September 18th, 2007
02:26 PM ET
13 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. Ray, Rochester

    I'd much rather be Tasered than have to sit through a John Kerry Speech/Q&A.

    September 18, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Christian, Tampa FL

    It's good of the Senator to express concern for the situation, as it was not his fault in any way. It's extremely unfortunate that the scene developed as it did.

    September 18, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Using John Kerry's reasoning, I figure this kid should put himself in for a Purple Heart, no?

    September 18, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |


    September 18, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Violet, Lady Lake, Florida

    Poor student. I believe it is clear from the video that the kid was under complete control of all the University police (at least 4) when a Barney Fife type (remember Mayberry and Don Knotts) took out his taser and decided to teach the kid a lesson! This was awful and hearing the kid ask them not to taser him when one of them took it out and he could see it and then hear his screams from the thousands of volts running thru his body was chilling. Kerry was prepared to answer his question before these "U-Police" used what is clearly excessive force to run the kid to ground! And Rochester Ray's comment is clearly a GOP-minion and if he thinks Tasering is fun – Taser the RR!

    September 18, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. David, Frisco Texas

    I guess Eric must be one of the Swift Boat Vets. John Kerry had nothing to do with instigating this incident, just as he could not have possibly awarded himself a Purple Heart. Eric must be jealous that even though George H.W. was able to keep "W" out of Viet Nam he couldn't buy him a Purple Heart.

    September 18, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. David, Gilbert Arizona

    I watched a debate between John Kerry and John McCain last Sunday on Meet The Press. Kerry made McCain look like a complete fool on the Iraq war.

    Kerry is indeed a hard man to listen to because of the tone of his voice but he's a very smart man, unlike the person we all elected as our President. Is it Bush's fault he's stupid or our fault for electing him?

    September 18, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Matthew, Chicago, IL

    The kid shouldn't have been tasered but man, was he obnoxious! He reminded me of every shill I've ever seen at a political rally that should have duct tape over his mouth.

    Lori McConnell of Kansas City, MO:

    You should hardly be the one to call someone else stupid, especially when you spelled the word 'stupied.' Perhaps you meant stupefied? That would certainly explain your state of mind when it comes to the English language.

    September 18, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Chi Farris-Hill, RN, BS, MS

    How animalistic are these law enforcement agents? How barbaric!! I am outranged over the tasing of the young student, Andrew Myers!
    What happend to our free speach?
    Why did Karry not stop the tasering? All he had to do was to ilude to the officers, ceasing the behaviour and then allowing the student to continuing his speech. That's what Bill Clinton would have done.

    Is that how Carey is going to perform if he becomes president? He lost my vote because of the way he responded to this incident. He should have shown some sort of leadership ability during that crises. He showed NONE! He, for sure, lost my vote!
    I ask the question; what is our great nation coming to when a young student has questions and is shot down by the very people whom we place in our trust, to protect us.
    My heart goes out to the young student and his family and I hope and pray that he will be well.


    September 18, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Slamming down people who dare to disagree or ask uncomfortable questions? Please tell me Kerry is not turning Republican, or is it just the University Police?

    September 18, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. Mac, Severn, Md

    Looks like the kid has done similar attention-getting things in the past....kind of like a professional slip and fall ruse. Probably doesn't really have anything to do with Kerry or Bush or anything real...just a cry for attention.

    September 18, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. Matt Canoga Park CA

    Are you all just stuck on stupid or what? In a article about guy who got tasered people bring up swift boats, viet nam, the president and anything else not related to what happened.

    Violet- Stop hugging that tree so hard your hurting it. This kid Meyers deserved and asked for the tasering he got and there is nothing excessive about it. He pushed and bullied his way to the microphone when it was not his turn to speak. He was already being asked politely to stand down and did not. He then ranted his questions out one after another and did not even give Kerry a chance of answering them. As rediculous as his questions were.

    Meyers is a obnoxious self centered kid who got exactly what he deserved. Typical of todays mentality that he was special and did not need to follow rules like the rest of us. In this case waiting your turn and respecting authority.
    So the little jerk got tasered good for him. Hopefully he learned a very valuable lesson about respect, order and authority. If not a second tasering may be needed.

    He is not some "poor student" who was tasered by some Barney Fife. Just another obnoxius kid who has to learn the hard way. Most people do not feel sorry for this guy. He is not some hero fighting for his right to be heard but a guy who can not show any respect to his fellow students, the campus police who were looking out for the students and John Kerry's best intrest, or John Kerry himself. Not that he deserves any.

