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Student Tasered at Kerry speech
Mike Aivaz and John Byrne
Published: Monday September 17, 2007


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(Update at bottom: Kerry condemns student's arrest)

Police Tasered and arrested a University of Florida student Monday when he engaged in "combative diatribe" following a question of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) at a student forum about why he didn't contest the 2004 presidential election or impeach President George W. Bush.

According to the Gainseville Sun, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications student Andrew Meyer "approached an open microphone at the University Auditorium and demanded Kerry answer his questions. The student claimed that University Police Department officers had already threatened to arrest him, and then proceeded to question Kerry about why he didn't contest the 2004 presidential election and why there had been no moves to impeach President Bush."

"A minute or so into what became a combative diatribe, Meyer's microphone was turned off and officers began trying to physically remove him from the auditorium," the Sun said. "Meyer flailed his arms, yelling as police tried to restrain him."

Six officers then pushed him to the ground. He yelled, "What have I done? What I have I done? Get away from me. Get off of me! What did I do? ... Help me! Help."

Officers then threatened to use a Taser on Meyer if he did not comply; he resisted being handcuffed and was then "Tased," "which prompted him to scream and writhe in pain on the floor of the auditorium," according to the Sun.

An internal investigation into the incident was launched this morning, according to NBC News.

The following video is from MSNBC's TUCKER, broadcast on September 17, 2007

This second video was posted on LiveLeak.

The third video, posted at YouTube, features the entire question:

Kerry condemns student's arrest

At the ABC's Political Radar blog, Rick Klein reports that Kerry is condemning the arrest of 21-year-old University of Florida student Andrew Meyer.

"In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way," Kerry wrote in a statement. "I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of responding when he was taken into custody."

"I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building," Kerry added. "I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted."

Klein adds, "Kerry, who was the Democrats’ nominee in 2004, is no longer assigned Secret Service protection, and does not bring his own security to events. That left University of Florida police in charge of security -- to notable results on Monday."