Laugh Out Loud Cats meet tasered Florida student

Link, by -- who else? -- Ape Lad.

While we're at it, Salon's Farhad Manjoo has an interview with one eyewitness who seems to believe that the tasered student, Andrew Meyer, may in fact have been a bit of a troll, egging cops on for an "overreaction that would make him a viral video star." Link (thanks Wagner James Au).

Others argue that even if was the case, the treatment he received was unfair. Have your say in the comments.

Previously: Don't Tase Me, Bro.


  1. Considering the fact that this guy has a website of himself being a trouble-making ass-hat (such as his video from the date of the Harry Potter release, standing in traffic with a sign that reads “Harry Dies”) I’m willing to bet that this is indeed the case.

    For all the uproar about this one, it doesn’t bother me in the least.

  2. Yep, it seems to be coming out now that he’s a prankster and this was his prank. I suspect his real prank was going to be to just stand in line and go off on Kerry when he got his turn. Since that wasn’t working out, he had to improvise something more dramatic. It’s hard to guess if being tasered was his idea from the start, but he did seem to be doing everything possible to provoke the police. Maybe he just wanted to “make a scene” and didn’t realize that the police weren’t going to play Keystone Kops and chase him around the auditorium for an hour.

    There are several other videos of the scene too, some with better angles. In one, you can see they ALMOST have him pushed out of the door and right when he gets to the doorway he starts flailing wildly, escapes and gets about 2 steps before they grab him again. That’s when they stop trying to push him out of the door and start trying to arrest him, and then taser him when he doesn’t cooperate.

    It always pays to look into these things more deeply before leaping to conclusions, folks! The people talking about “jack boots” in the original post really have egg on their faces now.

  3. Self-aggrandizement? Similar charges were constantly leveled against Abbie Hoffman — a man recognized as a major 60s figure. Like Meyer, Hoffman was also arrested for “inciting to riot”. Eeeeeeya, right.

    40 years later, media self-policing, chain link “protest compounds”, and pepper spray make it somewhat harder to get heard. Notability IS one way to get heard.

    As for getting beat up on, Mario Savio (a 60s Free Speech figure) once tried to talk into a mike, but wasn’t allowed to before he was literally dragged away by police (IIRC that was after his famous “odious machine” speech). The odious machine … is back.

  4. Somehow I don’t think that 30-40 years from now anyone is going to remember Andrew Meyer the way that Savio or Hoffman are remembered today. He’s just an egotistical jerk — the fact that he was busted doesn’t somehow magically validate any points that he was trying to make.

    And as for media self-policing, there seem to be plenty of outlets for anyone who’s critical of the war or the current administration.

  5. As a University of Florida student who attended the forum, I can tell you, yes, beyond any shadow of a doubt, Meyer was trying to aggrandize himself. The police officers asked him politely several times to remove himself, and he refused. They then ordered him to back away from the mic. Again, he refused. At this point, they attempted to handcuff him, but he was flailing about with only one hand in a cuff. They decided to use a stun-gun, NOT a TASER to subdue him as there was a risk he might injure one of the officers or himself.

    As was previously stated, Meyer was simply acting like an asshat in order to become a martyr, which expectedly, he has become in this city.

    Frankly, while I’m as ardent a supporter of free speech as you will ever find, I still think he acted like a fool. He had every right to say what he wanted to, but with those rights come the responsibility to utilize them in a sensible manner, and not only that, but to obey officers of the law. Pardon my long rant, but I’m really getting tired of the bleeding-heart media’s portrayal of this jerk. All I can say to Mr. Meyer is this: sit down, and TSFU!

  6. While he acted like a bit of a loudmouth. What he did does not deserve to be tasered.

    Even if he did instigate the event w/ the cops, the point is that he COULD instigate such a reaction from campus cops. It’s not illegal to be a loudmouth.

    Overeaction on the cops part as far as I’m concerned.

    I would have LOVED to have heard Kerry explain his Bullshit throwing of a national election. He’s in the same basket as Bush and company, no doubt.

