Tasing incident leaves bitter taste with editors

Review's View

The latest YouTube craze spreading like wildfire is two separate videos of the same University of Florida student getting Tased by campus police at a John Kerry forum.

The video depicts a student asking a question about Kerry being a member of the Skull and Bones society with President Bush. He started to get loud, and the police started to move in. Kerry clearly says in at least one of the videos, “…it’s all right, let me answer his question.” However, instead of letting Kerry answer the student’s question, the police begin to restrain the kid. At this point, the student resists and yells repeatedly, “What have I done?”

When you have to ask “what have I done,” there is a problem. The editorial board of “The Review” watched this video from a few different sources on YouTube, some with news commentary, some without. Different editors noticed different facets of the incident that scared each individual as a journalist.

The student was, in fact, told to stop resisting, but it never seemed like he understood what he was doing wrong. In one of the videos, it seemed like one of the police officers in the shuffle said to the student, “You don’t have an option.”

You don’t have an option?

Since when did an open forum become a breeding ground for fascism? While the student did disrupt the meeting and cause a ruckus, since when is that a punishable offence? When did it become a problem to ask unscripted questions of our politicians?

If the kid were waving a gun in the air, threatening to shoot Kerry if the senator didn’t answer his question, that might be a different story.

“The Rocky Mountain Collegian” found itself in some hot water for its rather brief editorial that simply said, “FUCK BUSH. This is the view of the Collegian editorial board,” after the Tasing. While this editorial board won’t quite go that far, its members do worry about the precedent this sets. All citizens, including students, should be able to ask questions of their leaders. Providing they aren’t threatening physical harm to the other person, they should be able to ask questions without fear of police retribution.

To see the video, click on the link below: