Re: University Student Tasered During Kerry Speech
By TRAVIS REED, Associated Press Writer
13 minutes ago
October 30, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. - A University of Florida student who was shocked with a Taser after persistently questioning Sen. John Kerry won't face criminal charges and has apologized for his actions, his attorney said Tuesday.
Andrew Meyer, 21, yelled "Don't Tase me, bro!" as he scuffled with officers during the campus speech last month. In letters to the university, its president and the campus police department, he apologized, attorney Robert Griscti said.
"I made the decision to supersede the rules, and for that I apologize," Meyer wrote. "I should have acted calmer and obeyed the directives of the officers. If I had, none of the subsequent issues would ever have arisen."
Prosecutors had no immediate comment.
Meyer demanded a chance to question the former Democratic presidential candidate about the 2004 election and his and President Bush's alleged involvement in the secret Skull and Bones society when they were students at Yale University in the 1960s.
Officers rushed Meyer after he kept shouting questions, finally shocking him in a scuffle captured in at least 19 video clips. Segments distributed online won widespread attention.
The officers involved returned to work last week after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined it was an appropriate use of force.
University police had recommended Meyer be charged with resisting arrest with violence, a felony, and disturbing the peace and interfering with school administrative functions, a misdemeanor.
In his letters, Meyer denied allegations he intended to cause a scene.
"I'm so sorry that I lost my control in that auditorium," he wrote. "I went there to ask an important question. The question of voter disenfranchisement in America cuts to the heart of our democracy, and my failure to act calmly resulted in this important town forum ending without the discourse intended. For that, I am truly sorry."
Meyer, a communications major, said he was taking a leave of absence but would return to school in January.
"I am a far more reasoned individual than I was a short while ago, and the reasoned response of the university has helped me a great deal," Meyer wrote.
Kerry's Sept. 17 appearance was supposed to last 90 minutes — split evenly between the senator's speech, the moderator's interview and audience questions.
Meyer was one of several still waiting to talk when time ran out and he loudly demanded to be heard. Officers approached, then backed off when Kerry said he'd answer Meyer's questions, but the student launched into a diatribe about why Kerry didn't challenge his 2004 loss to Bush and why the president hasn't been impeached. Event organizers cut Meyer's microphone when he said former President Clinton was impeached for getting oral sex.
Police grabbed Meyer to escort him out, but he flailed and slipped their grasp. As he struggled on the floor, Meyer was zapped with the Taser just after asking not to be.
Police said Meyer's tone changed when he was placed in a patrol car, where he was recorded telling the officers they didn't do anything wrong, according to the FDLE report.
Griscti said his client is still surprised by the continued attention. "We have not been feeding this; it's got a life of its own," he said.
The student has apologized for HIS actions and won't face criminal charges. Does John Kerry have anything to say about the BRUT force that was used on this student whether this was a DRILL or not?
Take note: The student apologized for his actions which involved asking John Kerry questions about the 2004 Presidential election and his membership in SKULL and BONES.
One has to apologize for asking a question in order not to face criminal charges?
What criminal charges?