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. Mike Orlando, FL

    That's cruel, there was no reason for the officers to use such force. Kerry wanted to answer the question, there was no harm in this student asking him a question. Unbelieveable.

    September 18, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. David, Encinitas, CA

    The guy abviously went over his time limit, what does he think, that he's not going to get tasered for it? The kids today!

    September 18, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Tommy Birchfield, Elizabethton, Tennessee

    "Excessive "FORCE...used on College Student should alarm citizents to the "NEW POLICE" state the republicans have put in place....

    ...."Its Criminal what the Police did and this registered Voter, and Vet USAF, is "OUTRAGED!

    ...America is now a POLICE STATE where the Police have more rights then do the citizens, and as Master's Candiate in the Masters Program here at East Tenn State University, I am disgusted with what the Republicans have Done to America and what the Police are allowed to do, to citizens who no longer have "FREE SPEECH" in a country where Free Speech was once founded and now no longer exists!

    IN conclusion, Our jails and prisons are Proof of what Im saying to be true they are busting at the seems with American's who committed petti offenses and petti misdeameanor violations, where you are arrested for simply speaking out in a land that no longer allows you to speak out!

    ..."TRUE PATRIOTISM HATES INJUSTICE IN ITS OWN LAND, "MORE...."THAN ANYWHERE
    ...ELSE." –Clarence Darrow

    Sincerely, Tommy Birchfield, Voter,
    Vet USAF, Class 2007 East Tenn State
    University

    Master's Program, fall....2007

    September 18, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    He should have remembered he was in Bush country and most cops think Bush is wonderful. They'd have been waiting for him outside anyway . . .

    September 18, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Ed - Jacksonville, Florida

    What has happen to America – Freedom is gone and we are a police state. I blame it all of the Republicans and the American people for not fight for Al Gore and John Kerry more and now we are paying the price. Now I see the same people beating up on Hillary Clinton and if it keeps this up a Republican will steal the White House again. God bless America!

    September 18, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Travis, Hampton, VA

    This is such an outrage, watch the video. I am downright disgusted. Now we get arrested for voicing our questions? Or just overextending our alloted microphone time? Either is ridiculous. What about excessive force? Four athourities surround this young man and they have to taser him?

    September 18, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Get a moderator like Chris Matthews who simply talks over a "problem" questioner and interrupts repeatedly. Like many questioners, he's no Tim Russert and still apparently doesn't know how to ask a short direct question that isn't compound.

    September 18, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. dark side of the funny farm

    WOW, Police abusing Power? USA!USA!USA!USA!

    What a joke, Kerry ought to be embarassed.

    September 18, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. christian, selden, ny

    why is this news? maybe less people would be doing outrageous things if we didnt make it so celebrity

    September 18, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. David, Arlington, VA

    This is despicable. There is absolutely no valid reason why this student should have been detained by campus security, let alone tasered. He was completely within his rights to ask those questions, which Sen. Kerry attempted to answer before campus security unjustifiably intervened. I hope the student and his family bring legal action against the officers in question as well as the university. Maybe the ACLU could take up his cause instead of Sen. Craig's...

    But, in all seriousness, what has happened in this country where we can no longer voice our opinions, ask questions of our leaders, and simply be heard in an open forum for discussion? It's all the more disgraceful that this happened at a university, where we should be challenging our young people, nurturing their intellect, and encouraging them to speak up and engage in healthy debate. This sad display does just the opposite.

    September 18, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. vicissitude

    This is an outrage!

    What has happened to America...TASERED?!~wtf for asking questions at a political rally?

    america is no longer a democracy..we are a police state...torture no habeus corpus..fearmongering and Gitmo.

    I hope that boy sues and wins 700M dollars for the police preventing him from exercising his right of free speech.

    anyone who sees this should give money to the ACLU!!

    September 18, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. HomeoftheBrave

    Kerry's taking enemy fire again.. I wonder how long before he puts in for another purple heart?

    September 18, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Matt, St Louis, MO

    What a joke those cops are!! Four of you have the guy detained, and then you taser him? Talk about wimpy cops.

    September 18, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Mark, Rio de Janeiro

    I watched the whole video – the guy did nothing more than ask a long-winded question. And the police result to force! 5 on 1 and they use a taser!

    Sorry, but there's only one word for this: fascism.

