Update: Links should be fixed, thanks for the heads up, and I’m sorry if any wonky trackbacks were sent out.
Despite the uproar over the incident that occurred in Florida yesterday and all the questions that still have yet to be answered, there is one thing that can safely be said now: Andrew Meyer got what he wanted. He was able to become the center of attention and upstage a United States senator, albeit an excruciatingly boring one. The only solace that an observer can take from this event is that what Andrew Meyer will be remembered for is his pitifully sophomoric whine of “don’t tase me, bro!” as opposed to any political agenda that he was trying to get across. While there will undoubtedly be a small cult following for the tased one on the far left, the fervor will die down around him soon enough and that “bro” quote will be all that is left in the mind of the American public.
I’ll save you the basics of the story and assume you’ve already read the detailed breakdown of the event (including compiled screenshots from the two original videos) that I posted late Monday night. I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback that it has received, and if you for some reason stumbled across this post but haven’t yet taken the time to read it, I’d really suggest that you go check it out.
I’m getting ahead of myself. When the story first broke, the only video available was the apparently edited copy that did not include any of the previous provocation on the part of Meyer (the youtube video that begins with a black screen) and the incident was almost universally decried by those on both the left and right. I watched it and was appalled, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on why. In retrospect I believe it to be just how upset Meyer becomes when confronted by the police. Humans are social animals, even those of us who are nutter butters, and we generally get an itch under our skin when we see our kind in perceived peril. It’s a natural reaction and it appears to have been exploited in this case.
In the original video, Meyer appears to just start his questioning with a line about the Skull and Bones society, and is almost immediately accosted by law enforcement. That simply isn’t the case. In actuality, Meyer had been already been rambling with the microphone for a minute or so. Some blogs are reporting that the second video that includes the material before Meyer’s Skull and Bones question came out this afternoon, but it was out last night when I incorporated it into my analysis.
It is difficult to piece together every single facet of this case because there are still investigations and interviews ongoing, but here are some corroborated facts about Meyer that the casual internet observer who is upset at the video still does not know.
Meyer has a history of heckling. On one of his websites Meyer has an anecdote (using the term loosely) entitled I pissed off Ken Griffey, Jr. In this Meyer describes how he was “almost forced” to scream hysterically at Ken Griffey, Jr. in order to screw him up during a game because the opportunity presented itself. Obviously disruptions during a baseball game are nothing new, but it does provide a bit of background into Meyer’s mentality. He describes himself in this ‘true personal story’ as “a born heckler. My purpose in life is to badger, jeer, and cajole professional athletes”, though he later amends this statement to include just about anyone that he sees fit.
Meyer brought his own video camera to the event and asked another student to record his exchange with Kerry. Innocent by itself, but given the rest, it is at the very least worthy of note.
This dialogue is even more interesting:
“You will take my question because I have been listening to your crap for two hours,” Meyer told Kerry, according to the police report of the incident.
He then turned to a woman and said “Are you taping this? Do you have this? You ready?” the report said.
The ‘crap’ quote is slightly off, but it captures the tone of his statement perfectly. They don’t mention the sarcastic “I’ll ask my question, thank you very much!” that Meyer spits at the female officer close to him at about this time while dismissing her, though.
This is not a free speech issue. Andrew Meyer shoved his way to the front of the line after it had already been announced that no more questions would be taken. As far as I know, there is no inherent ‘right’ to interfere with the proceedings of others when they are conducting an event on the basis that you have an opinion that you feel should be expressed, especially when there were others in front of him who had done nothing but wait patiently. Meyer’s want for attention was no more urgent or valid than the desires of those who followed the rules. If anyone had a free speech grievance at the UF Kerry event, it was those students who were before Andrew Meyer and didn’t get a chance to ask their questions to Senator Kerry.
At the Daily Kos, a well known far left website, John Kerry’s online communication director, who was at the event, recalls Meyer’s entrance (I don’t expect some of you to take the word of a dreaded neocon at face value):
… there was a long line of people waiting to ask questions, and Meyer was near the back. He rushed up to the mic, butting up past many, many kids and making a scene. Apparently he’d been talking with the police and they were arguing long before Meyer ever got to the mic (reports from Florida are that they threatened him with arrest already). That’s why there are police in the video when you first see it… Meyer was rude to his fellow students, obnoxious, and physically resisting police, but you never, ever want to see anyone get tasered.
So we have Kerry campaign officials affirming that Meyer blew past many other students who had been patiently waiting, effectively violating their free speech rights, if you choose to look at it that way.
Meyer was not silenced for referencing “Skull and Bones”. Seconds earlier he had demonstrated his class by bringing up the tired leftist line that goes “well, if Clinton was impeached for a blowjob…” The most logical explanation is that using language wasn’t kosher with the event organizers and heavily contributed to their patience with Meyer wearing so thin.
This again is supported. The Gainesville Sun reports:
Though Sen. Kerry directed that Meyer be allowed to ask his question, police reported that Meyer did not ask any specific question and instead “badgered” the senator, and at one point said something about President Clinton being impeached over a sexual act.
At that point, police reported that ACCENT Director Max Tyroler turned off Meyer’s microphone and asked police to escort him out of the auditorium, saying, “He had said enough,” according to Officer Mallo’s report.
