Email the Florida Attorney General about Andrew Meyer

September 19, 2007

If they can charge Andrew Meyer, they can certainly charge the police involved. I think everyone – especially Florida residents – should ask Florida AG Bill McCollum to file charges against the officer with the taser. Details on the law and contact info below.

mattw’s diary :: ::

I’ve written a post which picks out what seems to be the relevant law. There are specific justifications for the use of force provided for law enforcement, and I think given the level of restraint Andrew Meyer was under at the time of the tasering, none of them applied. He was not fleeing. He could not be a threat – they already had cuffs half on him, and if he wasn’t on his back, they’d probably easily get the other on. Common sense alone dictates that it takes less than six police to bring one agitated college student into custody.

Fortunately, the law seems to agree with common sense here. Therefore, all we need is for the appropriate party to prosecute the violation.

Enter: Florida State Attorney General Bill McCollum.

web contact and phone/address are available.

I simply said in my comment that I hoped he looked into whether there was, indeed, a violation of the law, and if so, would do the right thing and prosecute.

I hope everyone will take a minute to write, call, or comment, so the FL AG knows that people believe in holding everyone accountable under the law, even those entrusted to uphold it. (Some, including myself, would say especially those entrusted to uphold it; I happen to admire and respect police enormously, and I think that’s because we should hold them to a higher standard, and I think the vast majority of them live up to it every day)

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21 Responses to “Email the Florida Attorney General about Andrew Meyer”

  1. John said

    way to go. This persons speech rights were not violated. In fact he could not be shut up, thus trampling on others free speech rights. Good Job!

  2. Yes, his rights were violated. Just because he was in the middle of speaking, doesn’t mean he was given full right. For freedom of speech to remain entact, the man must say everything he wants to say and leave “the floor” of his own accord.

    He didn’t leave on his own accord, but he was harassed and forced by a number of police officers.

  3. Jessica said

    Oh please, this has NOTHING to do with free speech! The guy was breaking the rules, getting out of control, ACCENT speakers bureau turned off his mike and the police attempted to peacefully escort him out. He could have just gone, no he had to make a scene. But of course that’s what he wanted…

  4. revmanny said

    thanks for the link… too too insane…

    welcome to 1985

  5. Jessica,

    If you did the same exact thing, do you feel you deserved to be manhandled and tasered?

  6. Obviously if she thinks that if he was treated fairly, which he was, then she would believe that anyone who did “the exact same thing” would warrant the treatment that he received. That response doesn’t really make sense if it is meant to somehow change her mind.

    In the police report it states that students who were interviewed did feel threatened by Meyer, and he can clearly be seen preventing the police from handcuffing him -after- he is not only given multiple warnings to his face that he will be tased if he does not comply, but also after a taser was already brandished. He continues to resist.

    So given that others felt threatened, and the police are authorized to use whatever force they deem necessary to protect not only themselves but also to prevent the person they are arresting from hurting themselves, your provision doesn’t really have much weight to it.

    Unless the university completely does a P.C. about face, you’ll be lucky to have the charges dropped against Meyer. The police did nothing wrong.

    He had no ‘freedom of speech’ to begin with given that he had already violated a scheduled event, had no right to talk in the first place, violated the freedom of expression of the multiple students who were in line in front of him and did nothing wrong, and then refused to let Kerry answer when the Senator was kind enough to permit him any time.

    Any way you look at it, it is incredibly tedious to act as if this guy was tortured or something. It’s not only absurd; it’s disingenuous.

  7. Every person has freedom of speech in this country, regardless of scheduled event or not. Does the U.S. Constitution state anywhere that you must wait in line for your turn to speak or only do it during scheduled events? No, it does not.

    It is your very mentality that oppresses the people. You might as well be President of the United States, right now!

  8. Does the United States constitution spell out every law of this land? No, of course it doesn’t. It’s a red herring. Sorry if you think it’s unreasonable, but yes, you do have to respect others if you wish to take part in a scheduled event. If anything, this incident illustrates that. You do not have the right to infringe on others rights. Your ability to say what you want ends when it disrupts the rights of others to enjoy their property, meeting, etc.

    You’ve ignored it thus far, and I don’t plan on continuing this conversation, but if your ‘right to free speech’ infringes on the rights of others, it is no longer protected as it carries no more weight than anyone else’s rights. The rights of all those in front of Meyer, the organizers, and the participants who didn’t cause an outburst vasty outweigh his own.

  9. Neonews,

    I clearly understand where you are coming from. I don’t fully agree with the use if disruption to levy our right to free speech. However, it appears the organizers of the event cut the students short from asking their questions. It is also reported that the Dean had the bulk of time to ask questions to Kerry, but the students had less than half that time.

    The only reason Meyer ran to the front of the line was to emphasize this, then he went ahead and asked his questions. Kerry was even willing to answer the questions and told the officers to Meyer alone. I’m sure if Meyer were permitted to speak as scheduled, where he had to wait his turn, he would have asked his questions without such emotion.

    But it all falls back to the point, how far is too far when it comes to police force and brutality? There were 5 or 6 police officers (depending on the report you read). Surely, that many cops could contain and escort him out.

