Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Clueless in Gainesville...

Well there was yet another march on campus today. The students were once again protesting the tasing of Andrew Meyer by Officer Nicole Mallo. I wonder if half the students who marched knew what they were marching for or if they just wanted to be with the "in crowd" because as you know it's cool to hate police and protest law and order! Or perhaps they wanted to get out of Sociology class.

Remember this: hate police = cool, protest = cool, supporting law and order = bad, very bad.

-----

The ever controversial John Kerry released a statement that he regretted "a good healthy discussion was interrupted" when a student was tasered and arrested by UPD.

Oh oh oh so it was the tasering of Andrew Meyer that interrupted the two-sided, give and take conversation you were having with the polite, innocent young man.

I didn't know that.

And to think I was sure that perhaps the one-sided diatribe by Meyer was actually preventing a two-person dialogue. And I was sure that it was the obnoxious badgering and refusal to actually engage in a dialogue and refusal to abide by forum decorum and policies that interrupted the alleged conversation you say you were having but nobody else saw.

Perhaps Senator Kerry could have told Meyer to either get to the point or STFU, now that would have been really interesting.

-----

Turns out there are a lot of groups on facebook opposed to the vilification of the UPD officers. Looks like Andrew's fifteen minutes in the spotlight might just be turning on him.

Perhaps the tasing incident is Meyer's "swift-boat" eh?

-----

The ACLU released a statement about the incident today. Their esteemed executive director stated that UPD “squandered the free speech rights of both Kerry and Meyer.”

He also said that people have a reasonable expectation to ask questions in a public setting and that Kerry had a reasonable expectation to answer the questions.

No f*cking kidding?

Gee, the rest of us morons didn't know that.

-----

10 comments:

  1. David Stratton9/19/2007

    Dear Jessica,

    I'm not going to argue over what was said and done prior to tapes rolling because I was not an eye-witness to the event. However, I do have a grievance with you.

    In this post, you say that standing up for law and order = bad, very bad. Would you agree with me, ma'am, that in the United States, 'law and order' is dictated by the Constitution of the United States? In other words, police jurisdiction does not supercede the Constitution and its subsequent Bill of Rights. Correct or incorrect?

    I'm going to assume for the time being that you agree with me...because...well if you don't, you clearly haven't read the Constitution! Regardless of whether or not Mr. Meyer was being a jackass and barging to the front of the line, this is not a CRIMINAL offense. It's line-cutting, something people do in 2nd grade. Mr. Meyer had a Constitutional right (1st Amendment) to speek freely. It is arguable that he should not have attempted to speak over other people. That being said, he had some very interesting and legitimate questions that Kerry has not ever addressed and, to my knowledge, still has not.

    Since the law is dictated by the Constitution and therefore police judgment cannot supercede it, the police must, therefore, at all times obey and abide by the law or they are no longer serving and protecting.

    All this being said, I can see that Mr. Meyer was making some people feel uncomfortable, because the questions he was asking were very pointed and very heavy-hitting. A lot of people would brand him as a 'conspiracy nut' for asking these kinds of questions. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be answered though. If Kerry has a good explanation, he ought to give it. If he doesn't, that's awfully suspicious, don't you think? However, just because someone is making a few people uncomfortable does not mean he can be arrested. There is a great deal of difference between what he was doing and "disturbing the peace" or "inciting a riot". Mr. Meyer didn't waltz down the aisle with a bullhorn screaming "FIRE!", he didn't say "Hey everybody, let's go outside and start smashing windows and stealing stuff!" He was pushy in his attempt to ask a question, and indeed he most likely had an agenda he was pursuing in asking Kerry these questions, but at NO point did he break any LAW. As such, he could not legitimately be FORCED out of the room. If people were SO upset by what he had to say, they would have started shouting "SIT DOWN, ASSHOLE! Get off the microphone!" Not once in the videos I saw did anyone say that. Rather, there were a number of people saying "Let him go! What are you doing? Get your hands off him! Don't do this!"

