The "Don't Tase Me, Bro" Debate Rolls On - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

09/19/07-Tyler

The "Don't Tase Me, Bro" Debate Rolls On

It's the "shock heard 'round the Web" as some are saying.   The big story, from what started at a small campus event featuring Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, has people all over the country looking at the video and getting different interpretations. 

Now some are saying 21-year-old Andrew Meyer's free-speech rights were violated when he was tasered and hauled out of that forum in Florida.

"You watch [the TV program} 'Cops' and those cops take criminals down faster than these cops did," said University of Texas at Tyler senior Anthony Croff.

He and other students say if it had happened at their school, it might have been resolved faster.

"I guess this guy must have been a 'hoss' and they could not get handcuffs on him. I think they could have done something other than 'tase' him," Croff added.

"He had warnings and he knew he was on thin ice," said UT Tyler junior Kenny Lange.

Most students told us Andrew Meyer (of course) has the right to free speech, but he hijacked the Kerry speech and certainly did not have the right to do that.

"I think he was pretty much showboating. I don't really have any sympathy for the guy, and he was doing it for attention.  And if that's your purpose, then where are your rights if you are making a mockery of what's going on," Lange said.

"I think they could have handled it without using their Taser.  He wasn't overboard, but it seemed like he was getting more and more out of control," said UT Tyler Raliat Akinlolu. 

"He was just a basketcase, but it's hard when someone is acting crazy to calmly take care of anything because they are causing a ruckus.  But I think tasing him and arresting him was maybe a little too much," said senior Kelly Dry.

The police report said Meyer calmed down as soon as cameras were off him.  But the conflict might have never happened if they had just let him say his peace -- all of it.

"They just didn't try to stop him, they just cut him off. He was just saying what he thought. There were no riots, nothing had happened yet," said freshman Jonny Skalka.

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