Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Meditations on Police Brutality, part Deux

Once again, we have a student riding the lightning.

*sigh*

For those of my Gentle Readers who haven't heard the news yet, a student by the name of Andrew Meyer got himself tasered at the University of Florida.

Initially, I reacted to this one much as I did to the previous taser/student intersection at the UCLA.

Now, I'm not so sure that this one isn't within acceptable police limits.

First, the video.

The story I am hearing is that questions were no longer being accepted, and that Mr. Meyer "rushed to the microphone" prior to the footage above.

I have no verification of that, so we'll hold off on speculating about incidents prior to the video footage.

Watch the video again, and count down until you get to the 05:18 mark.

Folks, don't do this. Ever. When the Nice Officers are walking you out of whatever building or room that you were previously occupying, you are Under Arrest. If you snatch your arms away from the Nice Officers and run while being Under Arrest, Bad Things are going to happen.

If I were one of the responding officers, I'd have ploughed his butt into the ground right there.

Mr. Meyer has now committed the offence of Resisting Arrest.

Having to be physically dragged up the aisle while struggling and fighting doesn't make things any better.

There is a place to fight Police Injustice -- and this wasn't it. If Mr. Meyer truly believed the police were going overboard in their reaction, or that his rights were being violated, the proper place to deal with this is in a court-room -- not an auditorium.

So far, the officers on the video are being extraordinarily gentle with Mr. Meyer. In similar situations, when suspects began struggling after being caught -- I'd have arm-barred him into the concrete, hand-cuffed him and dragged him out the door by the hair.

Continue watching the video until 04:52. Again -- and I can't stress this enough -- don't do this. That elbow into the upper chest/throat area of the African-American cop at 04:50 -- was utterly and completely stupid. In that officer's place, I'd have brachial-stunned that critter and had done with it -- I can't believe he just wrestled the kid.

Anyhoo -- you're not going to win a fight against cops. It's not going to happen.

So, now they're struggling on the ground.

*sigh*

Been There. Done That. Got the ripped shirts to prove it.

Thing is, nine times out of ten, when folks at the bottom of a pig-pile figure out they're fixing to lose this one -- they lock their hands under the bodies. Damned near every time. I don't know what they think they're going to achieve -- maybe if we can't get their hands loose, we'll just wander off to the doughnut stand, or something -- but they'll lock their hands under their bodies and not turn loose.

Now, once you go down, you're not getting up again without being in handcuffs. That's just the way it is. So, we need your hands. This is why you hear cops yelling about hands during pig-piles.

Normally, if a subject insists on shaking hands with himself while his full body-weight rests on them, we'll use a pressure point along with verbal persuasion to make him turn loose. I've also seen OC used, but that's sloppy and gets other officers and bystanders sprayed.

I've also seen the judicious use of an elbow strike or hammer fist to the kidney(s) to gain compliance, but that's even more sloppy.

This is why he got his butt tasered. He went down under a pig-pile and locked his hands under his body. The officers didn't want to roll him over -- he's a fairly big ol' boy and why fight him all over again? Or what if he isn't locking his hands, but actually going for a knife or a gun and just can't deploy the knife or gun because of the weight of the pig-pile?

So, they order him to show his hands, and they order him to put his hands behind his back.

Kittenishly, he refuses.

So, the tapped him with a taser until he withdrew his hands from under his body.

We've done the exact same thing for the exact same reasons.

Andrew Meyer physically resisted arrest. He then resisted arrest with active force, was taken to the ground, where he continued to resist lawful arrest until a drive stun with a taser caused him to cease resisting.

I have to give props to the Florida police department that handled this for their patience, because I'd have tasered him at least two times prior to them actually doing it -- if not employed an arm-bar or a brachial stun.

LawDog

[UPDATE] CNN appears to believe that the incident may have been staged by Andrew Meyer.

I'd like to see some other verification of this.

If true, however, my estimation of Mr. Meyer is going to drop sharply from "Bloody Nuisance" to "Complete and Total Sodding Idiot".

Racking up a felony charge and risking Serious Bodily Injury by fighting cops for your 15 minutes of fame is about as [deleted]-ignorant as they come.

LawDog

35 comments:

wolfwalker said...

I have to ask what will sound like a really cruel and sympathy-less question: are there actually people who sound like that when they get hit with a taser? Because my first thought when I heard the audio this morning was that he sounded like he was acting. Now that I've seen the video and noticed that he isn't actually in camera view at the point where he screams ... well, the suspicion is even stronger.

