Andrew Meyer, the University of Florida student arrested and tasered after asking too many questions of Senator John Kerry, has had felony charges dropped in return for his acting contrite about the incident. The university police officers who tasered him have also escaped penalty and have returned to work.
Most of the attention on this story has focused on the use of tasers on a student by university police. This attention is misdirected. The more vital issue at stake is whether event organizers can a) censor questions asked during ’open mic’ q&a sessions and b) whether police officers can use force or the threat of arrest to stop a person from asking questions once they are invited to do so.
The independent report on the incident commissioned by the university found the university’s police officers justified in their actions including their use of a taser during the arrest. Andrew has even accepted their justification for use of this weapon. What no ones has yet commented on in a serious way is whether the forced termination of his question asking was lawful.