Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Don't Taze me, bro!" (UPDATED)

A little something from the current events file:

On Monday, Senator John Kerry was giving a speech at the University of Florida. After taking some questions from school officials, the forum was opened up to students for a short time. According to the accounts of some of the students in attendance, when it looked like that question time was about to end, a student cut in front of the people waiting in line ahead of him and rushed up to the microphone demanding to be heard, with campus security quickly closing in. Kerry said he would hear out the young man after he finished answering the previous question. When given the opportunity to speak, the young man went into a bit of a tirade making reference to Bush and Clinton and Lewinsky and the war, and then, well, here's the rest:

So here's what I see: I see a guy going to a forum, disrespecting all the people waiting in line with him, and railing against a sitting U. S. Senator. He's asked to leave, and is then escorted to the back of the room when he refuses. He pushes the security officers, pulls away, makes a nuisance of himself, and even when restrained continues to fight against the security instead of leaving quietly. Then, to subdue him and remove him from the building, he is tasered while handcuffed.

Honestly, I think he had it coming, and I don't feel sorry for him. Considering how much care the security folks took in corralling him so that he didn't harm anyone else, he got off light. I watched a film/documentary on the 1968 Democratic Convention protests, and if this kid tried this crap then, he would have gotten boots to the ribs and a nightstick to the back of the skull. I applaud the security people for using the taser as a last resort in this situation, since this person was still kicking and fighting while handcuffed and held down.

So did this kid learn his lesson? Have he and his cohorts figured out that he was being an idiot, and should have treated everyone involved with more respect? Ummmm, apparently not.

So what happened next? Here's the latest I've found. Looks like two of the officers are on "administrative leave" until the investigation is completed; the ACLU is condemning the use of the taser and said that it was the kid's right to ask rambling diatribes of visiting political speakers. There are marches and protests planned. There are allegations that the kid planned the stunt because he's seeking a career in media. There's a general feeling of "cops bad, angry protest kid good."

Here's the police report on the incident.

My final word: The kid's an idiot. You got something to say? Then say something. Screeching your political opinions and nutjob conspiracy theories, and trying to be louder and angrier than everyone else, is not discourse--it's diatribe. Profane slogans and insults aren't debate, you stupid kids. [h-t: Hot Air]

Related: Always eager to find the humor in things, Dennis Miller is selling limited edition "Don't Taze me, Bro!" t-shirts. Get 'em while they're relevant.

UPDATE: Here's another video, which includes the full question, as well as the activity of the security people from another perspective.

I'll concede that the question, while asinine, wasn't abusive. However, his reaction to being escorted out, the repeated shoving of the security people, and the continued resistance to being taken out or handcuffed still justified the tasering. He then almost seems surprised that refusing to leave and then physically shoving security people resulted in cuffs and tasers.

Sorry, "bro," guess you missed the page in your civil disobedience handbook that says you may actually face consequences for breaking the rules. Don't be surprised that the cuffs come out when you become loud and irrational, and refuse to comply with authorities. How was "Are you gonna arrest me now?" not a taunt? Guess what, Skippy. The answer was "yes." And then some.

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