This despondent plea, recorded on camera, from an apprehended and tased University of Florida student has flooded the country with speculation from all sides politically.
Andrew Meyer, during a speech forum featuring Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), began an eclectic question tirade toward Kerry, and was subsequently escorted away from the microphone for breaking the set forum rules.
With cameras rolling, the situation evolved to non-compliance with a police officer, resulting in Meyer being tased in front of the audience listening to Sen. Kerry.
A Florida state investigation found that the university police were justified in using taser force in the highly publicized incident.
The coverage of the event is widespread, with YouTube versions edited to paint Meyer as both a ranting maniac and a political martyr. The obligatory calls for human rights and freedom of speech violations came in as expected. All major media outlets latched onto the story, fueling the feelings of its viewers.
But, in a letter released Oct. 29, Meyer publicly apologized for his "failure to act calmly" during the speech, and also admitted that he had "stepped out of line" and was truly sorry for tarnishing the university’s image. Meyer admitted guilt and the police justification, and the story seemed to fade out of the spotlight.
The urge to quote Shakespeare is too perfect, "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die?" Perhaps the Bard would add this quip, "And if you tase us, do we not apologize?"
With the apology, he may be able avoid the legal charges against him. How ironic, seeing as he has already been charged with the electro-shock weapons, which rendered Meyer instantly incapacitated.
This need for apologies that are coerced by a threat of further prosecution are as bogus as the excessive force used by many officers nowadays under the guise of law.
So, what exactly did Meyer do wrong? Speak out at a public forum? Many people have acted similarly. He wasn’t violent-just loud, and perhaps a bit intolerable. Was it within use of force guidelines for six officers to hold down one average-size student? Would it hurt to walk the guy out to the lobby at least?
Perhaps the phrase should be inverted, and read as "Don’t ‘bro’ me, tase." In other words, "Don’t befriend me, violence."
Befriending these violent actions and coining them as ‘normal and reasonable’ begins a slippery-slope allowance of violent reactions. Just because a law is set in place sanctioning aggressive actions should not authorize brutality. Perhaps the Missouri extermination order of Latter-day Saints will ring a bell. The 19th century order, enabling the scot-free killing of a group of religious followers, was only recently rescinded.
Is this to be accepted? With movies and media numbing this nation to violence, it is only a matter of time until the next victim bellows out the phrase "Don’t tase me, bro!" Hopefully by this time, the cry of "Don’t ‘bro’ me, tase" will be a reality.