I saw this this morning on Today and was, uh, stunned:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida student was Tasered and arrested after trying to ask U.S. Senator John Kerry about the 2004 election and other subjects during a campus forum.
“Videos of the incident posted on several Web sites show officers pulling Andrew Meyer, 21, away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.
“He apparently asked several questions — he went on for quite awhile — then he was asked to stop,” university spokesman Steve Orlando said. “He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off, then he became upset.”
“As two officers take Meyer by the arms, Kerry, D-Mass., is heard to say, “That’s alright, let me answer his question.” Audience members applaud, and Meyer struggles to escape for several seconds as up to four officers try to remove him from the room.”
Kerry later is heard answering the question as the kid is tasered and removed. Apparently, according to the Today Show clip, the student Andrew Meyer has a history of pulling “outrageous” stunts on video and posting them to his website, so I’m sure he’s a kook looking for publicity (make sure you watch Ann Curry’s remarks and facial expressions when Matt Lauer asks her “so, what do you think, did he deserve it?”).
What’s remarkable is the poise Kerry kept as the kid melted down. Here’s the Today Show link to watch it.
But it does raise the question: what was Kerry doing in Florida??
UPDATE from USA Today’s On Deadline: John Kerry’s office just sent us this statement from the senator: “In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way. I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but again I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of answering him when he was taken into custody. I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building. I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted.”