I've never actually seen anyone get tased, but I have seen one or two training videos, and my impression of it has always been that you can't scream when you get tased -- the shock paralyzes all voluntary muscles, including the vocal chords. Was my impression wrong?

OA said...

Perhaps you can clear this up for me, LD. Understand, I'm not gunnin' for smartass, here. I'm genuinely curious...I've always thought tasers were a tool of defense, not a tool of compliance. Have I been mistaken, or was there an "it makes my job easier" style change at some point?

Loving Annie said...

Good Tuesday evening to you, Law Dog.

Only an idiot fights the cops. Figure out the odds, give in gracefully, and let your lawyer do the whining.
This guy didn't. Too bad, so sad. But the cops were doing their job just like they should be doing it.

Rabbit said...

My impression is that he either wanted to force a confrontation by pushing Kerry into a corner and being ejected or he's a sacrificial 'troofer', or both.

In either case, he was a Useful Idiot.

We'll probably see his name in politics within 10 years.

Regards,
Rabbit.

GeorgeH said...

Folks, don't do this. Ever. When the Nice Officers are walking you out of whatever building or room that you were previously occupying, you are Under Arrest. If you snatch your arms away from the Nice Officers and run while being Under Arrest, Bad Things are going to happen."

Especially do not pull free and run up the aisle towards a United States Senator and former candidate for President of the United States.

It's a wonder he didn't get shot, repeatedly.

By the way, this clown is reported to have a web site where he brags of his 'stunts'. He is, at least, a semi-pro agent provocateur.

Anonymous said...

Certainly kept his eye on the camera, didn't he?
I'd have batoned him into the concrete like a carpet tack, myself.
And you can bet the ACLU will be johnny-on-the-spot, spending a whole lot of our tax money on a long, drawn-out lawsuit.
LawMom

dr mac said...

"Ancient Chinese Thermo-nuclear Death Wedgie".

Knowledge of these old and venerable techniques is why I give all persons engaged in having to use physical force to protect the majority of us, who use reason and discourse, my full respect.

Thanks also for the belly laugh.

phlegmfatale said...

There was about his behavior the faintest naff of "drama queen." Reminded me much of the perennially juvenile bawling calves I deal with in my profession. He was so frenetic in prefacing his questions that it was obvious he expected (wanted?) to be cut off at any second, and I half-expected him to blurt out "ba-ba-booey."

Ghandi, he ain't. Didn't feel sorry for him.

dracphelan said...

I admit, when I heard the audio of this on the radio, I bust out laughing. The kid is either a provaceuter or a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

There was no rushing of the podium or questions being over, the commentators who have said that were blatantly lying. Want to see it for yourself? Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqAVvlyVbag

The guy may be a lunatic, sure, but Kerry called on him and he was asking his question then his mic was cut. And now for the absolute lunacy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8ndctwAJmU

The officer said they were arresting him for... inciting a riot? EXCUSE THE HECK OUT OF ME??? I mean, I can understand him asking repeatedly why they were arresting him, they never actually answered. You could tell they were thinking quick 'cause when they got out of the room they came up with inciting a riot?

It is plainly obvious that those cops had no clue what they were doing if that was the best they could come up with... on tape.

I mean, I love cops, I'm trying to be one and have lost 60 lbs in my quest to drop 120 so that I can apply to be one, and have a record so clean you could eat on it without a second thought, but these cops were... heck, I don't know, the whole thing fails to make sense other than one of Kerry's handlers told them to get him out of there any way they had to, consequences be darned, and they simply obeyed. Only thing I can think of.

But yes, don't fight or resist them, that was dumb... as for the last commentor, I go with complete idiot.

Citizen H said...

Maybe a good old-fashioned baton choke would have been in order.

Charles said...

He certainly deserved to get thown out on his nose, but what bothers me is the continued trend of:

Challenge police authority = Trumped up BS charges.

I'll give them disturbing the peace, but could they be any more blatant with 'resisting an officer with violence, a third-degree felony'?

It looks like a couple of the officers are on paid administrative suspensions, pending an internal investigation. I'm sure their [impotent] internal investigation will be just as much a blockbuster as the one initiated after the treptow case in MN.

LawDog said...

Challenge police authority = Trumped up BS charges.

I'll give them disturbing the peace, but could they be any more blatant with 'resisting an officer with violence, a third-degree felony'?


He was resisting arrest. On at least two separate instances. Clear as day.

Strings said...

I have to agree, the charge of "Inciting a Riot" seems a touch over-the-top. However, I think the subject of said chareg has some things coming his way: the absolute barking moonbattery of "they're giving me to the government" and "somebody please follow us so they don't kill me" just makes me want them to trump some serious charges against the frelling twit...