    September 18, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Mark, Lawrence, KS

    Based on what was shown in the video, the student's questions were not inappropriate, nor was he trying to insult Mr. Kerry. Granted, maybe he should have been more observant of his time limitation (if that was the reason for his mic being cut), but he certainly should NOT have been tasered for asking the Senator a question.

    I'm glad that Mr. Kerry saw that the student had no malicious intentions.

    September 18, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Bill - DC Metro

    I'm thrilled to no end that we have troops in Iraq fighting for freedom and democracy while an over-zealous rent-a-cop gets to taser a student because his microphone time expired. What a farse. Where are Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and the ACLU when you need them? Probably on a plane to Nevada to be by OJ's side...

    September 18, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. 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.

    The fact is that McCain forgot more about military service and "honor" than "liveshot" and he schooled Kerry, not the other way around.

    Both are droll speakers, but I believe more of what comes out of McCains mouth than this phony gigilo.

    September 18, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Bob Lytle Kansas City Missouri

    To all you tough guys who like to disparage Kerry's war record I suggest you sign up now. The army needs tough guys like you.

    September 18, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. ThirstyJon, Freedomville, IL

    It was obviously not John Kerry's fault what happened, but I would have been very curious to hear the answer to the question about Skull and Bones!


    September 18, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  18. Craig Abresch, Salisbury, MD

    The young man had little if any respect for political discourse, and seemed to be intent on disrupting what was suppose to be a promotion of public dialog. I watched the video many times, and it was clear that something other than genuine dialog was motivating the questioner. It is sad it ended the way it did, and I still wonder what he expected would be accomplished.

    Free speech is grounded by respect and a sense of responsibility. Both can be exemplified while also raising serious and pointed questions. This young man displayed none of these...

    September 18, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  19. CMS, CA

    Kid was obviously being a punk and had an ax to grind. We have freedom of speech, but it needs to be done in a civilized and constructive manner. He wanted all of the drama he got so that he could be the next flash in the pan e-star. (Even had business cards to prove it.) Unfortunately two cops are now going to lose their jobs because of his misguided, untactful, and immature approach. Just hope that felony charge sticks and he learns a little respect. When a cop approaches you and gives you instructions, you must obey them; there is a reason for this as Kerry points out – security.

    September 18, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. Ben L pittsburgh pa

    Kerry was speaking with the man, Why exactly did the police arrest the student for asking a question? I thought free speech was a privlage that our Police State still let us enjoy? I guess not.

    September 18, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. brian, utah

    doddering old fool wouldn't stand up for freedom of speech. great leadership john. it's like watching a kid get beat by his dad and saying "not my kid, i'll let his parents handle it."

    the police report was pretty disturbing too. i typically trust and respect police, but talk about a one-sided description trying to justify their force; there is no objectivity in the entire report (except from the cop car driver who wrote 3 factual lines). i especially liked the cop who actually wrote that his toe got hurt.

    September 18, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  22. New Bern, North Carolina

    ALL you people are about as dumb as dumb can get it is plain when viewing the video tape that this guy was resiting arrest he pulled away from the police numerious times yelled screamed like a silly spolied brat and made a complete fool of himself – the officers did there job and should have done more! This is proper protocol in any law enforcement situation if this was a inner city person pulling away from police officer yelling and not following there commands the same would have happend but there would be no one second guess the peace officers like here this guy tried to take advantage of the forum by breaking the rules set by the university while also disobeying peace officer charged with enforcing that very rule. This case is over this guy will be charged the police officers will be vendicated and kid brats like this big spoiled brat will learn a lesson that they were not taught as kids – you follow directions given by those in is sad that more was not done to defend the peace officers...but they will be vendicated you can write it DOWN!

    September 19, 2007 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  23. Lee, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Hey David, records show that Bush actually graduated Yale with higher grades than did Kerry, however Bush went on to get an MBA at Harvard. Not bad for someone so "stupid." Where did you go to college?

    September 19, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    What happened to the First Amendment? Why are police so quick to use violence? Is America still a free country? I have my doubts.

    September 19, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  25. Sharon, Baltimore, MD

    The use of the taser by campus police was a complete abuse of power and totally uncalled for. There was no risk of imminent danger to anyone, and the police completely mishandled the situation. We all know that numerous deaths have occurred as a result of the use of tasers, and this young man's actions did not warrant such potentially deadly force.

    I think it would have been far more humane to consider the possibility that this young man may have a bipolar disorder, and the campus should have intervened with healthcare not police force.

    September 19, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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