Freedom of Speech Gets Zapped **UPDATED**

I saw this on some show on MSNBC last night (can’t remember which one) and just couldn’t believe this was happening yet again. 

As far as I can tell, this kid got tased for no reason at all.  Overzealous rent-a-cops.  Someone has the balls to ask questions of Kerry and they cut his mike and arrest him?  Someone should answer his question: what did he do wrong? 

Un-freaking-believeable.  So much for the first amendment.  This is digusting, people. 

And SHAME ON YOU JOHN KERRY FOR NOT PUTTING AN IMMEDIATE STOP TO IT!  Thank GOD you’re not running for president again.  And if this is the kind of judgement you have, thank GOD you didn’t take office.  Here is a student who is obviously in favor of you having won the election–ON YOUR SIDE–and you let the UPD come in like the thought police and taser him because he had the audacity to ask you why you’re not calling for impeachment?!?!  Whether you agree that impeachment is the right option or not, you have NO BALLS AND NO INTEGRITY for letting this young man be treated this way.  And yes, Senator Shithead, YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS.  SHAME.

One thing’s for sure.  When TownHall and the Huffington Post agree on something, there’s a real problem that needs to be addressed.   

Other Links:

Editorial in the Alligator

Counterpoint in the Alligator (this guy thinks “The student’s protesting went overboard.”  Watch the video again.  Do you really think he went overboard?  Is THAT the limit of free speech today?  Good Christ I hope not.)

UPDATE:  Just got a chance to check out Pam’s House Blend, and leave it to Pam to be right on top of this stuff.  There’s also another incident, so far underreported in the MSM, regarding the son of a retired police lieutenant in NYC, who was tasered four times:

A retired 20-YEAR veteran of the NYPD said yesterday that cops used excessive force against his son when they zapped him four times with a Taser, hit him 15 times with a nightstick and put him in a choke hold. . .

“The mere fact that he was hit with a Taser four times,” Leader said, “and there’s no resisting arrest charge, no criminal possession of a weapons charge – it’s evident to me that this incident did not justify use of a stun gun.”

Damn skippy.  It doesn’t sound justified to me.  And while I do think Tasers are a useful addition to the law enforcement arsenal, I also see a definite need for more instruction and training in the discretionary use of such weapons.  Add the recently publicized UCLA incident involving the library tasering last year, and we’re seeing a trend here. 

What’s your opinion? 

**UPDATE:  More at Crooks&Liars:  Kerry now objects to the arrest (covering his ass IMHO), and Malkin defends Kerry! 

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13 thoughts on “Freedom of Speech Gets Zapped **UPDATED**

  1. Yeah, they probably went to far, but passive resistance is also always the way to go. When they lead you away, either go with them or drop and go limp. Trust me on this. The protester’s actions could be construed as a violent response, particularly that first little bit where he’s actively extricating himself from the securitymen’s hold. I’m also not sure those are rent a cops. If they were real police or there was at least one real policeman involved, then he was actively resisting arrest. I’m also not completely sure about the tasing because all the tasings I’ve seen, you don’t immediately start yelling “ow, ow, ow”. You may be thinking it, but you are out of control of your own body for a good 5 to 10 seconds at least. Obviously something happened because you heard the zap and someone mentioned that he “had a taser on his chest”, but it’s strange.

    Still, it was over the top on behalf of the law enforcement folks. You had one huge guy, big enough to pick the protester up off his feet and carry him a distance, as well as 3 to 4 regular sized individuals all dog piling on the guy. The tasering was just gratuitous. Not to mention they chose an awful place to take him down. Get him out of the hall first, then do what needs to be done.

  2. My issue is really with the fact that there was no reason to do anything in the first place. Kerry let this guy ask his question, knowing full well that the Q&A was over, and when someone thought he was getting “out of line,” they cut his mike and wanted to take him away.

    This is still America, isn’t it?

  3. Of course this is still America. North America to be more specific and the United States to even further narrow it down. The protester may have had a point, but it’s incumbent on any protester, no matter how good their initial point is, to ensure that their own behavior doesn’t dwarf it. See Michael Moore for an excellent example of this.

