To be fair, I should retract certain remarks I've made in previous days. The committee convened by Machen to explore options to remedy the UF Taser case has not formally released any findings or any reports. From what I gather, at least some members of this committee (e.g. Brian Aungst per my recently published letter in the Alligator) are in fact going into this process with good intentions.
Still, I think the FDLE report is laughable and I find myself scratching my head each and every time I hear people like Charles Grapski invoke the name of this agency as somehow representing impartiality in law enforcement. Any agency that cleared UPD of the excessive force in the matter involving Andrew Meyer is clearly not being fair by any stretch of the imagination. The FDLE report all but guarantees that UPD will continue to engage in the use of electrical shocks to subdue students they perceive to be unruly or a threat. In this matter, I do feel that Student Government has failed the student body they supposedly serve. Tasers do not belong in the arsenal of any campus police department in the United States.
Growing Fear of Reprisals
While some student leaders dismiss student' apathy at publicly condemning the actions of UPD as rooted in indifference - I beg to differ. One only need drive around campus at 2AM or walk from SW Rec. to Lakeside...it's not a very long walk, but long enough for a possible dissenter to get recognized, harassed, and possibly arrested for DUI or speeding or drug possession. Your word against theirs.
If a student lives on campus it's all right there: address, make & model of car, class schedule...UPD has access to all records, open and sealed, they also watch each other's back. Why is it so hard for student leaders to believe that most students would never openly demand justice from the very people that are charged with enforcing it?
Out of 50,000+, barely 200 (or 0.4% of the combined UF Student Body) had the guts to walk on UPD, which makes the depressing 11-15% voter turnout for Student Body elections seem like electoral nirvana. Something is wrong at UF & those in positions of power apparently choose to live & rule in denial.