    There is an incident in a different state with a David Synder. He was escorted out of a council city budget meeting, beat, bloodied and arrested. They didn’t use a taser on him and were able to get him outside. However, he protested and tried to resist arrest. He was also denied his right to free speech.

    Both these acts, in different locations, signal things to come. They signal out government has turned into a tyranny and that our innate God-given freedoms will be oppressed. Those who oppose or resist will be beaten and made to look like scapegoats in the public’s eye.

  10. charles schaefer said

    The constitution is a red herring? If every Unconstitutional Law was removed from the “Criminal System of Just-Ice”, we would not have this discussion at all. “Public Disturbance” at a “Public Gathering”. Who besides the police were affraid of this man ? Did you see everyone run for the Exits[besides the fairy Kerry] ?
    No-Voice =’s No-Choice.

  11. bob said

    That fucking idiot got what he deserved. All you stupid little fucks that are too ignorant to understand the law need a good zap to the nutsack as well. When a police officer gives you an order, you follow it. He wasn’t being brutalized he was being an asshole in public in a room with a United State Senator. He’s lucky it wasn’t the president speaking or the secret service would have probably put a bullet in his ignorant skull…

  12. Howard said

    First of all, this is not a free speech issue. Those of us who feel Meyer was mistreated do a disservice by focusing on that aspect. The police, I believe, had every right at the point they did to ask Meyer to leave. But to hold him down and then tase him was way beyond necessary force.

    The more disturbing issue is responses like the one right above mine. The irony is, many people claim Meyer is a jerk for having an antagonistic, confrontational attitude, and then display the exact same attitude when talking about him. They fail to see the contradiction in this. Beyond that, think about the anger that goes into statements like the one above. I don’t know if this person is serious or not, but I do know that many people are saying things like this and mean it. It is a sad statement on the emotional maturity in this country that people would be glad to see anyone get tased, much less a college student who is at worst a prankster.

    I’ve written up some of my thoughts on why some people are responding this way at
    Emotional Responses to the Andrew Meyer & John Kerry Incident.. Would be interesting to hear some discussion on that point.

  13. Howard,

    Thank you for your response. We have posted your article in its entirety on our website. I hope you don’t mind. If you wish, we will remove it. But we thought it was a good enough read and shines a light onto the situation in a new way. We are always trying to make more people aware, that’s one reason we host a blog on WordPress.com. They have a large membership, so many times you’ll see re-post article to increase awareness about certain issues.

    This one, especially what you said, is no different.

  14. Howard said

    Thanks for the interest. I’d really prefer if you didn’t reprint the entire article though. I don’t like having duplicate content on the web as it has a really bad effect on the search engines. I’d much prefer if you posted a blurb and then linked to my page. Thanks so much.

  15. No prob. We understand. We’ve made the necessary edits, you can check it out on the frontpage.

  16. Malagent said

    I’m getting so sick and tired of people jumping up to cry that they or some other person has been oppressed by the police/neocons/Bush/patriot act/ or whatever.

    Andrew Meyer set out to cause a scene, he entered the area causing a scene, it was not his turn at the mic, he had already been asked to leave, police acted more than fairly and gave him many opportunities to comply.

    On youtube and elsewhere people are complaining that it’s brutality, claiming his rights were not read to him and so on. It’s not excessive force and Miranda warning is not required unless it’s a custodial interrogation, which it was not.

    The problem here is that too many people are acting like some major atrocity has been perpetrated against this jerk. The accusations are made without all the information and without an understanding of the law. Millions of people then jump on the bandwagon and protest, write comments, post in their blogs and continue the ridiculous ranting over nothing.

    This is not an issue of free speech, or even excessive force – it’s an issue of too many people thinking they know what they are talking about when they don’t – Too many people raising hell over nothing.

    All this is is a stunt by an obviously “not all there” individual that turned out to be great entertainment, I really loved the “Don’t Taze Me Bro” remark. The only thing better was him rambling about being given to the government to be killed.

    For everyone that says the force was excessive or that Meyer did nothing to warrant it:

    He resisted the police, he resisted a lawful order to leave.
    He was acting very erratically and thrashing around.
    Some of the videos clearly show other people having to get out of the way or block him when he tried to run.
    He was clearly resisting the officers attempts to restrain him.
    He had been warned several times that the taser would be used if he did not comply. This is evident by his own “Don’t taze me bro” statement.
    Additionally this event had a Senator present which would obviously raise the tension and security concerns at least a little. When someone is as out of control and deranged as Meyers was it would be negligent to not do something about him.

    Fortunately this incident was recorded by several cameras, including one arranged by Meyer. This will clear the officers of charges that I’m will be raised by the political motivation of all the nonsense complaints and excess attention this matter is getting.

    People would be well advised to at least know what they are resisting or revolting before they make fools of themselves. However, if they did, where would I get my entertainment.

  17. Howard said

    Thanks for updating the post of my article. Much appreciated!

  18. bob said

    They should have just shot him. One less retarded liberal in the world.

  19. Bob,

    Hmmm….maybe we should just shoot you. I mean, you are stating your opinion and so was Andrew Meyer. Both of you are entitled to free speech regardless of circumstance.

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