Police acted properly in using
By Scott Tibbs, September 28, 2007
Taser on disruptive student
Jacob Rzepka (IDS, September 27) has an interesting definition of "police brutality". No, Mr. Rzepka, the punishment for free speech is not 50,000 volts. The punishment for resisting arrest and creating a dangerous situation, however, is a well-deserved Taser.
It is legitimate to question whether or not the police should have led Andrew Meyer away from the microphone, but Meyer unnecessarily escalated the situation when he forcibly jerked free of the police officers holding him. If Meyer felt that his free speech rights were being violated, physically resisting the police is not the answer. The proper response would be to calmly walk out of the auditorium, call the ACLU, and sue everyone involved.
A key moment in the video takes place after Meyer has been led to the back of the auditorium. He puts his head down and attempts to break through the line of police officers. At this point, Meyer is lucky to be alive. One does not need to reference September 11 to explain why you do NOT charge toward a former candidate for President. You only need to reference John Wilkes Booth, Leon Frank Czolgosz, Lee Harvey Oswald, and John Warnock Hinckley.
There was no way for the police officers to know that Meyer was a juvenile prankster looking for attention, and would have been justified in using lethal force at that point. Meyer should be thankful that police only used a Taser, and not a baton or a firearm. This ceased to be a "free speech" issue the moment Meyer decided to physically resist police officers. When Meyer tried to break through a line of police officers, the bar becomes exponentially higher for "police brutality".
All of this could have been avoided had Andrew Meyer chosen to conduct himself like an adult instead of like a five year old throwing a tantrum. One does not need to be uncivil in order to get a political point across. It is clear, though, that Meyer was not interested in reasonable political discourse. He was interested in his fifteen minutes of fame.