I have a yahoo 360 at http://360.yahoo.com/WYATTKOPP
    I just thought we had a lot in common.

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  6. Anonymous9/19/2007

    I will inform you up front that I'm a 56 y.o. male and a registered Democrat. I agree that the officer's use of the Taser was necessary in this incident. Meyers' violent behavior, flailing his harms and refusal to obey an officer as they attempted to handcuff him, fully warranted its use. I also do not see where anyone violated his right to free speech, as he was in violation of the rules of order established at the university by barging into the line ahead of the others, seizing the microphone and then not allowing Sen. Kerry to respond to any of his questions. At the time Meyers did this, the question and answer session had been officially ended. I think the officers acted professionally and did not use more force than was necessary to bring this poorly behaved individual under control, for his own safety and that of the officers.

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  7. Anonymous9/19/2007

    essica,

    You have to look and consider what you are missing in this discourse. On one level, this is very simple. It's about decision making in a stressful moment.

    Yet, it is complicated on another level. You have to realize that the extreme left feels shut out of the public discourse (I don't agree with this, but that is another story). They are USING this situation to persuade others that such is the case. Don't you realize that? Why do you think Medea Benjamin of Code Pink was on Hardball last night talking about this situation and comparing it to her being dragged out of Congress for Interrupting testimony numerous times?

    The problem that the police have here is that they are not seeing what is happening to them. They made an error, but everyone is trying to attach a political meaning to it.

    Legally, the police may have been justified in using the taser given Meyer's actions, but the issue is simply was that the best choice to subdue him and I think it could easily be argued that it was not.

    If I were the police chief I would argue that the department expects its officers to exercise discretion in making arrests and assessing the safety of everyone. I would argue that the officers could have handled it better. However, I would make it clear that the officers could care less about Meyer's politics and that various commentators are trying to drag a poor decision into the larger debate about the opposition to the war.

    I would argue that this is a far more simple matter in reality.

    wkopp@wnec.edu

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