Same job, different uniform.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

University of Florida Student Tasered

I don't agree with one thing this UF student said in his diatribe to Sen. John Kerry, but he had a right to say it without being arrested for it. If you haven't seen this, go to the Gainesville Sun website and check out the story and the video.

It is creepy to me how quickly the police started moving back and forth behind him, when he started to make controversial statements. As once commenter on the Gainesville Sun's website noted, when did we become a society in which politicians are so coddled and protected that the people who elected them can't question them without being brutalized by the police. Since when are we not allowed to ask controversial questions that they don't want to answer??

Also, listen in the background of the video, right about the time the student is being tasered, for John Kerry to comment sarcastically that it's too bad the kid can't get up and help get him elected President. It is a weird, "shew"-brow-mopping moment in which you breathe a sigh of real relief that he was not elected President for Pete's sake!

girlfriday adds: That link is no longer valid. Click here to watch the incident and read more.


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Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Whoa. That is NUTS! First of all, I'm a little confused about what he's being arrested for. Then I'm wondering why his "I'll walk out of here if you let me up" offer didn't amount to anything. Finally, tasoring an unarmed person who's handcuffed? Come on! He's noisy, yes, but what other sort of dangerous threat was he posing in that room???

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blogger girlfriday said...

Okay...but "brutalized?" I'm surprised you used that word, Jeb.

Reginald Denney was brutalized. This guy was harassed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find this extremely disturbing. He was brutalized, I have to agree. Harassment is irritating, this action by police was more.
The word "harass" in the dictionary supports girlfridays assessment but still. There's a part of me that wants to say, no way! That was more than harassment!
I'm wondering why his fellow citizens didn't say or react to how this man was being treated.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Blogger JEB said...

GF - Wikipedia states: "According to the many sources, a shock of half a second duration will cause intense pain and muscle contractions startling most people greatly. Two to three seconds will often cause the subject to become dazed and drop to the ground, and over three seconds will usually completely disorient and drop an attacker for at least several seconds and possibly for up to fifteen minutes." According to Taser's own website their "small personal weapons" fire "50,000 volts up to 15 feet." So - here's my definition of "brutalize" - if something done to me by someone else causes me "EXTREME" pain and involves 50,000 of ANYTHING - even if briefly - then it's brutal. That guy was far more than harassed. Tasering incompacitates people. I'm not saying there aren't times and places where that's warrented and necessary. But if that had been me and I got shocked with a volt of electricity that brought me to my knees and made me howl in pain, all for nothing more than speaking loudly and provacatively to a politician, I'd have been . . . well, I think you know what I'd have been and I'm pretty sure I'd have considered myself bruatalized.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blogger JEB said...

And another thing - Reginald Denney was not attacked by the police - he was attacked by rioters (who apparently later turned out to be gang members). While this in no way lessons the physical severity of the attack, it is not the same as having 8 + POLICE OFFICERS - men and women who are in uniform, who are licensed and paid to carry and use weapons, who are supposed to be professionals and who we inherintly trust, drag you to the back of an auditorium and while you protest and tell them that you will get and walk out, instead push you to the ground and shoot 50,000 volts through your body.

Also - Tasering has actually killed people.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blogger girlfriday said...

I'm going to have to keep disagreeing with you on this one.

I've seen the video and here's what I see:

The first thing I see is that it appears I'm not "seeing" everything. This particular clip, anyway, seems to start after the student has started talking. Does anyone know how long he's been standing there questioning Kerry? Was he already asked to stop?

Then I see the cops moving around him to escort him out. It does not look like an arrest. They are removing him from the microphone and escorting him from the room. He raises a ruckus. Yawn.

Then I see him resisting them, shaking off their hold and making movements toward the podium where a U.S. Senator is. That's trouble.

Then he gets to the back and shakes them off, starts yelling, making a scene and generally not doing what they're asking him to do.

Are they within their rights? I don't know, but there is some likelihood that, within the context, they were. I don't think it was a very wise thing to do and there's something sort of anti-American about it. Couldn't Kerry have shut him up?

Now the tasering. I agree with Mz. Lane: what's with tasering an unarmed guy who's handcuffed? I don't know enough about the rationale or the tactic involved. I assume it was because they couldn't ultimately subdue him, he wouldn't stop resisting. Still...they could have just carried him out, right?


For some reason I'm surprised that this is JEB post. This guy was trouble, and he was making trouble in proximity of a U.S. Senator.

Or maybe Ms. Totorica was right and we really do live in a police state.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blogger JEB said...

GF - promise me you will show my exchanges to our Blognostic "Libertarian Contrarians" some day will you? :]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blogger girlfriday said...

Ha, ha! No kidding.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blogger Snarky said...

Hmmm. From what I am able to gether, the incident went on a good deal longer than the video suggests. He was asked to stand down by representatives of the student group running the affair, and the guy refused, continuing to loudly ask "questions" (which mainly contained abuse). At that point, the representatives of the group called security, who asked the nice man to leave. He did not. They tried to assist him. He refused to go. They suggested harder, and he fought them. Then they tried to pack him out, and he resisted. It was at this point that they decided they needed to cuff him for resisting and get him out. They got one wrist cuffed, and couldn't get the other because he kept resisting. When they told him he needed to let them proceed or they would have to taser him, he started squawking "Don't tase me, bro!" He still refused to cooperate. They tasered him. They got the other wrist cuffed and frog-marched him out.

Do I think Kerry needed the abuse? Sure, why not? Most politicians deserve far more abuse than they deserve and get a good deal more respect than is reasonable for what they do. On the other hand, this guy was apparently working the room for his own purposes.

The telling part of this is that, as public as all of this has been, there has been little extended noise about police brutality. This incident is too close to the edge of "jackass gets what he is asking for" to hyperventilate about the asskicking he took. And it is instructive to note that he got no help at all from anyone in the crowd, certainly a progressive lot, who would have protested if warranted.

I do love, however, that it took place on a college campus at a speech by Senator Kerry.

Monday, October 01, 2007


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