September 18th, 2007
09:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Student Tasered, arrested at John Kerry speech

Watch the commotion following a student's question to Sen. Kerry Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A University of Florida student was Tasered and arrested by University police at a John Kerry speech following a heated question on the 2004 election results.

Full story

Filed under: John Kerry
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Alycia Smith, Chicago, IL

    I think both sides, us and the enforcement folks, should exercise our action. For us, well ... we know, we are not supposed to agitate and force the law enforcement folks to the limit. The would say "we do our job". For the enforcement folks, you guys should avoid excessive force only because you do your job.

    September 18, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. C. Mass, Washington D.C.

    This kid is a punk and was clearly creating a public disturbance. The right to speak freely means you can say what you believe. It does not mean you can disturb the peace, become indecent in public, or break the law when you are saying it.

    Tasering him was probably a little over the top. I personally think he deserved a "noogie" instead.

    September 18, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Isa D

    kristen, Your inability to see the rights as others as well as you see the rights of the police and their little friends (I didn't say it before,I'm saying it now) The Bush Club, have no reason to assume anyone should hold still for abuse. HOLD STILL TO BE BEATEN-No Stupid, and keep your drugstore how to book ethics; to yourself-No one indeed. I would probably be in chains if arrested, just like our police questioning BROTHERS ANDS SISTERS cause standing still is not what I understand to be the correct speed in the constitution.

    September 18, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    OK we all watched the video right? Did you see those jumps in the video? They are called edits. It's when they remove information from what really happened and only show you the information they want you to see. What was taken out for times sake shows him first off cutting in line of other people waiting to speak. Then when they capitulate and allow the jerk to speak he rants off questions and does not allow them to be answered. He then refuses to leave the mic and stand down when asked to do so. They then shut the mic off and still he won't leave. Then they try and remove him and he resists for quite some time and more and more campus police are needed to subdue him. Eventually getting around to the best part of tasering the obnoxious self centered, self important unrelenting kid.

    And all the tree huggers here are whining about his rights. What about the rights of the students who were politely waiting their turn to speak? And then were inturupted because some jerk thinks he is better than them all? What about the safety he posed when he went nuts for refusing to leave?

    September 18, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. Bill - DC Metro

    I wonder where Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are on this one. Clearly the student was Tased while he was on the ground and not resisting. I'm so glad we have troops in Iraq fighting to protect the rights of the rent-a-cops to taser people when their microphone time expires !!! I hope all of them get fired and the student gets a big payday from the university.

    September 18, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Matt, Censored News CA

    CNN Censors in full effect today. For god sake don't try and explain that the clip has been edited to suit CNN's need to show this kid as a victim and not the obnoxious jerk who refused to go quietly when asked several times, resisted arrest and was tasered as a result.

    Liberal bias is still a bias CNN. Just because some of us have seen the unedited clip that shows how many chances this kid had to go simply and easily and try to explain to some people how CNN has edited the clip to suit its own agenda.

    Keep living up to the Crappy News Network moniker.

    September 18, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    People please just keep ranting about nothing. But for gods sake don't critique CNN in your rant and their biased editing of the clip to make you hate police and feel sorry for this jerk.

    September 18, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. hawnstyle

    this jerk got exactly what he wanted...Press, and money. He deserved every volt of electricity.

    September 18, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  9. Craig Abresch, Salisbury, MD

    The latest news is that prior to posing his questions he asked others to be sure they were taping the event. H even, per CNN article on this site, gave his video camera to a young lady and asked her to film what he was about to do. Do you really thing he was interested in a genuine discourse of political or social issues?

    This young man's agenda had nothing to do with shining light into the darkened corners of our social and political shortcomings–he was interested in notoriety or something more sinister than a genuine concern for what we Americans have to deal with with the continuing corruption of politicians–both sides of the aisle!

    As far as the supposed agony of being tasered–Oh please, if he was tasered by officers that wanted to hurt him you would only have heard whimpers. In this case, I suspect the shock was a very light shock–and it seemed to me he was hoping the officers were going to shock him (for the drama to be captured on film!). A truly tasered person does not scream in pain–the electrical shock shocks the nervous system, and the person is generally incapable of true screams.

    September 18, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    Some of you on here are missing the point. There was NO reason to arrest this man. Therefore, charging him with "resisting arrest" is also outrageous. He was not disturbing the peace- he went over his allotted time at the microphone. This was not merely heavy-handed. It's the Bush policy trickled down to the local level. The only way to communicate is to threaten and to use force.

    September 18, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  11. Sam, IA

    The dems need to take a clue from the republicans, You screen the audience, You know, Go through the parking lot looking at bumper stickers like they do in Iowa and kicking out anyone who might not throw softballs.

    September 19, 2007 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  12. John Weiley NSW Australia

    Nobody answered his cries for help. Those nearest we too afraid even to look.

    Time to issue your cops with brown shirts.