Rob said...

This guy has got to be a certifiable loon. He was afraid for his life? They were going to drag him off somewhere and kill him? Ya know, nonsense like that doesn't stay quiet, particularly with all of the cameras that the "drama queen" (well put) was playing to. Some newshound is always looking to make their career on the back of "the man".

Want to get in real trouble? Saddam is gone, so he'll have to try this act in Iran.

What an ID 10 T.

Joseph said...

I have never been in a confrontation with police, but one thing I have figured out-don't fight it out with the cops. If you get into a physical altercation, the cops will use overwhelming force to end it-which is correct. Why? Because it's a hell of a lot better for the bad guy to have a few scrapes than for the cop to have to shoot him. Cops use overwhelming force to end the fight fast, not because they are thugs.

Cybrludite said...

OA,

As Mr. Dog said, flipping him over to get at his hands to cuff them would have resulted in more scuffling as he was still resiting, and the punk nearly got one of the cops in the throat with his elbow already. Likewise, there's no telling what he may or may not have been reaching for behind his back. I'd say that falls under the heading of defense instead of compliance.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dawg, what's a brachial stun?

KBCraig said...

Bro. Dawg, I'm disappointed in you.

First, the caveat: our actor here clearly desired to be a nuisance, and get himself in the news. Neither of which is a criminal offense, I must point out.

Now that I've made it clear that I'm not a defender of the student who made an ass of himself, let me make it doubly clear that I, as a fellow Law Enforcement Officer, am utterly ashamed and dismayed that a dozen or so officers couldn't apply cuffs to a passive-aggressive subject, and had to resort to the Taser.

Good lord. You've worked the jail. Surely you've had to do forced cell moves. I certainly have, even when the prescribed "five man team" was a pipe dream, and yet we managed to apply cuffs, leg irons, and a Martin chain on a nude, combative, baby oil-coated inmate in a cell flooded with urine and feces. I know you've put subjects into cuffs all by your lonesome, even when they didn't care to be restrained.

Exactly who was the aggrieved party here, who decided the student should be shut off, escorted out, and tased if he resisted?

Even John Kerry --no friend of mine!-- was telling the crowd to let him finish, and that it was a legitimate question.

This student has a history of cutting up for cameras. It's obvious that this "arrest for resisting arrest" was based on prior interactions with University police.

If this is a country where dissenters are hauled off in handcuffs... well, I don't want to live here any more.

Bek said...

In response to some of the comments:

1. When getting hit by a taser, you sure as hell CAN scream. Your vocal cords are definitely not "paralyzed" and it is far from a silent affair.

2. To those who claim to have seen the video, there are MULTIPLE video clips, taken by numerous people.

3. Per other eyewitness accounts, that I have been gathering on the 'net, Mr. Meyer "stormed" the mic, interupting the final questioner. John Kerry stated that he would address Mr. Meyer AFTER he finished with the first person, and it is at this point, that the video cameras start rolling.

4. Have any of you bothered to ask yourselves, why are there at least 4 different videos (that I have personally seen, all freely available), having been released, which show this and ONLY Mr. Meyer's tirade, yet none of the FULL John Kerry event? I'm sorry people, but this was a setup... though I'm sure Mr. Meyer never expected this to be the final result.

BeelzebuDasHell said...

Mr. Meyer is a self-confessed heckler. You can read some of his work at http://www.freewebs.com/newforum/bioandpersonalstories.htm

Now some complain about his right of speech, but do not take in consideration that he was not asking a question but launched on a one minute and 40 second tirade and would not let Senator Kerry answer. And I am sure other people wanted to ask Kerry questions but Mr. Meyer hog the mike and disrupted the session with his actions and so he restricted other people's right to address Mr Kerry and Mr. Kerry's right to answer.

Dex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bergman said...

Was it a setup? Given the guy's record, it tends to look that way.

But even if it was, so what? What's the first right guaranteed by the bill of rights? I can certainly tell you, that it does not include TASERs, handcuffs and half a dozen cops for exercising it. Which is, after all, what he did. Granted, he was overly loud, and he was clearly on a roll. But if that was not a petition of a senator, a member of the *government*, for redress of grievances, I don't know what such a thing might look like.

I love my country. I love the Constitution. I believe that a good person does what is right regardless of the consequences and the best of people do it without even considering those consequences beforehand. Had I been there, I would have cheerfully interposed myself between that man, rude and overloud as he was, and the police. And I would have considered it my duty, and my obligation as a citizen, regardless of consequences, because doing so is simply *right*.

