The Andrew Meyer taser incident was an altercation that took place between University of Florida student Andrew Meyer and security officers during a speech given by U.S. Senator John Kerry on September 17, 2007.
The University of Florida student government had organized a Constitution Day forum where John Kerry gave an address. During the question-and-answer session following Kerry’s speech, 21 year old Andrew Meyer, who was majoring in mass communication, became upset when it appeared that he was not going to get a chance to ask a question. The forum moderator had announced that only one more question would be taken. Meyer, who was further down the line, reportedly yelled
“Why don’t you answer my questions, I have been waiting and listening to you speak in circles for the last two hours. These officers are going to arrest me. You will take my question because I have been listening to your crap for two hours.”
As the officers tried to escort Meyer outside, Kerry asked them to let Meyer ask his question. At this point, he asked someone to record him. With officers next to him, Meyer brought up the issue of 2004 presidential election irregularities, as described in Greg Palast’s book Armed Madhouse. He was concerned about Kerry’s concessions to George W. Bush and his involvement in the Yale society Skull and Bones.
“Also, weren’t you a member of Skull and Bones along with Bush? Weren’t you in the same secret society?”
At that point, his mic was cut off and officers attempted to escort him away from the microphone. As two officers grabbed Meyer by the arms, Senator Kerry said: “That’s alright, let me answer his question.” Audience members applauded, but officers still tried to remove Meyer from the room. Meyer tried to break away but was forced to the ground while officers order him to stop resisting. Still struggling on the ground, he yelled at the officers to release him, crying out, “Don’t Tase me, bro!” The police didn’t listen, and Meyer was tased, then removed from the room.
Don’t Tase Me, Bro!
Meyer was charged with resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, and spent one night in the Alachua County Jail. He later issued a public apology, stating that he was “out of line”. All charges were eventually dropped. Lots of opinions follow on the incident, many suggesting that the police were excessive, but some also suggested that Meyer was at fault for not obeying police commands. Several videos of the episode were then posted on the Internet. The most viewed version of the video was one shot by Kyle Mitchell of The Gainesville Sun.
The line “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” was quoted by The Yale Book of Quotations as 2007′s most memorable quote. The New Oxford American Dictionary also listed “tase/taze” as one of the words of the year.
The rise of the use of TASERs by police officers has been somewhat controversial in the past decade, with some deaths resulting, accusations of excessive force on the part of police, and some seeing their use as evidence of the growth of the police state. September, 2012 marks the 5th anniversary of the Andrew Meyer taser incident.
For more, go to the Wiki page.