At a speech held by John Kerry. I heard about it from Countertop, and while I disagree with the NWA song he chose to go with his post, I do have a bit to share on this.
Having a cop for a dad, and coming from a military/LE background tends to color my perception on issues like this. If you watch the video here, and not the heavily edited video at CNN.com, you’ll see that the cops did not taser the kid until after he broke away from the officers attempting to restrain him and appeared to (start to) charge the stage. At that juncture, someone gave him the volts, which caused the student to go down.
I hate situations like this. I guarantee that floods of people are going to start calling this “police brutality”, excessive force, and a slew of other options. The problem with that is that the cops didn’t exactly have another option. I mean, what are they going to do? Put him in an arm-bar and slam him into the deck on national TV? That would have looked great.
The full article on CNN sheds some additional light onto the subject.
“He apparently asked several questions — he went on for quite awhile — then he was asked to stop,” university spokesman Steve Orlando said. “He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off, then he became upset.”
So, he was then asked to leave, and refused to leave, creating the scene you see on the video.
I wish the cops hadn’t tasered him. I really do, because it looks bad. There’s a lot of negative publicity about tasers, especially on the internet; but one of things that a lot of that negative press fails to mention is that tasers are pretty effective. If you’ve got a struggling subject that for whatever reason you can’t just smack (because you’re on CNN or something), then a taser is a great way to induce compliance.
Now, this blog is a forum for my opinion. You are free to disagree with me. Honestly, I think that kid got exactly what he had coming to him. He went over his time, was politely asked to leave, and threw a hissy fit. He then started struggling with the cops (side note: the best part is when that HUGE cop is practically carrying him out), and eventually broke away from the cops and started to charge toward the stage. He wasn’t shot, punched, kicked, or clubbed; he just got the taser.
Ultimately, he’s responsible for putting himself in that situation. He could have asked his question, and let Mr. Kerry answer his question; instead he seemed to be asking for trouble, which in the end is precisely what he received. It remains to be seen what he’ll be charged with.