OA said...

Cybrludite, I was thinking more along the lines of general taser use, not just this one instance. Forest, rather than the trees, if you will.

Marc said...

Hi Law Dog,

For our personal enlightenment, how would you rank an arm bar, a brachial stun, and being tazered in order of unpleasantness for the recipient? You seem to suggest the tazer was the least unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

Forget tasering that perp in the buttocks. Forget even applying a baton to his cranium. What that brat needed was a good old-fashioned spanking! He was throwing a temper tantrum like a spoiled two-year-old, and hence should have been treated like a two-year-old.

I loved the way he sounded like a little child! Hilarious!

-- chicopanther

Area Trace No Search said...

I wish I'd been there to help the officers out.

Just to do my civic duty, you understand.

rick r. said...

Bergman:

His 1st Amendment rights were perfectly intact.

He could have gone outside, stood on PUBLIC ground, and said pretty much anything he wanted.

Instead, he decided to STEAL resources away from other private individuals who paid money to make those resources available so that they could have the frredom of expression THEY desired.

And people? Even if the arrest is (in your mind) bogus -- when you rassle with cops, and keep your killin' hands concealed, expect them to apply pain, violence, and dispair to your universe.

Mad Jack said...

First of all, the phrase you're fumbling for is not "exact same"; It's "zack-same". See? If you're going to butcher your otherwise fair literary skills, at least do so correctly.

Secondly, I have never been able to understand the law the deals with resisting arrest. What do you law dogs expect the average law breaker to do? Come along nicely just because you utter those magic words, "You are under arrest"? We have laws against drugs, guns, drinking, gambling and public nudity, and you can see how well those are working. I'd say that resisting arrest is just a part of the package. Arrest someone and you should fully expect them to resist.

Thirdly, this young fool didn't get injured. He was roughed up and had a Taser used on him. What did he expect? Did he really think that the police were going to approach him and say something on the order of, "Pardon me, sir, but you are in violation of a local ordinance and should consider yourself under arrest. Would you please accompany me to my squad car?". I don't think so. He's lucky to get off so easily.

This entire event is being mishandled by the media, and will likewise be mishandled by the ACLU. I've seen the zack-same thing happen-a-hunnerd-times and just because Kerry is involved the news media has to pick it up.

LawDog said...

First of all, the phrase you're fumbling for is not "exact same"; It's "zack-same". See? If you're going to butcher your otherwise fair literary skills, at least do so correctly.

Nice argumentum ad hominem. Very nice.

It's been my experience that those who have to resort to personal attacks don't really have anything to bring to the debate -- especially if the insult is the first thing out of their pie-holes.

Mad Jack, I don't care if you post or not, but I'm not reading anything else you have to say.

James said...

Marc - Of the three options (arm bar, brachial strike, and taser), the taser is LEAST likely to result in permanent harm. I train in tae kwan do and hapkido, and have previously trained in jiu jitsu. An improperly applied arm bar, or one that is resisted, can result in a torn rotator cuff, amongst other injuries (we REALLY have to keep a close eye on the kids when teaching joint locks, they don't realize how easy it is to hurt someone). For the brachial strike, it doesn't take much to collapse an Adam's Apple, requiring immediate medical assistance to keep the victim alive. While there have been some deaths from Taser usage, all of the ones I've studied involved multiple applications and the presence of large quantities of drugs and/or alchohol. As LawDog points out elsewhere, the individual in question was concealing his hands, after having resisted officers, who knows WHAT he might have had in his waistband that he was reaching for?

Anonymous said...

Of course, saying "don't tase me bro" to the rotund, lesbo cop wielding the zapper was not a good idea either, who no doubt took that as a sexist, bigoted insult and acted accordingly.

Anonymous said...

I'm not likely to remember to check for any response to this, but maybe someone will. I agree that the kid was resisting, but what was he under arrest for? What charge? Being annoying? Please. If only that was truly illegal, we could finally be done with so many wannabe comedians and whiny religious nutters...

I'm not against him having been booted from the auditorium, he was obviously trying to be a nuissance...but to be resisting arrest, don't you have to be under arrest for something first? And to be under arrest, don't you have to be under suspicion of being guilty of a crime?

Tx-Popo said...

*sigh* Bergman- Interference with public duties-class B misdemeanor, thats if you dont get physical. Noble as your thoughts may be, I hope you made a new friend you'll be sharing the cell with.

LawDog said...

Done. I'm tried of arguing. This blog was probably a bad idea.