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University of Florida Campus Taser Arrest Raises Questions of Police Brutality

The use of a Taser to arrest a University of Florida student at a Senator John Kerry forum last week is raising questions as to whether campus police used excessive force. Use of excessive force by law enforcement officers can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if the victim is injured or killed as a result. Video footage from last Monday’s event shows journalism student Andrew Meyer, 21, repeatedly and “heatedly” questioning Kerry on why he conceded the 2004 election following reports of rigged electronic-voting machines and disenfranchised black voters. Meyer refused to leave the microphone after his time was up. Campus police tried removing him from the area and a struggle ensued. Meyer can be overheard on the video saying he will leave the auditorium if the police release him. The police officers can be heard threatening to Taser Meyer. Meyer is heard pleading “Don’t Tase me, bro, don’t Tase me,” saying he will leave the premise. He then screams in pain when the electric shock weapon is applied. Two campus officers were placed on paid administrative leave after the incident. The University of Florida says that the administration and police are going to examine whether changes to protocols need to be made. The university has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to assess the incident also. A Taser is a gun that fires pronged darts into the skin or clothes of a person and emanates 50,000 volts into the body for five seconds at a time. Instant collapse and uncontrollable muscle contraction is what usually results. Persons that have been hit by a Taser say that the pain is debilitating and extreme. In the last six years, over 70 people have died in the United States and Canada while in police custody after a Taser was applied to them. Autopsy results from five of those cases show that Taser shock was the primary cause of death. The Taser was considered a likely contributing cause in several of the deaths. A forensic pathologist hired by Amnesty International says that deaths where heart failure, head injuries, and drug use were listed as the main causes can also be partially attributed to Tasers. A study by Amnesty International says that there have been 17 deaths involving Tasers in Florida since 2000, including deaths that occurred in Naples, Pensacola, Delray Beach, and Hollywood. If you have been a victim of excessive violence by police—even during an arrest—you are entitled to legal representation by a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can determine if police brutality was involved and whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. Florida College Student Who Was Tasered, Arrested at John Kerry Campus Forum Is Released From Jail, Fox News, September 18, 2007 Taser Concerns Grow As Death, Injuries Mount, The New Standard, April 27, 2007 Related Web Resources: University of Florida Police Department In South Florida, The Law Office of John D. Ameen, P.A., PA represents injury victims in all areas of personal injury law. We offer all prospective clients a free consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your options with you. Contact The Law Office of John D. Ameen, P.A., PA today.