Students at the University of Florida have carried out a second day of protest actions over the shocking and detention of Andrew Meyer, a student who tried to ask controversial questions of US Senator John Kerry. The actions included marching, speeches, chalking sidewalks, and a mass submission of more than 50 official complaints over the police conduct. UF taser protest, day 2
The Gainesville Sun has some information about the two officers suspended over the unjustified assault on Meyer, who was at the microphone questioning US Senator John Kerry when the police grabbed him, dragged him to the back of the auditorium, and apparently handcuffed him, then shocked him with a stun gun.
More than 50 students filed complaints with UF Police over their handling of the situation.
Police did not release the complaints Thursday, saying they could become the subject of an internal investigation. No decision on starting an internal investigation will be made until after FDLE’s independent review is completed, said UPD spokesman Capt. Jeff Holcomb.
The law enforcement agency did provide the personnel files of Sgt. Eddie King and Officer Nicole Mallo, the two officers placed on leave with pay.
King, 45, was hired at the police department in 1994 and had previously worked at the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center. He was promoted in 2000. He had attended Florida A&M. A recent review called him an “effective, fair-minded, competent supervisor” who did a good job of maintaining calm in “trying” situations.
King had been reprimanded or disciplined in the past for issues including failing to report for duty for an overtime assignment and being involved in the 2003 arrest of a person for carrying a concealed firearm when it was lawful under the circumstances to have the weapon, according to his personnel file. King also received a four-day suspension after an undisclosed romantic relationship with an employee led to a workplace confrontation with another employee, according to his file.
Mallo, 30, graduated from the University of Florida and was hired by UPD in 2004. She had been commended this year for her work in traffic enforcement with more than 100 citations, four arrests for driving under the influence and more than 200 bicycle stops. She also was listed as an instructor with the agency’s Rape Aggression Defense program.
Mallo had been reprimanded after a traffic stop in 2006 when she accelerated her vehicle to 74 mph and “unnecessarily placed yourself and other motorists in danger,” according to reports. She also was cited for a traffic crash and using profanity when talking to a motorist, according to reports.
Both King and Mallo were commended after a 2004 incident when they diffused a situation with a student at a residence hall who was wielding a knife. Different investigations and reviews are under way into the Tasering and arrest of a University of Florida student earlier this week.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an investigation into the use of force by UF Police, which is expected to be completed within 90 days.
Next week a panel of UF faculty and students will start a review of police policies. No timeline has been set for their review.
FDLE reviews Taser incident
UF police’s aggressive acts inexcusable
Keeping the Tasers holstered
University of Florida Taser incident (wikipedia)
Updated video: UF student Tasered at Kerry forum
An impromptu test of integrity
Shock and awe: censoring citizens with 5,000 volts
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy