Tasered for asking Kerry a question

September 21st, 2007 at 4:48 pm by David Farrar

Look at this video of a US student being tasered by security for persistent questioning to Senator John Kerry. Imagine if that had happened to someone asking Bush a question – half the world would be screaming torture.

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55 Responses to “Tasered for asking Kerry a question”

  1. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Indeed, even if he were, like this guy, a publicity seeking junkie who set-up this as a stunt, and only acted up when the cameras were on him.

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  2. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Saw it on the news last night. You have to wonder how much of a threat a guy is when there are two or three hulking policemen holding him down. The tasering was certainly done from close range!

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  3. Julian (178 comments) says:

    You can hear Kerry trying to answer his question. Mind you if I was a cop I would want to pull out the taser given the opportunity.

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  4. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    All that practice on neighbourhood pets and AT LAST they get use it on a real person. The cops must be stoked!

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  5. Monty (978 comments) says:

    I understand Labour’s secret agenda is to introduce mandatory tazers on all “Creeps, capitalists, National Voters, Exclusive Breathern, extreme right wing christians, wreckers and haters, and evil right wing bloggers” in stage two of the Electoral Finance Reform Bill.

    But first they have to shut down free speech so that that no one can object to “stage Two – Labour’s ultimate solution”

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  6. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    um, so did they Taser him… or did he just yell “don’t Taser me man, don’t Taser me” and the proceed to start screaming and moaning? Was the taser actually used?

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  7. AGJ (562 comments) says:

    KK, if you watch the video again you can hear the taser being used.

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  8. Robert Owen (236 comments) says:

    “Imagine if that had happened to someone asking Bush a question – half the world would be screaming torture.”
    Can’t think why!

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  9. The Perfect Man (88 comments) says:

    Monty, they won’t shoot the wreckers and haters on purpose. They could only manage that by shooting themselves in the foot.

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  10. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Actually, there’s a lot of wimmin cops around who seem pretty ready to use tazers.

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  11. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    David, half the world is screaming torture over this.

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  12. JesusCrux (88 comments) says:

    FFS, I wish he had just shut the fuck up. If he’d shut up his face maybe they wouldn’t have kept try to get him to piss off. If I was in the audience I’d have told him to just shut the fuck up. Deserves a http://www.cupchicks.com (R18) award.

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  13. JesusCrux (88 comments) says:

    According to an eye-witness account, he skipped to the head of the line of people waiting to ask their questions.

    He was being very disruptive. He was giving a speech, not asking a question. He was first told to just go ahead and ask his question. He kept ranting. Then he was told to step down. He kept ranting. Then his microphone was shut off. He started yelling.

    They tried every reasonable means to remove the disruption he was causing non-violently, then they tried to physically remove him with the minimum necessary force. He resisted and made himself as disruptive as possible.

    He was only arrested after he refused to stop disrupting this otherwise orderly gathering.

    Your right to free speech does not include the right to rant and shout and scream and throw a tantrum at an organized indoor event.

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  14. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Very fair call David. Notice how there aren’t the normal 200+ comments on this post? If this happened during a Bush QnA this post would be falling over already.

    Double standards all over the place.

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  15. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Nice JesusCrux. Proving the point. I wondered whether anyone would bother trying to defend it.

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  16. Sam Dixon (596 comments) says:

    Farrar-
    what’s your point with that Bush comment? You think we aren’t against the tasering because he was asking questions of Kerry? pathetic.

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  17. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I don’t really get the double standards point either, is it supposed to be a slight on the media? Why? Are we to assume that the media and public reaction would be different for a Democrat President vs a Republican President?

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  18. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    But what has John Kerry got to say about it.

    Does he want people to think they gonna get assaulted if people expect him to answer forthrightly.

    Is there a strong police presence at wealthy Republican venues?

    The guy honestly might’ve been a nuisance but he’s helped a thousand more get their point across.

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  19. pdq (82 comments) says:

    “FFS, I wish he had just shut the fuck up.”

    Just what crime was he committing? The EFB is the statutory equivalent.

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  20. pdq (82 comments) says:

    “Your right to free speech does not include the right to rant and shout and scream and throw a tantrum at an organized indoor event.”

    Says who?
    Ain’t seen that written in the US Consitution.
    In fact that document suggests the opposite.

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  21. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Look at the bright side. “Don’t Tase me, Bro” tee shirts are big sellers at the moment.

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  22. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Depending on how this man is treated will dictate how volatile the situation is.

    Personally I think a judge would say he’s been punished enough and the matter will lie.

    if it goes further it has the potential of a powder keg.

    Bush could even comment on it to keep the issue alive.