    Furthermore, Mr. Meyer was unarmed, was not combative, and let's face it, was somewhat soft-looking. He wasn't even a threat to Officer Mallo, who is a member of the fairer sex. Add to this the fact that the police had him down and handcuffed BEFORE they tasered him, and it makes you wonder "Huh...why did they feel the need to zap the kid? Why the need to do it TWICE?"

    I've spoken with several members of the Duquesne University police force and they all agree that the tasering was completely unnecessary and that those officers should be reprimanded.

    If a large number of students agree that what happened was brutal, a lot of people who can be heard in the videos (there's at least 3 that I've seen) think it was brutal, and if other campus police officers think it was brutal, then I am curious to know what makes YOU think differently. How was this NOT an act of police brutality if Mr. Meyer didn't pose a risk to the officers' lives and even said on several occasions that he'd walk away peacefully if they'd let him go (he was obviously terrified at that point).

    I am sorry, my friend, but I think you are terribly misinformed here. What happened wasn't just some asshole college kid blowing off steam about a conspiracy theory and 'asking for' a tasering from police. Rather, somebody's son was dragged out of a room and painfully electrocuted twice because he asked the wrong question. This was a stark violation of Mr. Meyer's 1st ammendment right to free speech, and the students of UF are right to protest it. Granted, some of the protesters need to be quiet and listen to the police when they come out to talk with the riot-leaders, but for the most part, students have the right idea. The way you effect change is not by sitting back and accepting the status quo. Revolutions start with anger and outrage. I think what you're seeing at UF is a lot of anger and outrage from people who are already angry and outraged by the larger political cliamte of the times.

    Please feel free to begin a dialogue with me about this! I would absolutely love to hear your feedback, because I think you and I could find some common ground on which we could agree, and from there we could talk about a lot of other important issues that need to be scrutinized in this country such as the war in Iraq, border control, the regulation of contrabands, gun control, and healthcare, just to name a few. I would love to find in you someone with an open mind who is willing to present her side of things and listen to someone else's and discuss the differences and similarities.

    BUT, what I will ask of you is that you back up what you say to me with evidence, because if you cannot verify what you're saying, you cannot prove your point. So bring it on! Let's have a conversation. My e-mail address is strattond@duq.edu and I am eager as all hell to do this.

    Anyone reading this comment, you, too, may feel free to start a debate, a discussion, or just send me an e-mail to say What's up? It sounds nerdy, but I swear to you that communicating like this will change the world in which we are living.

    Take care of yourself, Jessica,

    David Stratton

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with your points

      Delete
  2. Sometime, people can swamp you with so many inaccuracies, suppositions and just plain bull, it's impossible to know where to start and not worth even trying.

    All the evidence in the world is only greeted by further, yes but's.
    The sky is partly cloudy, no, no, it was mostly cloudy.

    Revolution may darn well come, from the right or from the left. For now the redress of grievances are dealt with in court and at the ballot box.

    The Constitution is enforced by law enforcement - this is where those confronting Meyer come in - under supervision of the courts. It does not get up and handle incidents on it's own.
    Interpretation of police activites are handle through the courts, not by some maniac running down the aisle being rude to an individual who has a Constitutional right to leave whenever he wishes.
    It's not interpreted by students, nor teachers, nor the ACLU, nor the KKK but by those duly elected or appointed to the bench for that reason.
    If Meyers feels legally wronged his course is through the courts, not the streets, the web, the Red Cross, although he can use any of these under the law.
    Without that law, I, or anyone, can decide what is right, can interpret the Constitution, if we have the gun. That is why each citizen cannot do their own interpretation. If we want chaos, let's do that.
    It's simple really, it's also expensive as Hell for some, take 'em to court.

    And no, Im done. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Debates are for those of higher ed. than I.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have yet to see any time when Kerry's free speech rights were "squandered", as the ACLU claims. I'll consider the source. There is very little I can add to Paul's comment. He is a wise man.