    September 19, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. BCNU purple state, usa

    I haven't seen anyone comment about the cheers from the crowd when the cops came to escort him out of there. To elicit such a response, he was obviously causing a disruption.

    Move on citizens, nothing to see here.

    September 19, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks, CA

    Re: Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    You are absolutely right! To babble into a microphone and go over your time limit should bring about a tasering at MINIMUM!

    And hanging out in a student library for too long deserves a burst of mace to the face.

    And protesting a war while on Kent State University grounds deserves a National Guard firing squad response.

    Bill W, Im glad that you have the right perspective on these important issues. If we dont start applying the jackboot now, these darn students will destroy our great nation with their independent thought and their political protests. Who KNOWS what will happen if we let the young generation make its own decisions and express its thoughts freely? It would be ANARCHY!

    Im with you on this one, Bill W. Like you, I say bring on MORE tasers, and MORE mace, and dont forget those stylish little zip-tie handcuffs! I think we oughta DOUBLE the size of Guantanamo!

    The only way to win this "War on Terror" is through a generous application of tasers and mace to EVERY university student who dares expect his elected representatives to answer his questions.

    September 19, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks, CA

    Clearly, tasers work, as the video proves.

    Now its time to take it to the next logical level: security cameras with built in taser guns on every street corner in the USA.

    That way we can taser every funny-looking and loud-mouthed citizen who dares show his face in public. ESPECIALLY those who are under 25. Darn whippersnappers!

    And think of all the jobs that those public taser-camera systems will create! Its a win-win situation.

    September 19, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Lacey Knox, St. Louis, MO

    These officers are on a sick power-trip and need to be fired. Why Taser an innocent student for asking a question? He even said he would leave if they let him go...

    I want to know who to contact and complain about these "officers".

    September 19, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. A. Robinson

    Stop saying "GOD Bless America" and PRAY TAHT HE DOES because this country needs it!!

    September 19, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Stelios Thessaloniki Greece

    How can some people not see what REALLY happened here? Even if the question was not appropriate and the student too much heated, even if he exceeded the time limit and being annoying and trouble to the speaker... he is still a STUDENT! N O T a terrorist! This speech is inside a university campus.And "if" that John Kerry is a public figure and security needs to exist, do officers take orders to act like if they have to deal with criminals? How were they threatened by that student when they used a taser?How even was he a threat to order? WAKE UP sleeping people! Universities are supposed to have an educational role by supporting us with knowledge and allowing us to express ourselves freely!Is that some kind of cencorship, to his question? A campus must not be like the outer world: corrupted, full of suppresion. I'm a student in Greece and I feel really embarrased by the way police treated to a fellow student.In my country no police officers are permitted to enter a university campus. And believe me: NO CHAOS exist and NOTHING goes wrong.

    September 19, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Eric, Milwaukee WI

    since when in America are you beaten for sharing your opinion and practicing your freedom speach.

    September 19, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  20. Iris, San Francisco, CA

    Everyone here is missing the point. This was a supporter on the far far left. The democrats don't want to associate with people in their own party.

    This has nothing to do with republicans. You've got an in-house democrat fight.

    September 19, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  21. Cody, Rockmart, Georgia

    This situation goes both ways. The officers should have never tried to pull him away from the microphone in the first place. In America we are offered Freedom of Speech, and he was exercising that right. However, he deserved being handcuffed and taesered for the force and resistance he used against the officers. Whether or not he was right or wrong, they are the authority figure, and he needs to follow by their order. He did seem very frantic, and somewhat insane. I don't believe the officers should suffer any punishment, but he should serve at least probation for resisting arrest, and violence aimed at an officer.

    September 20, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  22. Elissa, Glen Ellyn, IL

    I didn't see the scene he created before this tape was shot of him being tasered. An article I read said there was an argument for about a minute after he asked the question and kerry didn't answer.
    I think he is acting like a brat who wants attention. If the police came after me like that, I'd be like 'holy cow, the police.' not physically resisting the police while I flail around and ask 'why are you tasering me. Um, they're tasering you because you're physically resisting them
    And for the freedom of speech, that doesn't give you the right to create scenes and disrupt things. That's just plain old rude.

    September 20, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  23. Rob Cohen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Message from EUROPE: ignorant PD' looks that Kerry isn't that big person at all. He did nothing about it. Apparently he can't move bridges. Are American people that violent and are not be able to speak. I think this student is one of the less bright people America has and he gets tasered. LOL

    September 21, 2007 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  24. Mary, Seymour, Indiana

    Oh, please. Didn't anyone see the other students who were hanging and shaking their heads when this guy was talking. They were laughing at him. That's why the students applauded when he was moved away from the microphone. And it's not as easy as some think to quietly remove a person from a room if they are pulling away, jerking around, flailing their arms, and all the rest. The kid was making the most of this to get sympathy. Why didn't he just calm down and follow them out and discuss it with them outside? Because he wanted it to become a big fiasco.

    September 25, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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