Don’t tase me bro

[Andrew] Meyer is very mature, he’s very focused, and he’s very professional. He wants to take his life to another level. He plans on taking the bar exam at the end of February. He wants to get licensed and he wants to help people. That’s what our website is all about.

Carlos Miller, of Photography is Not a Crime, a First Amendment blog, offering high praise for his latest hire, full-time staff writer Andrew Meyer. Meyer recently graduated from FIU Law, and his fruitless pleas of “don’t tase me, bro” will live forever in internet infamy.

(Don’t remember the 2007 tasing incident? See the video below.)

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Prowling leopard = cute. Prowling 59-year-olds = gross.

I think we can all agree that Peeping Toms are creepy. We have the internet if you like looking at somebody who is (pretending to be) unaware of a camera recording their intimate moments. I guess what I’m saying is: people who don’t know how to use the internet are creepy.

In Florida, a city attorney is under arrest. He’s accused of being a creeper who was caught prowling around a woman’s home. Naked. And by “around a woman’s home,” I mean that he was allegedly in her bedroom. Naked.

Authorities then Tased the man. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on his apparent inability to use the internet to satiate his alleged perversions — after all, the man is 59 years old….

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* Everyone wants to know who Obama will appoint to the high court during his second term as president. Our very own David Lat chimed in with his suggestions on this panel of notable Supreme Court watchers. [BuzzFeed Politics]

* “If you are writing a biography and either you or your subject are married to a third person, and you have sex, you have done something wrong.” Well, that’s one way to reduce the amount of scandal in your life. [Instapundit]

* Who is the shirtless FBI agent who allegedly sent a sexy picture to Jill Kelley of the Petraeus Pentagon — a picture that got him kicked off the case — and how bodacious is his bod? [Business Insider]

* There is no “best way” to ask for a raise, especially in this economy. But if you’re feeling sassy, you can take some of this sound advice. [Corporette]

* Apologies to all you Beliebers, but California’s Paparazzi Law was just invalidated as unconstitutional. [Cheat Sheet / Daily Beast]

* A time when you really shouldn’t have to yell, “Don’t tase me, bro!”: when you’re trying to use a garden hose to prevent your house from catching fire. [Legal Blog Watch]


Really, judge? Really?

* Dewey have any cash to pay the people helping to wind down our firm’s business? Nope! Even though JPMorgan backed D&L’s $8.6M motion to fund the firm’s ongoing operations, Judge Glenn insisted that the bank “[r]oll [its] truck up and start collecting accounts receivable.” [Am Law Daily (reg. req.)]

* “Don’t tase my baby, bro!” SCOTUS has declined to review a case where the Ninth Circuit ruled that the use of a Taser on a seven-month pregnant woman constituted excessive force. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* “The jury has sent a note that they’ve reached… [dramatic pause] … a good stopping point.” Judicial humor lightened the mood after the seventh day of deliberations without a verdict in the John Edwards trial. [ABC News]

* Dharun Ravi finally issued an apology for his “stupid and childish” behavior, and he’ll be heading off to serve his 30-day jail sentence on Thursday. And you know, that jail sentence is joke enough for this blurb. [CNN]

* “Dumb Blonde” isn’t a name that Elizabeth Warren takes too kindly to being called. She much prefers the name that her Native American ancestors bestowed upon her: “Running Joke.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Four of the alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky case have asked the court to protect their identities. It’s kind of like the Michael Jackson case, but everyone cares more because this one involves football. [Bloomberg]

* Hundreds of lawyers, notaries, and other legal professionals took to the streets in Montreal earlier this week to publicly protest Bill 78, a law that limits public protests. That’s so meta, eh Canadians? [Montreal Gazette]

How would you define excessive force? There doesn’t seem to be a precise definition, if only because it’s a matter of legalese. Generally speaking, the police shouldn’t be using force beyond what is called for under the circumstances, which is a somewhat subjective test.

We’ll lob you a softball so you can decide the answers to these important questions. Can you use a Taser on a pregnant woman? How many times can you do it? Once? Twice? Three times?

Now, if your initial reaction was something like, “Holy sh*t! Who does that?,” you must be thinking that the police would be crazy to tase a pregnant woman — especially a pregnant woman who’s two months away from her due date. She’d have to have done something egregious to warrant the use of such force.

But that’s not what happened to a pregnant woman in Washington who received the punishment for a mere traffic violation. And the police officers who inflicted her pain want to take the case to the United States Supreme Court….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Many Times Can You Tase a Pregnant Woman Before Your Case Winds Up Before the Supreme Court?”

Andrew Meyer — the University of Florida student who coined the phrase “don’t tase me, bro” — was only tased one time, but his screams were heard around the world thanks to YouTube. And as far as we know, he didn’t sue over the incident.

But how many times do you think the average person would have to be tased before he marched his ass to the closest law firm? Two times? Five times?

How about 11 times? At that point, we’d be surprised if the poor guy could even remember his name, let alone the fact that he might have a cause of action….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Chicago Police Turn the Tasing Up to Eleven”

Long before I became a law blogger, I spent a good chunk of time working as a photojournalist. Periodically, I wound up photographing the police. Whether it was at an arrest at a football game, or an officer who suffered an unusual injury, officers rarely hassled me because I usually had a press pass and a big, professional-looking camera.

But anyone can film in public spaces. One of the most important — and overlooked — technological developments of the last five-odd years is the ease with which anyone can record police doing their jobs and throw the video on YouTube. The technology can be a great deterrent against police misconduct.

So it’s really, seriously disturbing when police try to intimidate witnesses into turning off their cellphone cameras. It’s even more nauseating when someone gets arrested for simply filming police activity. Luckily, a recent decision from First Circuit unambiguously told police to cut it out.

Keep reading for details about the man who was arrested for taping police in America’s oldest public park, as well as Judge Kermit Lipez’s benchslap of the officers who made the arrest….

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Of course this happened. Of course Andrew Meyer, the University of Florida student who was famously tased during a John Kerry speech, ended up going to law school. Of course a law school looked at Meyer’s history of barely civil disobedience and resisting police and said, “Come on down.”

And really, Meyer’s story isn’t even the craziest law school matriculation story out there today. Not in a world where a 15-year-old kid is trying to figure out which law school he’s going to.

Which institutions of legal education are welcoming these students with non-traditional life stories?

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Listen, little Johnny police officer, the Taser is not a toy.

As an overweight man, adult onset diabetes is one of the things that makes me consider dropping a few pounds. But I’m still so young, so invincible, that long-term health concerns aren’t really enough to stop me from having an extra helping of Christmas goose (not that I even know anybody who eats a freaking goose like some character in a Dickens novel).

But overaggressive cops beating the crap out of me because of the color of my skin? That is a real threat. That is a “health concern” I respect. I know that, for instance, I should never ever jog with a golf club if I want to avoid police suspicion.

I didn’t think that having diabetes could lead to a police beating. But according to a lawsuit filed by John Harmon against the sheriff’s department in Hamilton County, Ohio, that’s exactly what happened to him. Harmon alleges that the cops kicked the crap out of him because he was driving while having diabetes.

Driving with diabetes while being black, of course…

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