    Meyer spoke his piece. He rambled. The question time was over and he proceeded on anyway. Kerry let him do so. Meyer was tasered when he resisted the escort of the police out of the room. I only saw one taser hit. He got his attention. And, while Meyer won't be mistaken for a sumo wrestler, he was still taller and bigger than the police officer who was instructed to taser him. His t-shirt is up for sale on his website.

    I think it's time for a legal defense fund to be set up for the police officers as I'm sure this guy will continue to seek the spotlight.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi David, thanks for visiting.

    I'll do my best to address your grievance. When I say that standing up for law and order = bad I was being facetious. Let me explain. College campuses have always been ripe for dissent and protest, it's the college way. I am thankful for that, the college atmosphere encourages diversity in thought, call to action, and attention to causes. Nothing wrong with that. It seem though that on this campus a lot of students do not like the police. Why? The police are very visible, especially on campus. Many unruly students have been arrested for one incident or another. It seems that young people get this idea from somewhere that police are bad. Police are not bad. They are good.

    The only way to enforce law and order in the United States is through a judicial system which is made up of largely of law enforcement officers.

    David, there's been no abuse of Andrew Meyer's first amendment rights. ACCENT, which is the student-run agency which schedules speakers has the right to cut a person off when speaking if the person gets unruly, disrespectful, out of control.

    There is no criminal offense in barging to the front of the line and nobody said it was. The issue here, the sole issue, is that he was not adhering to the decorum for such a forum and as such, ACCENT (not the police) turned off his microphone and the police asked him to step away. Remember, the forum was already over, Mr. Kerry had been nice enough to offer to answer his question, he did not expect to be bombarded with a tirade about the election, Clinton, blow jobs, Iran, and many other things. He did NOT ask one question, instead he went on and on and on.

    And by the way, speaking of professionalism--his use of language was inappropriate. The University prides itself on holding these professional forums and expects speakers and attendees to conduct themselves accordingly. Andrew Meyer was given every opportunity to ask his question and he chose instead to make a mockery of the forum and to upstage the event.

    There are rules in discussions such as the one ACCENT sponsored the other day, and a person cannot act like a spoiled rotten child in a professional style setting and expect to be taken seriously.

    The government (being the federal, state or local government) did not infringe upon Andrew Meyer's right to free speech, in fact Andrew Meyer infringed upon it by his antics. There are rules David, you and I both know this, there are rules in society which we must abide by. The rules make us a civilized society. If we are not civilized, we are nothing.

    I believe with rights come responsibilities. As a journalism student Meyer should have known that.

    I don't know that Meyer was making anyone feel uncomfortable. There weren't more than 200 people in the entire room, and certainly Kerry who is used to the questions, wasn't upset by it. Hey I've had questions about skull and bones from time to time, it's not a big deal.

    It was a matter of timing, after the blow-jobs crack they should have cut him off. In fact, they should have cut him off before he even got to the mike. They shoudl have instead put someone who had acted in a more professional manner up there to ask a post-discussion question. But you see nobody else disrupted things by forcing his way to the podium like Meyer did. He wanted attention, he got it.

    I wish I could get you to understand this isn't about the "content" of the questions but the actions of the person asking them. And since your whole argument seems to be based on the idea that the police took him down because he asked an uncomfortable question, then I guess you just won't understand me.

    As for not breaking any laws, he clearly was attempting to disrupt the event, the people in charge of the event (ACCENT) had the right to keep things on a professional level, don't you think?


    While a number of people said "let him go" you can hear the applause when he was taken away. Food for thought.

    There is no way to foretell Meyer's intentions. When I saw the video he looked whacked out but who knows? Soft-looking, hard-looking, it doesn't matter. They asked him to leave, he did not, they tried to escort him out peacefully he did not go, he wanted to be in front of that camera, screaming and flailing and that's exactly what he got.

