Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why are we so afraid?!

An American citizen is held without trial and possibly tortured for several years. Surveillance cameras with flashing blue lights are being posted on the street corners of "dangerous" neighborhoods in cities across the country. And now a University of Florida student has been tasered for barging to the front of a line and questioning John Kerry. TASERED.

When did such infringement on our civil liberties become acceptable? Much of the conversation surrounding the University of Floriday incident is revolving around the student, Andrew Meyer. People say Meyer is sensationalist, always looking for attention. He acts out. He sounds a lot like my cousin, but my parents never tasered him. And if they did they probably would have faced some hefty consequences.

Others say the incident happened because he was resisting arrest. The picture in the article shows Meyers surrounded by 5 police officers. If five of our nations finest couldn't handle a mouthy, lanky college student without the use of excessive force, then I don't have much faith in their ability to handle real criminals.

What is really disturbing about this is that people are pointing the finger at Meyers. What are we so afraid of that use of such excessive force and in a bigger context the stripping of our civil liberties is acceptable? I want this country to be a safer place too, but we better be careful how much we sacrifice. Because once you begin eroding rights, its a slippery slope. And it's not so easy to win them back.

1 comment:

prsjr said...

I agree with everything that was said in the post, but there are seemingly reasonable and rational counterarguments to all of the mentioned impositions on our civil liberties. For example, the average Briton is captured on close circuit up to 300 times a day. When asked how they feel about this, most say that they don't mind and that is in fact a service provided for ensure peaceful and civilized life for a majority by catching nefarious acts of a minority. If you aren't doing anything wrong, why do you mind being recorded, it is not as if there is legislation suggesting the installation of cameras in bathrooms or in personal residences.

As far as the Meyer incident. I think if I were in Meyer's position, I would get some sense, a little presence and realize that I was sort of asking for a little trouble. I would never in my wildest dreams think that I would be tasered, but I would not expect to be let back on stage after screaming obscenities at police officers. So, at that point I would probably stop making a scene unless it was my prerogative to further instigate the officers. Having dealt with some police officers, it does not surprise me that they tasered him after his continued struggle. This does not make it right, furthermore I do not agree with the officer’s actions/reactions. But I don’t really feel sorry for the kid. It has been my experience that wearing that badge and uniform, with a holstered pistol can lead many to "power trip".