    It’s also certainly not the responsibility of whoever is running the audio or the show in general to give him a free platform. Sure, it looks bad, but it’s the truth.

  4. It’s also certainly not the responsibility of whoever is running the audio or the show in general to give him a free platform.

    Agreed. But John Kerry calling upon him to ask a question opened the door to at least a little exposition. If we’re not allowed to ask substantive questions of our politicians then what exactly is the point of asking them anything at all? If Kerry didn’t want to call on the guy he didn’t have to. No one is implying that this guy should have a “free platform.” However he wasn’t ranting, he wasn’t protesting, and he was clearly pro-democrat.

    It isn’t “freedom of speech until John Kerry is tired of hearing it.” Clearly he didn’t want to be bothered, and those “running the show” didn’t think this guy’s question fit in with their agenda. There wasn’t anything wrong with his behavior until he was beset upon by the thugs in charge. That’s the bottom line.

  5. Well, he had a “little exposition” which quickly changed into a weird-energy drone. Again, delivery obliterates message.

    It’s immaterial, though. You’re right. They shouldn’t have tasered him.

  6. Wasn’t he resisting arrest? I believe campus police are more than just rent-a-cops. I know the police of large universities are actual cops whose jurisdiction is the campus. Also, I was happy to see him zapped. Arrogant little fucker. Freedom of speech does not mean you get to grand stand and berate a US Senator at a speaking engagement. He needs to learn that despite all the years of his upbringing that engrained in him the idea that he is “special” he really isn’t. This is self-esteem run wild.

    Also, when an officer is arresting you say, “Yes sir, No sir,” and you submit. You don’t continue to grand stand and make melodramatic pleas for help. If you don’t want to get zapped, then calm the eff down and let them arrest you.

  7. Patrick: again, I fail to see any initial reason to arrest him. I don’t agree with his position on impeachment myself, but I also don’t think he was grandstanding. Then again, I went to UVM, where we were encouraged to have long and thoughtful conversations with our professors.

    Once they’d shut the kid’s mike off they could have just escorted him out of the building. Then formal complaints could have been filed by him if he felt he had cause, or by campus police if they felt they had cause.

    I always keep in mind how and why our forefathers wrote the Constitution. These lessons have been learned before.

    Sure, I’d have let them escort me out and arrest me. And then I’d have sued the shit out of the every single person involved. Because legally there was no just cause.

  8. And actually, Patrick, you’re right about certain campuses in regard to the police. UVM has the 3rd largest force in the state, with jurisdiction on campus and occasionally in the city proper (although contested.) But they are real police.

    However I still fail to see any just cause.

  9. Supposedly there was also an altercation that happened just before the video began, so I’m wondering if we’re actually getting the whole story here. Just cause may have been established prior and the fact that he made it to the microphone at all may have been an attempt by the police to let the situation play itself out.

    And let’s be honest here, Jamie, he was totally grandstanding. His behavior indicates that he came in there with an agenda, and agenda not to make a coherent point, but to cause a scene. While that doesn’t necessarily mean he should have been arrested or even escorted out, it does argue that neither side behaved well in this one.

  10. I don’t think so, QJ. To me he just seemed like an excited Kerry fan. I wasn’t able to access his own website today, but that’s available from one of the links above, or maybe it was the miami herals that had the link, but that may shed some light on this.

    I would contend, however, that people can be excited to be speaking with a Senator without having any particular agenda other than asking a simple question. Human beings do get excited, you know.

    How easily we forget that.

  11. Okay, so evidently, from Malcontent’s post, he probably did have an agenda. That’s still beside the point. I can see no probably cause for the overzealous actions of the cops.

    And Patrick, you know I love ya, but if you honestly think a kid getting a little overexcited at a college lecture deserves tasering then I think you need to re-examine this. If this had been my kid I would be pissed as all hell.

  12. And Patrick, you know I love ya, but if you honestly think a kid getting a little overexcited at a college lecture deserves tasering then I think you need to re-examine this.

    You misunderstood. I do not think he should have been tasered for getting over-excited. I think he should have been tasered for resisting arrest.

    I also still stand firmly by my asertion the Gen Y needs a giant preemptive tasering.

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