    Also contrary to what you may have been told, he was NOT handcuffed when he was tasered. I've seen every angle of that video, I've talked to people who were there, and the consensus is that he had only one handcuff. They could not get the other handcuff on him and he continued to thrash around, that's when he was tasered.

    Also, he was not zapped twice, he was zapped once. Sgt King's taser would not deploy and as such he instructed Officer Mallo to use hers, which she did.

    It's great that the Duquesne Univ police force disagrees with the tasering. Hell, I've heard some officers from all over the place agreeing and disagreeing. The most compelling argument was from the officers who said that those officers who said it was unnecessary do not understand--there's no way to say it was unnecessary unless you were actually one of the cops trying to hold this guy down.

    My father retired in his fifties and chose a second career as a Correctional officer. My dad's a solid guy, it took he and four-five other full grown men to hold down one 20-something inmate shorter than them. I guess my point is that if someone doesn't want to cooperate, they won't. If you were being held down and you didn't like it wouldn't you fight like hell? I've never seen you but I'm going to guess that most able-bodied people could writhe and squirm and fight long enough to give four or five officers a run for their money.

    You want to know what makes me think and feel differently considering that a large number of students and others believe it was brutal.

    Easy. I've known Nicole Mallo for ten years now, so has my best pal RedQueen who also comments here, we've known her since she was a student, she is by far one of the kindest, gentlest, honest and trustworthy, warm-hearted, outrageously funniest people we have EVER met. And the people here in the community who know her and support her (and there are so many) know the same qualities in her that we do. There is no doubt, absolutely no doubt in my mind that her statement is truthful and her actions were well-intended.

    I also have to say that many students, not all, but many are anti-police. Why? Well simple. This is a huge party town and in order to reign in some law and order and some peace to the community the police have to crack down on some things. They crack down on public intoxication, loud parties, underage drinking, hazing, stuff like that. And well let's just say there are an awful lot of people who don't like it. Face it, police aren't real popular in many college party towns. But when there's danger they sure as hell want them around don't they?

    I don't believe for a moment I am misinformed, I am too close to the situation. I think that I am seeing things very clearly. But that doesn't mean we have to part enemies. I appreciate your comments, you do make interesting points. So we can agree to disagree right?

    I hope that despite this controversial issue you'll come visit the blog as often as you like. I'm always stirring the pot somehow. Check out my past posts, it's not all about this, it covers so many other things! And so I welcome you and others here to discuss anything that's on your mind!!!!

    Jess :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. So this boy was a Gator? I'm embarassed for the Gators.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous9/20/2007

    Jessica, You point out that he was asked to leave peacefully, however, I've seen 4 videos of the incident and I don't recall anyone asking him to leave.
    Can you point out when he was asked to leave?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous9/20/2007

    watch the video and Time it babe. Meyer spoke for 20 seconds before the female cop interupts him. And his total speaking time without the cops interfering censoring rudeness was a total of ONE MINUTE AND 15 SECONDS.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous9/20/2007

    The police were WRONG from the beginning of this thing when Meyer is at the mike. Meyer finishes asking his question. The reason you ask a question is to hear the answer. Maybe the Kampus Kops don't understand this concept. Because as Meyer finishes asking his very cogent series of related questions the female cop GRABS his arm. Out of line. She should have told him to leave. Then a second cop GRABS his other arm. And you hear Meyer saying "I want to hear the answer to my question" as the Kops are pulling on him. Also I don't think meyer makes a fist at any time during the video/melee. Police reports are to be read as self serving cover your a$$ memos particularly when an incident is likely to be reviewed. By the time the Kops are writing their reports they know this thing is on tape.(I'm from Chicago we know about cops fudging the truth.) As for meyer laughing in the police car. I believe this is called Stockholm syndrome. Once the Kops beat you up in public when they have you in private you act real docile because there is no one there to watch the Kops. And they can get away with beating the crap out of people.

    ReplyDelete