    Any one who thinks this is a mute point unworthy of significance has not learned how politicians can scandalise matters really trivial

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  23. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Monty.

    Wimpy of you Monty, better to put all political junkies up against the wall.

    Sonic and Red could hold hands as they are having a final fag.

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  24. Yeti (64 comments) says:

    I think it’s a disgrace, all he was doing was talking. It might have been annoying but to tazer the guy when they had that many cops on him and cuffs – FFS they could have picked him up and carried him out. It was pointless whichever way you look at it

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  25. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Markj,,

    Only if public police tasering was a predictable reaction.

    judging by the ensuing publicity police reaction was totally unexpected.

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  26. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    If ti has been Bush, then it would be the lead headline around the world and the subject of hundreds of editorials about how the US has become a police state, Bush is now so remote from reality he stands by while his goons taser a courageous young patriot.

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  27. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    I don’t know how Bush’s reaction is gonna be seen on this matter.

    If he remains silent, will it matter

    If he comments, would it be all that bad

    Bush is just simply gonna look good all around

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  28. morris (53 comments) says:

    People like this guy need to go to extremes to get their points across otherwise no media will pick their message up. No doubt this guys website has had a spike in traffic – mission accomplished. This blog does the same thing at times. Same technique, different execution.

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  29. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    Interestingly the media in the US have been rather supportive of the tasering with some exceptions.

    And wandering across the US blogs and bulletin boards, apart from predictable outrage from the far left and some of the right because of the non-involvement of Kerry, there seems to be surprisingly high levels of support for tasering students, especially among males.

    So why stop there? Surely anti-globalisation marches should be appropriate opportunities for tasering? After all we all know how much benefits globalisation brings to the poor of 3rd world countries. Why not any demonstrations? After all the right to free speech does not extend to the right to block up streets and wave placards? And what about the rights of others to enjoy the city centre without noise pollution?

    I have seen the future: it seems to consist of a political and administrative elite, a docile and order obeying security arm wielding electric cattle prods and the “sheeple” who are herded and zapped if they step out of line.

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  30. morris (53 comments) says:

    “I have seen the future: it seems to consist of a political and administrative elite, a docile and order obeying security arm wielding electric cattle prods and the “sheeple” who are herded and zapped if they step out of line.”

    Yep. Great, eh? And when disenfranchised people get fed up and resort to desperate measures to get their air time they will be labelled radical attention seakers, troublemakers.

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  31. Mike Collins (166 comments) says:

    I personally find this disgusting. No matter who the questions are being directed at. I would kick up a stick probably a hell of a lot bigger than this guy if I had the same treatment asking Helen Clark a tough question.

    I really think it trivialises the abuse by saying the outcry would have been louder had it been Bush he was asking the questions of. The focus should not be on the outcry and who generates the loudest howls, but whether the Police overstepped the mark. I think they did and I am glad that this is extremely unlikely (at the present) to occur in New Zealand.

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  32. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Forget all the other stuff guys, David is bang on – if this was Bush you would have worldwide outrage directed primarily at Bush and his administation. Simple as that.

    Not a peep from Sonic and co should be telling enough don’t you think?

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  33. Charlie Tan (255 comments) says:

    Am I considered one of the co. of sonic heine?

    This incident was purely disgusting and any of the idiots who have endorsed it here should just fuck off and go and live in Saudi Arabia or somewhere where they deal with crime “properly”.

    However, it should be noted that this is not an “American” phenomenon. It is a bunch of cops who crossed the line. It happens everywhere. Those responsible should get their due. But don’t blame 300 million people on a few idiots. Kerry, an American after all, was about to answer the question.

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  34. Charlie Tan (255 comments) says:

    “If ti has been Bush, then it would be the lead headline around the world and the subject of hundreds of editorials about how the US has become a police state, Bush is now so remote from reality he stands by while his goons taser a courageous young patriot.”

    Oh, gee, I see your conservative little man logic, little man.

    Because it didn’t happen at a conservative (if you can call Bush that) President’s rally, then this sort of behaviour is okay.

    Bravo!

    [DPF: You should seek treatment for your problem. I have not said it is ok]

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  35. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    “It is a bunch of cops who crossed the line. It happens everywhere.”

    In fairness I doubt that the cops made the decision to remove him so quickly. That would have been made by the event organiser, presumably because he/she didnt like the line of questioning.

    The event was organised by a group that is basically about grooming students into fitting into the American command structure and the line of questioning was probably a little to whacky for his/her tastes.

    Now everybody who thinks along those lines will be saying: “see what happens when you raise these issues”, where if Kerry had just answered the questions it would have been a complete non-event.