As the detailed breakdown of the event I posted on Monday night shows, as does the second more complete video, Meyer wasn’t really interested in having a polite discourse with the Senator in the first place as so many would claim. He totally ignores Kerry’s acknowledgement that he has already read the book and information that Meyer wants to tell him about, and then begins to ramble on other topics without giving Kerry a chance to speak.
While there are probably other questions remaining, or false notions still rooted in the noggins of the casual political observer, I believe those cover the majority of the false statements I’ve heard repeated in the last 24 hours. Now onto information that I don’t believe has been previously addressed.
Meyer was not subdued when the taser was used. If you watch either of the videos, you can see that after calming for a moment, he begins to struggle again with the police as they attempt to put the handcuffs on him. This is where he curses at the police to get off him, if you need to nail it down further. According to The Gainesville Sun once again, only one of his hands had been cuffed when the struggle began again in earnest and the officer used her taser. The video shows, and the report supports, that Meyer was still not cooperating when the decision to use the taser was made.
Officers then proceeded to attempt to remove Meyer from the room, but when he resisted, they placed him on the ground and tried to handcuff him. The six officers who actually took part in holding Meyer down while he was being handcuffed reported that they were only able to get a handcuff on his right hand because he was squirming so much.
The supervising officer, Sgt. Eddie King, attempted to Taser Meyer on his chest, but he reported that his Taser would not deploy. He then instructed Mallo to Taser Meyer, and she Tasered him on his shoulder, according to one of the officer’s report.
The officers were then able to fully handcuff Meyer and escort him from the building. Each of the six officers reported that Meyer yelled things like, “They’re going to kill me,” and, “They are giving me to the government,” while he was being taken from the room.
There is some excellent analysis on the part of BeldarBlog referenced in my previous post that deals with some of the technical aspects of the taser. It is definitely worth another mention.
Something else curious that comes out of the Police report concerns Meyer’s behavior on and off camera. It certainly supports the belief that to some degree his actions were premeditated, staged, or exaggerated.
Police have released the incident report detailing the Tasering of a University of Florida student during a campus forum with Sen. John Kerry Monday, and the officer who actually Tasered Andrew Meyer wrote in the report that Meyer later told police, “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
In the 12-page report, which gives accounts of the incident from the perspective of eight different officers who were present Monday afternoon, Officer Nicole Mallo writes that Meyer would only resist officers when cameras were present.
“As (Meyer) was escorted down stairs (at the University Auditorium) with no cameras in sight, he remained quiet, but once the cameras made their way down stairs he started screaming and yelling again,” Mallo wrote.
Mallo was one of two officers who actually rode in the vehicle as Meyer was escorted to the Alachua County jail, and she said said he told them during the ride: “I am not mad at you guys, you didn’t do anything wrong, you were just trying to do your job,” according to Mallo’s account.
Mallo also wrote in her report that he asked, at one point, if cameras would be present at the jail.
I’m not sure what else really needs to be said, unless there is something very damning that comes out to discredit all these officers. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you watch and examine the video footage that exists, and take into account the reports that Meyer had previously been warned before even running to interrupt Senator Kerry, then you would come to the conclusion that the police were very patient with Andrew Meyer until he became unstable. This patience is exemplified in particular by the female officer who can be seen recoiling from a ‘shooing’ Meyer as he rambles at John Kerry, and who would later actually deliver the taser shock. That she is put through any trouble because of this incident, which the majority are now agreeing that Meyer started, is shameful.
In case you’re wondering what the charges might actually be against Meyer, if they are brought, Local 10 elaborates:
Meyer was arrested on charges of resisting an officer and disturbing the peace but the State Attorney’s Office had yet to make the formal charging decision. Police recommended charges of resisting arrest with violence, a felony, and disturbing the peace and interfering with school administrative functions, a misdemeanor.
In fact, as Screw Loose Change illustrates, when Right Wing News and the Daily Kos are essentially in agreement on a matter, it is very near to a consensus.
I’ve noticed this slow shift toward a less Andrew Meyer friendly world as well since this story broke. I hope the trend continues and for the rest of his days that quote follows him around. “Don’t tase me, bro!”
As if there was any doubt as to the wackiness of this fella beyond this mess, you might not be surprised to learn that he appears to be both a Ron Paul supporter and a truther. Anything to help pass along a chuckle.
Here are some relevant links that deserve to be read:
Big Dogs Weblog » Blog Archive » Update on Tazed Florida Student – The Interview | Hot Air » Blog Archive » Was the tasing of the moonbat a publicity stunt? | Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Matthews, Conason blame Bush, Rove, Iraq, Fox for the moonbat taser incident | Neocon Express -Cops out of control at the University of Florida | Patterico’s Pontifications » The Taser Guy | Sister Toldjah » The taser incident at the Kerry campus forum | Anti-antediluvian: Only the lonely……… | Liberty Pundit » » Obligatory Post On Tasered Student At Kerry Speech | Michelle Malkin » Student tasered at John Kerry forum Update: A University of Florida student/eyewitness shares what he saw; 12:15 pm Eastern 9/18 update: Another UF student speaks; Update: UF president schedules 2pm press conference…plus: Andrew Meyer, professional taunter
Michelle Malkin has the police report available for view now.