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September 23, 2007



You missed an important element of the story. According to film up at Raw Story, the police only advised Meyer of the reason for arrest well after they Tasered him. At that time, they told him he was under arrest for inciting a riot, a clearly bogus charge.

I think Woman of Mass Discussion might want to reconsider her statement that "This was not a case of UPD acting inappropriately." A lot of people, including their superiors, have some doubts on that score.

Damozel, Administrator

I understood her to be saying that they weren't acting inappropriately by asking the student to leave and attempting to escort him from the venue.

She says in her note that she couldn't see what happened afterward, including the events immediately preceding the tasering.

And yes, the University is currently conducting an investigation into the incident. The link I posted above discusses the reaction of the University and UPD.


She says that she is taking sides, Damozel. She says that Meyer got what he deserved. I don't think I've misinterpreted what she said at all.

Everyone should look into what the definition of torture is: "under 18 U.S.C. sec. 2140A: an “act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.”

We have become so hardened that we don't recognize torture when we see it. It occurs every day in American jails and prisons. It was obvious from day 1 that it was being committed in Guantanamo. All Americans are complicit in these deeds to the extent they refuse to see them for what they are.

Sometimes three feet away is the worst place to be if one is to be an impartial witness.

Damozel, Administrator


As I read it, WMD said she supported the removal of the student from the event. She found his behavior offensive. As to the actual tasering, I thought her argument was that he had the chance to avoid the consequences of his behavior and therefore brought the consequences on himself. At any rate, that's the way I read it... but I really shouldn't speak for her, I guess.

I would frame the issues here differently from you.

I don't see this event as equivalent to the torture of prisoners or victims of a criminal act. Based on what I saw, this wasn't an instance of a person---helplessly at the mercy of an official and without any degree of control over the outcome--- being subjected to physical abuse as a means to an end. Nor was the taser applied by the police in order to "encourage" him to divulge information, to humiliate him or for their own entertainment.

They used it to subdue him to overcome his resistance and---quite possibly; I couldn't see what was happening---because his resist was putting them at risk of bodily harm. As to whether the use (or degree) of force in this situation was reasonable from a legal standpoint, I don't know; I can't see what happened on the video and am not really up to speed on the standards that apply. You cite the account at The Raw Story, but I have heard other accounts.

Whether tasers are EVER an appropriate instrument for the police to use in a case of this kind is an important question which this incident has brought to the forefront of public attention. Assuming one concedes that the police under some circumstances have the right to subdue a person resisting an arrest, I don't know what the alternatives would be or whether they would be even worse. Not knowing exactly what standards apply, or what went on after the police attempted to take the student into custody, I'm not at this time prepared to conclude that they acted outside the bounds of what the prevailing standards allow.

As to the moral issues, I am---or until recently was---a God-bothering Quaker sort of person, so there is a disjunct between what I believe for myself and as a general ethical principle, and what I recognize as legal by current secular standards. In any conflict, I am all about the 'friendly persuasion,' but of course this is not (yet) the general rule ANYWHERE in the world.

In any case, it is far from the case that I am hardened to torture or to the use of force. And I'm pretty sure that we're all unanimous in that.

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