Thursday, September 20, 2007
Freedom of speech and the power of Internet
A US student, Andrew Meyer, who was well-known on campus for his practical jokes, was tasered after jumping the queue to ask former presidential candidate US senator John Kerry a series of questions in a Florida University lecture hall on Monday.
The anguished cries Andrew Meyer, who was subdued using a Taser stun gun at a political meeting in Florida, has resonated worldwide in a matter of hours.
"Don't Tase me, bro!" was uttered by Andrew Meyer as he was pinned to the floor by police. 'Don't tase me' T-shirts are now being sold in the United States, earning Andrew Meyer a place in the American pop culture.
After a video of the incident was posted on the Internet, the officers responsible have been suspended on full pay while the debate rages over whether the student was a victim of police brutality or an attention-seeking prankster who got what he deserved.
Students at the university organised a protest yesterday and marched on the police station shouting “Don’t Tase me, bro” and demanding that stun guns were banned from campus.
Critics of Andrew Meyer have suggested that the entire incident was a planned attempt to win attention for Meyer who has already posted dozens of videos of himself on his website www.andrewmeyer.com.
Meyer has instantly become an Internet star for interrupting a political meeting.