A number of people have sent links (here is one) to YouTube videos of the Tasering incident during John Kerry’s speech at University of Florida. Viewing it on these videos it seems the police may have overreacted in subduing the young man, but it is very hard to see what is going on. The victim was more interested in making a scene than in having Kerry answer any of his questions, which of course is not a reason to hit him with the Taser. As he is escorted from the hall more officers get involved in subduing him and they use the Taser while he is on the ground. In the first video I watched the Taser is neither seen nor heard but the video linked above provides clear audio evidence of the Taser. The incident bears some resemblance to last November’s Tasering incident at a UCLA library. To my viewing the UCLA incident, in which campus police repeatedly used a Taser on a young man who was leaving the library after and ID check, is more disturbing. The UCLA student was complying with police directives, while this UF student was struggling with police removing him from a hall for disrupting Kerry’s appearance. Kerry’s ghostly voice-over is strangely passive throughout. Again, I’m not agreeing that the student deserved to be Tasered for the disruption. Police may have been warranted in removing him from the hall–I haven’t looked into the circumstances of Kerry’s speech and the student’s presence there–and if so, they can use appropriate force to do so.
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