What was expected to be a routine question and answer session after a John Kerry speech, resulted in the tasering and arrest of one University of Florida student.
Andrew Meyer, a student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, was charged with resisting arrest and disturbing the peace on Sept. 17, at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center, according to The Associated Press.
The entire fiasco started when Meyer made his way up to the microphone in the auditorium that Kerry was speaking in. He attempted to ask Kerry about “Skull and Bones,” a secret society at Yale University.
He went on to ask why Kerry did not contest the 2004 presidential election, and why there had been no moves to impeach President Bush.
Bystanders claim that Kerry started to make an attempt to answer the questions. However, Meyer’s microphone was then shut off and police started grabbing and pulling him away, according to The AP.
Meyer asked “What did I do?” as he was frantically being constrained. “Don’t tase me, bro!” he said as he continued to argue with the officers.
Meyer was shot with a taser gun not too long after he began speaking.Many students, staff and officials are outraged and confused with the situation.
Students have been speaking out and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently investigating the UPD’s use of the taser gun and whether or not their actions were appropriate for the situation.
Meyer is now facing a third-degree felony and a second-degree misdemeanor.
According to the University of Florida Web site, the charges could eventually mean up to 5 years in prison and various fines up to $5,000. Not only are students at the University of Florida outraged with the situation, but it has made headlines around the nation. Many people are arguing whether or not tasering Meyer was the right course of action.
“I think that he deserved it,” said Chris Simon, a sophomore at John Carroll University. “He was out of control, it seemed like the only way to control him.”
To try and help with the situation, several University of Florida students staged a march on Tuesday at 1:00 on the Plaza of the Americas.
Tina Steiger, a UF student who helped organize the march, spoke to Kim Wilmath, a writer for the Florida Alligator.
Steiger told her that during the march, students would demand that UPD drop all charges against Meyer, immediately suspend the officers involved in his arrest, and remove all taser guns from campus.
Meyer has become an overnight celebrity. Videos of the entire event that involved Meyer, the UPD, and the tasering, grace the web pages of youtube.com, becoming one of the most popular reality videos.
Several other Web sites have been formed solely to tell Meyer’s story, according The AP.
Toby Turner, a classmate and friend of Meyer, invented a remix of Meyer’s now infamous phrase “Don’t tase me bro!” Turner added beats to the phrase to ultimately make a 44 second remix to try to raise money for Meyer’s legal defense fund.Turner also made and marketed “Don’t tase me” T-shirts for the same cause.
He also admitted to MTV news writer, James Montgomery that he has not yet spoken to Meyer since the incident, so he is not even sure if Meyer has heard the remix. He hopes he thinks it is funny.