Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tasering the annoying student who won't shut up...
A U of Florida student at a John Kerry event was tasered when arrested after he took the mic near the end of the event and hammered Kerry with questions. The blogosphere is bursting with reactions, from the opinion that the campus police (yes campus police) who arrested him overreacted to some who say he should have gone along peacefully whether or not he realized he was under arrest - or what for.
It reminded me of students in my classes during my long educational haul who always waited to ask the teacher a question at the end of class - usually a three part-er. "Ummm, can you explain the theory of relativity please?" "Oh and professor could you apply that to how that would work in an example?" "Oh and also how does this theory relate to the rest of the field of physics - on an international level, both current and over the past fifty years?"
How annoying is this, huh? So I had this sudden mental image of what would have happened if a campus cop had come into the lecture hall, tried to remove the student and then tasered him. But of course in a university setting it's really hard to imagine that campus police would remove a student for asking questions, right? There are rules at events, however, so that of course differentiates this situation. But the irony of a student who is asking questions being arrested and tasered by campus police - well it's pretty strong.
An outside investigation is going to be conducted of the way the incident was handled. It looks from the video that the student was already on the ground, surrounded by a number of campus cops when he was tasered. A spokesman from the U of Florida on CNN this morning also said that the student became physical and a number of officers were injured before he was taken down. He acknowledged the student was not armed.
A student protest is scheduled for noon today. I hope no one gets tasered.
[visual description: A taser gun is shown, measuring 6 inches across and 3.2 inches down. It is black with yellow decals located behind the cartridge marking it as a non lethal weapon.]