    Meanwhile the nice boys and girls of Florida State will obediantly trot off into their service roles in the power structures of the American empire, just per usual.

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  36. wiremu1306 (1 comment) says:

    The University of California Police Department, whose officers tazered this show off after they had handcuffed him, and all 5 of them had him pretty much under control, aspires to the following values:

    In carrying out our stated mission, all members of the department should strive to embrace the following core values:
    • Accept responsibility for our actions.
    • Exhibit respect of the individual.
    • Maintain open lines of communication within both the community and our department.
    • Ensure fairness to those we serve and with whom we work.
    • Demonstrate a commitment to excellence.
    • Solve problems in the community.
    • Demonstrate sensitivity to opposing points of view.

    We didn’t see too many of those in play in this incident. Here in the US most blogs criticize the guy for his stupidity (which he apparently has demonstrated well in the past and on his website), but blast the cops for total over-reaction. And by the way, those who get to attend Bush’s public events are carefull screened before they even get in. This guy wouldn’t have made it through the door.

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  37. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    Forget all the other stuff guys, David is bang on – if this was Bush you would have worldwide outrage directed primarily at Bush and his administation. Simple as that.

    Uh . . . there has been worldwide outrage, although its been partly directed at the cops for being psychopaths, and partly at Kerry for being a spineless worthless chump who did nothing to stop what was happening.

    If it had happened to Bush it would have been a bigger deal because – maybe you haven’t heard – Bush is President while Kerry isn’t.

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  38. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Bush,Bush, who is Bush.

    Oh, that chap that Power believed NZ should
    follow in one of his Christian crusades.

    Gone by lunchtime, one of our infantry battalions
    to Iraq.

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  39. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    JesusCrux summed this up quite well. Its easy to accuse the police of brutality on the strength of the footage that is doing the rounds. Numerous eye witnesses who have gone on the media record here in the US say the same thing – the guy arrived at the end of Kerry’s prepared remarks, basically tried to take control and informed the gathered audience that HE had to ask his question next regardless of who else had been waiting. Rather than ask and wait politely for Kerry’s answer he started basically ranting and raving about the Skull and Bones club at Yale (Kerry like Bush was a Yale graduate). He was asked to leave because he kept persisting with a hostile line of questioning. The campus police then try to get him to leave without resistance and he refused to be reasoned with. They tried to remove him from the premises after he was warned several times to calm down or he would be ejected. He resisted the police’s reasonable attempts to remove him. They are heard distinctly giving him the option to stand up and walk out and not resist arrest and they resorted to Tazering him only after they warned him of their intention to do so because he would not go quietly.

    Danyl
    Lets assume that it was a Republican senator like McCain or another prominent Republican such as Guiliani or Romney (and not Bush so as to remove the fact that anything any President does is subject to more scrutiny as you rightly observe), David is right that the media would have been front and centre on the this story and the implication would be to tie some police state brutality thing to the Republican. Kerry being a Democrat is mainly reported here as being merely an innocent bi-stander in an internal university police matter.

    I have no love for Kerry but frankly what more could Kerry do? The guy had rudely trampled on the rights of other students by striding into the forum and insisting on being the next questioner. Clearly this was planned and the student got what he wanted – his 15 minutes of fame and probaby a disturbing the peace conviction to follow.

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  40. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I agree with pretty much all you said KIA but I’m not so sure about this:

    “David is right that the media would have been front and centre on the this story and the implication would be to tie some police state brutality thing to the Republican.”

    Different media outfits would spin it differently, but generally I think the mainstream media would not have taken a different line.

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  41. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    I think it’s worthwhile pointing out that the tazered bloke was criticising Kerry for not being harsh enough on Bush, and suggesting that Kerry was too right wing!

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  42. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    David is right that the media would have been front and centre on the this story and the implication would be to tie some police state brutality thing to the Republican.

    If this had happened to Hillary I don’t doubt we’d have seen an almost identical media firestorm (‘Fascist Clinton’s Punish Dissent with Torture!’) to your imaginary Republican one (and there’s no doubt Mayer would have become an instant right-wing martyr). It’s absurd to argue that the media give democract’s a free ride after the weeks of intense coverage given to John Edwards haircut.

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  43. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America,,

    Thank you for your informed content.

    what gets me is why the police can’t be consistent.

    When it comes to policing crowd protests at head of govt forums the police are comparatively very disciplined. arrests are done in orderly and efficient fashion.

    have they been instructed to pursue tame crowd compliance techniques by world leaders not wanting over scrutiny of their agendas.