    What are those police going to tell their children? Guess what? Mommy tasered a boy today because he went over his alloted time. Have they no shame?

    September 18, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Ben St. Louis MO

    How can you honestly blame this on the Republicans! It's like anything that goes wrong in this country is automatically their fault. Kerry's people were the one that cut out the mike and had the police there. It just got out of hand which is a shame on the policemen and women involved.

    September 18, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    All this talk about "free speech" and CNN deletes posts. Typical.

    The guys was belligerent and got tazered for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.

    This is funnier than the "Leave Britney Alone" video.

    September 18, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Chris

    We are becoming communists now. That is what the elites wanted. Russia is not dead, they have been pulling our strings to make us like them. The whole world will become communists. The real freedom lies in the muslim lands. That is why the rest of the world is made to hate them, because they still live by God and by man made rules. You don't have to be a Muslim to see what's really going on.

    I wish the Muslims would come here and put us out of our misery before our country gets worse.

    September 18, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Watch the video. The guy is a jerk. He was not "asking a question". He comandeered their microphone and was insulting John Kerry, also babbling on about god-knows-what. When security went to remove him, he resisted. And do you think its just coincidence somebody happened to get a video of this? This guy was a jerk, and this was clearly a set-up.

    Like it or not, there are rules and these events, and they do have security. You don't have the right to be a tool, and they do have the right to remove you.

    September 18, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. RightyTighty

    This is what should happen to all protesters that can not act in an orderly fashion at a public event. Remember those pink old gray haired lady's making a fuss at the Iraq hearings?? Taser'em!!

    September 18, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Ken, Tampa Fl

    Is this still the United States of America? Do we still have the right to speak freely? This forum was held on a college campus, a place where one goes to learn and educate them selves. Asking questions is a vital part of learning, questioning is how we understand. So even if this young student got “out of line” or went over his allotted time limit, should he be tasered?!?! I am outraged and disgusted at this gross use of excessive force. Each one of the security guards involved should be fired.

    September 18, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Chris, I wasn't going to comment again, but I've always been told that the purpose of terrorism is to drive us to be more like the terrorists; Islam fears us because we are diverse and have a secular government. If they can scare us into stamping out diversity and appointing a religious dictator, then their ayatollah and our ayatollah can come to terms. As long as we allow Britney's buttocks to hang out, they will fear our freedom (I know, it's a hard price to pay, y'all). Right now those cops are having another super day explaining why they lost their tempers and beat a political dissident, but somewhere Osama is smiling.

    September 18, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Roger, red reek, ny

    This is unbelievable. I cannot believe that this happened. I am speechless at the moment. No matter what he was saying...I don't think that was right. How could it be right? Just because of words he was saying? Wow...there needs to be accountability for all of those officers, I think...and I think that they need to be reprimanded...

    September 18, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Watch the video. The guy is a jerk. He was not "asking a question". He comandeered their microphone and was insulting John Kerry, and babbling on and on about god-knows-what. They asked him to stop. They turned off his microphone. He kept going. What's the next step? They called secutiry. When security went to remove him, he resisted. And that's a pretty big guy, look at the size of him compared to the security guards.

    And do you think its just coincidence that somebody happened to get a video of this? This guy was a jerk, and this was clearly a set-up. This reminds me alot of the stuff Michael Moore used to do.

    Like it or not, there are rules at these events, and they do have security. You don't have the right to be a tool, and they do have the right to remove you.

    September 18, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. concerned for our future, Lawrence, KS

    Totally inappropriate Homeofthebrave. Don't deflect what this story is about with a stupid tasteless attack on John Kerry. The abuse of police power in this incident is disgusting and had nothing to do with the honorable senator. He did attempt the answer the question. As a war veteran myself, I find your comment reprehensible.

    September 18, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. J Houston, TX

    Gitmo? Go check a history book about how many people we illegally detained during World War II. The list is slightly longer...by like a factor of a thousand.

    This is classic politics. Even a politician that wants to respond isn't allowed by political correction from staff and party members. We can't even hear our politicians because the parties are too busy screaming everything for them. The problem in America is the Democratic and Republican party. The problem is campaign funding. The problem is the ability to communicate with our representative officials, whom are more interested in statistical polls than our opinions. They are more concerned with reelection than actually serving their constituents. There is no leadership, they simply pander to the masses. Anyone with half a brain doesn't get involved in politics anymore.

    September 18, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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