Student Taser Aftershocks
Andrew Meyer wasn't on campus physically, but he certainly was in spirit. With an estimated 200-300 students who couldn't believe what they heard and saw happen Monday.
"No reason to wrestle him down and taser him," says Senior Jake Jones.
Senior Asia Johnson was at John Kerry's speech Monday and created a facebook group to show her disgust. It's 1 of 40-plus that have been started since the event. She says though meyer's questioning was a little out of line, the response was even worse.
"The tazer was not needed in this situation," says Johnson. "They took their authority way too far. He wasn't going to cause any harm."
But not all witnesses thought the cause was worth marching for. Freshman Nick Ballo says he felt threatened while Meyer was being arrested.
"For the safety of Kerry and the safety of the people around him, you don't know what he's going to do," says Ballo. "If he pulled out a gun and shot someone, there would be a riot here today saying 'Why didn't the UPD do enough to stop this person?'"
The University has suspended with pay the two officers involved, but is holding off further judgement until the FDLE completes its investigation.
"The thing I regret is that civil dialogue and civil discourse did not happen," says President Bernie Machen. "That's fundamental to a University campus."
But it wasn't what the student protestors were hoping for. Only one student organizer was allowed into Machen's press conference and allowed to speak while the others sat outside in the Emerson Alumni Hall lobby. Junior Benjamin Dictor asked on behalf of all the protestors for the charges to be dropped against Meyer, the officers punished and all tasers removed from campus.
"This is unacceptable," says Dictor. "Thought is being suppressed and that needs to be emphasized. It is not only physical assault, it is an assault on reason itself."
Justice the students say they don't think will happen with one law enforcement agency investigating another.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV20 News
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