    For democratic world leaders to meet with closed door policies means more than just bad news

    ww3 is being initiated behind those doors

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  44. JesusCrux (88 comments) says:

    # pdq Says:
    September 21st, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    “FFS, I wish he had just shut the fuck up.”

    Just what crime was he committing? The EFB is the statutory equivalent.

    > Committing the crime of being a total dickwad. Fuck putting up with his bullshit, if this was like the televised debate during the 2005 election would not audience members be told to shut up and piss off?

    What the fuck has this to do with the EFB, why not mention Hitler while you’re at it fool?

    # pdq Says:
    September 21st, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    “Your right to free speech does not include the right to rant and shout and scream and throw a tantrum at an organized indoor event.”

    Says who?
    Ain’t seen that written in the US Consitution.
    In fact that document suggests the opposite.

    > Oh how very clever, quoting the last part of my post and conveniently ignoring the first few paragraphs explaining why. You obviously have never been to a public meeting before where dickheads who think they’re the shit waste everyone’s time. If you like people who talk shit so much why not go have yourself a cupchick (www.cupchicks.com – R18)?

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  45. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    hinamanu
    They were campus cops and so probably less professionally trained. I think had this been a public meeting under the jusristiction of a large city police force with better training I’m sure they would’ve found a way to deal with a stroppy prat like this student in a way that would not give such an outwardly negative impression. Given all the furore over this incident, I’m sure somebody’s head will roll.

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  46. weizguy (118 comments) says:

    KIA

    Couldn’t get your first link to work, second one didn’t say what you said it did at all…

    “The current survey finds that 30% of American adults believe the Associated Press has a liberal bias and only 12% believe it leans the other way. Local television news is viewed as having a liberal bias by 30% and a conservative bias by 17%. MSNBC is seen as being a bit more to the left—33% say it has a liberal bias and 13% say the opposite. For CNBC, 29% say it has a liberal bias and 14% say a conservative bias.”

    Firstly, it simply says that more people don’t think it is biased either way.

    Secondly, since when was an opinion poll about people’s perception of bias the same as actual bias? I could do a poll in the US of people who believe in god, and find a high positive result. I could do the same poll in Sweden or Japan and get a high negative result. Neither result can tell us whether or not God exists. Unless you’re happy with “God exists because lots of people think he does.”

    Perception /= fact – sorry, your premise is flawed.

    From what I saw, they stepped in and physically manhandled the guy while Kerry was trying to answer the question. Seemed like some heavy-handedness from the police, that’s all.

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  47. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    Weizguy
    Go to the UCLA website and search under bias in journalism. Its a very exhaustive and thorough study.

    The Rasmussen poll exactly makes my point – its a 2:1 margin for the polled media outlets of those who think they lean to the left vs right is pretty conclusive. Your analogy about perception is meaningless waffle. Various left leaning journalists from the MSM even admit they and their colleagues lean to the left. They’ve even looked at the public records of political donations of journalists and they donate 20 to the Dems to 1 to the GOP.

    The reason why lefties don’t notice the bias is because, in their world they are the centre and the actual political centre seems to be to their right. When the media echo their world view with a leftist position, it just seems perfectly normal and non-ideological to them hence those who lean to the left deny the existence of a left leaning media. Perhaps that’s where you are weizguy – just can’t or won’t see it despite emperical evidence to prove it.

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  48. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    KIA: “When the media echo their world view with a leftist position, it just seems perfectly normal and non-ideological to them hence those who lean to the left deny the existence of a left leaning media.”

    Ditto for those on the right.

    When Bush went into Iraq the US media was all behind him, all of the rubbish about Saddams WMD’s his huge military posing a threat to Iraq’s nieghbours was swallowed and broadcast by the media as fact, in fact as you now know, and the weapons inspectors and others were pretty sure of then, no WMD’s. the US MSM was on that occasion acting with a very right wing agenda – they were on the bandwagon too, but those on the right didn’t (and still I’m sure in your case KIA, don’t) recognise that that was the case.

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  49. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Look at how many people bothered to comment on this post than all the other Bush or American posts by David. Again my point has been reinforced simply because the usual suspects are choosing to say nothing.

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  50. Mike (158 comments) says:

    weizguy Says: Perception ≠ fact

    kiwi in america Says:
    Your analogy about perception is meaningless waffle.

    Is this perhaps the crux of the issue? the left believes in factual accuracy, while the right is busy fawning over ideologies and belief.

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  51. Mike (158 comments) says:

    and clintheine,

    If this had happened to at a bush event there woudl be 200+ comments because he is president, of course if this actually had happend to bush it probably woudlnt have even been posted here.

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