September 18th, 2007
02:26 PM ET
15 years ago

Kerry expresses regret for Tasered student

Kerry said he could have "handled the situation without interruption."

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a student was Tasered by police for trying to ask Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, questions about the 2004 election, the former Democratic presidential nominee said he had "never had a dialogue end this way" and apologized for the incident Tuesday.

A video widely dispersed on the Internet showed University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, 21, dragged away by police officers after he asked Kerry a series of questions about impeaching President Bush and the 2004 election. Kerry had agreed to answer his questions.

"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," Kerry said in a statement.

"I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building," Kerry added. "I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted."

Meyer was released from jail Tuesday.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Chris, TX

    Kid was a punk and was asking to make a big splash. (Has a camera trained on himself and has business cards.)Anytime a cop gives you instructions; you must comply. This is for the simple rule of security as Kerry adeptly points out. The first amendment does not give you the right to fight with police regardless of if you disagree with their actions. Maybe that felony charge will teach the kid a hard lesson.

    September 19, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Welcome to a Facist America....where free speech is censored by campus cops that have an IQ no greater than 65!! I saw the video and I cannot believe it. It is a blatent abuse of power and I hope those "rent a cops" are fired for excessive force. Of course, they just paid for that kid's retirement fund, after he sues!

    September 19, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Rob A., Eden Prairie, MN

    Sorry, this "kid" was asking for it. He was trying to get his 15 minutes, nothing more. I would have shut him up even sooner than they did. And just to be clear, I agreed with most of what he was saying, but so what? Was he saying anything we don't already know? He was screaming and crying like a bad actor in a B movie. But then again, we are talking about him, which is exactly what his goal was. Perhaps instead of the taser they should have just duck taped his mouth?

    September 19, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Gene, Raleigh, NC

    Whether you are GOP, Dem or unaffiliated, this should be of concern as the US moves toward a police state. Wake Up!!! No NATO, no UN!!!!!

    September 19, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks, CA

    Hearing that student desperately pleading with the officer, "don't tase me, bro!" and then hearing the taser being used while he screams in anguish, sent absolute chills down my spine, and sent images of an Orwellian nightmate through my mind.

    We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

    September 19, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Posted By Tom Dedham, Mass: "He's a very smart man", lets see where are those manuscripts, here we go, what's this, George Bush got better grades at Harvard.

    Einstein failed math in school.

    McCain hitched his wagon to Bush's Iraqi war train. That alone makes him pretty stupid. McCain teamed up with, of all people, Ted Kennedy for immigration reform (or amnesty by any other name). That's two strikes against McCain's brain power.

    McCain has no control over his temper, which does very little to endear himself to voters.

    Now, I'm no Kerry fan by any means, being a republican. I don't agree with Kerry's views either. All I can say is Kerry is well schooled about his views and he debates his side of the argument very well. Unfortunately he has a monotone drone.

    I don't know if the kid deserved to be tasered but he was definitely being a jerk. A lesson to the wise, when the mic is shut off that's your que to stop talking or expect the taser.

    September 19, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Hey David we are on the same "team", I am no huge fan of McCain for the Illegal immigration reason as well.

    I think he is a much more honorable man than Kerry and that is just my opinion.

    You must realize from my previous postings how much "love" I have for my two Senators Kerry and Kennedy and being from here I know both of the real well and so does my wallet.

    Disagreement amongst our team is what makes us better.

    September 19, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Its funny to read that someone believe Kerry won a debate – Kerry is a political machine who answers every question in every possible way – if you didn't catch that – you weren't listening (or the DNC told you to accept his answer(s))

    September 19, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Laura Niles MI

    Too little too late, John. You stood there at the microphone and said not a word while that boy was drug to the back of the room and tasered. The camera didn't show you while it was going on. Did YOU summon the police to take him out? He wasn't loud or obnoxious so what was the reason the police took him in the first place? He didn't start to get loud until after he was grabbed.

    September 19, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. giles lovejoy, Evansville, IN

    This article displays clear prejudice.
    The student was not Tasered for "trying to ask a question." The first officer apparently asks him to calm down, or follow the format, or whatever and he rudely dismisses her verbally and with a semi-shove of his hand. He continues to be loud and uncooperative with a program for calm dialogue, and when the officers try to physically escort him out he begins physically resisting their efforts which leads directly to the escalation.
    All he had to do was ask his good questions one at a time in a calm manner and the whole situation would never have developed. also, in the videos I have seen he was walked out, not "dragged away." Be objective in your coverage!

    September 19, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. roger, conway sc

    The 2 police officers on admin leave should be brought back to work and be given a pay raise & the DEFENDANT Andrew Meyer needs to get about 30 days in jail & he deserved to be tased...this is not about anybodys rights or freedom of speech this is about an adult acting like an idiot with no respect or manners...

    September 20, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  12. John P Toronto, Canada

    Interesting that all the other major media outlets failed to mention that this kid barged to the front of the line.

    So all the other students were calmly waiting in line until this moron cuts in front of them and blurts out his question.

    When I first read this story I thought the rent a cops were over reacting now I think they didn't taser him enough

    September 20, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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