Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fun with the First Amendment....and tasers.

I saw the tape of the Gainesville kid who got tasered or whatever and I really don't blame the police there. Anytime you hear someone screaming in presumed pain it affects you, but... I'm sure he was ranting about his right to free speech but usually at such events, especially one with a high profile guest audience members are usually allowed one question and maybe a quick followup not to grill the speaker. There is a price to pay for being an asshole and actually being disruptive and even if you feel that you weren't being disruptive at the microphone by constantly ranting and screaming as you're being taken away and try to break free at that point you are a disruption. I'm sure he was probably yelling about not resisting arrest but you kind of were and resisting two officers who were actually smaller than you. Perhaps you shouldn't have been tasered but you probably should have yelled a couple of times as you were being taken away and then written a letter- your school mates who were videotaping the incident would have made a big enough deal of it to prove your point. Be mature, bro. (watch it here)

It just doesn't seem as egregious as the case at UCLA where a middle eastern student studying in a library who was basically racially profiled and asked for his id "he student did not exit the building immediately.

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.
The student began to yell “get off me,” repeating himself several times.It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain."

(you can watch the video here)

Actually I don't know what I'm arguing here. In both cases the tasering was probably too much (you are dealing with campus police officers who probably wanted to be real cops but couldn't) but if people were to just follow rules and go through correct venues and not act like every case is a huge constitutional affront then we wouldn't have such situations. My generation we've been looking for things to protest and to make a big deal about but what happened in these cases, let's be honest, it's not Kent State.

(And I don't think I was aiming to be that political and confrontational or to take such a position. Not sure where that came from. hmmm...)

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