  7. If being an obnoxious, self-aggrandizing, loudmouthed jerk was just cause for tasering, then a good portion of the nation and all talk radio hosts would be writhing on the ground in agony.

    Oh, and check the Constitution. The right to freedom of speech doesn’t come with any caveats. Not even politeness or sensibility.

  8. My problem is that I can’t really bring myself to say that it’s okay for cops to use Tasers or stun-guns on people so long as the perp is behaving like an ass-hat.

  9. Agree with the last two posts. The dude was being a deliberate ass, but this in no way excuses the behavior of the security staff. People really need to think about this and keep in mind what really went down here.

    And hats off to Ape Lad for leaping on a fast moving meme and getting it exacty right.

  10. When you’re a cop, your job is to deal with people who are ass-hats. If this guy’s aim was only to provoke the cops, it’s still their fault for getting provoked to the point where they lost control of the situation and “had” to use a taser. And that’s assuming the guy had no legitimate motive of asking a hard question he cared deeply about, which I think he did.

  11. Load persons should be dealth with by the people involved in the discussion. This guy would have cooled down, had he been able to notice Kerry was about to answer.

    Why didn’t Kerry stop the tazering by asking the police to bring the student back?

    If the situation at the microphone was a reason to start tazering, it is not valid for the simple reason that that situation was over. The mic was off, and the guy was moved away from it.

    If resisting his arrest was a reason to tazer him, this reason was no longer valid, since this guy was allready on the ground and his hands were tied behind his back.

    There are many movies on youtube showing policemen using tazers on suspects that have surrendered before the torture. That makes me wonder about the police situation in your country. I hope all this leads to rules to make policemen behave.

    And I wonder who trains police men to interrupt in political situations.

  12. It’s my opinion that judging him based on his practical jokes online is like judging someone based on their religion or the fact that they might be a vegetarian. Just because someone likes to make practical jokes and might like attention doesn’t necessarily mean that the person in question might not have had a passionate feeling about something that he considered to be wrong and unjust. I do agree that perhaps he could have been less dramatic about it, but haven’t any of you ever been in a discussion in school or with friends where you argued for something passionately, because you believed it to be unjust or defending your point? I think that while perhaps he was just doing this to be seen and heard, that he probably did feel strongly about what he was talking about. Further, I think since Kerry was asking to answer the question (more than once from what I understand) I don’t see the reason as to why the young man was pulled from asking his questions. It seems to me that someone was offended by the “radical” observations and took it personally, resulting in his removal form the situation. Living in Florida, myself, I can fully understand what it is like having an even somewhat liberal view on things in an area where the overwhelming majority of people are conservative. All that aside, I think the security overreacted in their attempt to take care of the situation. Clearly, they didn’t have the situation under control, and attempting to arrest someone who has technically done nothing wrong would send most people into a panic. I guess I can see and respect both arguments, but I don’t think you can say that someone did something on purpose unless you are that person.

  13. If I see the video correctly, it appears that he was tased after he was laying on his stomach, handcuffed. It seems they already had him down, what was the point of tasing him? Taser guns can be dangerous and should be used as a last resort. Fl cops used a taser gun on a 5 year old girl – when was it, a few years ago? Remind me to stay out of FL.

  14. Any security personnel like those shown in this video who can’t deal with an unarmed, nonviolent, outnumbered man without tasering him over and over need to go back to serving sloppy joe at the local middle school.

    But of course, they’re the holy representatives of law and order, and this guy is obviously unlikable, so, hey, whatever.

  15. I would have tased him. In fact, I would like to tase him for making me have to see so many articles about his asshattery for the past couple days.

  16. He wasn’t drive-stunned for anything he said, he was stunned for not putting his hands behind his back once he was arrested.

    Sure, they could have put a boot in his kidney and manhandled him into cuffs but I’m not quite understanding how that is better than a stunner, since it’s far more likely to result in injury either to himself or to others. Giving him a chance to break free and whip a half-applied metal handcuff around doesn’t sound like it’s in anyone’s best interest.

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