Florida student’s stunning deserves a second look
When University of Florida student Andrew Meyer refused to step down from the microphone at a John Kerry forum on Monday, Meyer was seized by university police, stunned with a Taser, and eventually arrested.
At first, most people thought the same thing: Blame the police. Meyer was trying to ask a question — a First Amendment right — and wound up stunned by a Taser gun and cuffed.
Outraged, students protested on the University of Florida campus, and collegians across the country formed dozens of Facebook groups voicing their opinions. Videos of the incident soared to the heights of YouTube popularity, which kept people talking.
Many jumped off the damn-the-man bandwagon, though, once they learned a little more about Andrew Meyer.
A couple days after the incident, some new information suggested that the event was more of a stunt than an injustice.
For one thing, Meyer is known for videotaping his shenanigans — according to some student testimonies — like the time he carried around a “Harry dies” sign in public following the release of J.K. Rowling’s latest book.
Moreover, a police officer told the Associated Press that Meyer handed his camera to a woman he didn’t know and asked her to film him before he approached the microphone — almost as if he knew that there was
soon to be a scene. Meyer’s police report stated that he was “laughing” and “lighthearted” once he was no longer on camera.
In light of all of this, it’s easy to say that Andrew Meyer is a jerk who got what he deserved — and a lot of people have — but our opinion falls somewhere in the middle.
We agree that Meyer isn’t the victimized young liberal many expected when his video first hit YouTube. He obviously did expect something to happen, but the fact remains that something did.
Footage of the incident makes one thing clear: Meyer was able to provoke the police into stunning him with a Taser gun in a matter of minutes, acting hardly more obnoxious than a Frat boy mid-keg. We just wish it hadn’t been so easy.