[Vision2020] Kerry speech/student tasered

Paul Rumelhart godshatter at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 19 19:28:24 PDT 2007

I don't know what to think about this.  I'm usually one to jump on the 
authorities in cases like this, but now after watching the video on 
youtube (for some reason the video link in the story didn't work for 
me), I'm unsure.

I think the police, which I assume were campus security, were a little 
quick to try to remove him from the microphone and from the room.  I 
think that much of what he did at the end was theatrics.  I'm sorry, but 
when the police are moving you physically from the room (rightly or 
wrongly), you don't resist, you don't keep acting less and less calm, 
and you don't stupidly keep telling them "not to tazer me, man".  You 
comply, and you fight it in court.  When they have you on the ground and 
you won't give them an arm for the handcuffs they have only a limited 
number of options.  Physical force which can result in a dislocated 
shoulder, bruises, etc, or the tazer.

Kerry did say that he would answer the question, and that they needn't 
do what they were doing.  He mumbles, yes, but I did hear him say that.  
It's not like he answered the question by waving at the cops to take him 

I've also read elsewhere that the person involved (I forget his name) 
was well-known for these kinds of things.  He likes to show up in public 
places and disrupt things.  I suppose the campus cops would think of him 
as an "agitator".  Many of the other students apparently think of him as 
a kook.

I am convinced that if he simply allowed them to remove him he wouldn't 
have been tazered.  They waited until he was on the ground and still 
thrashing around and acting up and warned him that they would use the 
tazer several times.  I think the police should review their rules for 
removing people from microphones at public events, but after they made 
the decision to remove him they didn't appear to me to use force until 
they had to.

That's not to say that the "tazer problem" (i.e. using it in situations 
when it shouldn't be used because it is non-lethal) isn't a real 
problem.  I just don't feel much sympathy for this guy.  He got his 
point out there.  Call it a win and sit back down, or let the cops lead 
you out of the room with something of your dignity left intact.


Sunil Ramalingam wrote:
> http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts09192007.html
> Above is the address of an article about a speech yesterday by John Kerry.  
> A student gets up and asks a question (quoting from a book I've mentioned 
> here) and ends up getting grabbed by police officers and tasered in front of 
> the crowd while Kerry drones on.  It's truly bizarre; the video link at the 
> end of the article shows it all happening.
> Sunil
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