UCLA Police Taser Student Repeatedly (Video)

There was a huge blogospheric reaction overnight to a student being tasered by UCLA police after he failed to produce an ID card at the Powell library.

The report:

An incident late Tuesday night in which a UCLA student was stunned at least four times with a Taser has left the UCLA community questioning whether the university police officers’ use of force was an appropriate response to the situation.

Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was repeatedly stunned with a Taser and then taken into custody when he did not exit the CLICC Lab in Powell Library in a timely manner. Community Service Officers had asked Tabatabainejad to leave after he failed to produce his BruinCard during a random check at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said the checks are a standard procedure in the library after 11 p.m. “Because of the safety of the students we limit the use after 11 to just students, staff and faculty,” Young said. Young said the CSOs on duty in the library at the time went to get UCPD officers when Tabatabainejad did not immediately leave, and UCPD officers resorted to use of the Taser when Tabatabainejad did not do as he was told.

A six-minute video showed Tabatabainejad audibly screaming in pain as he was stunned several times with a Taser, each time for three to five seconds. He was told repeatedly to stand up and stop fighting, and was told that if he did not do so he would “get Tased again.”

Tabatabainejad was also stunned with the Taser when he was already handcuffed, said Carlos Zaragoza, a third-year English and history student who witnessed the incident. “(He was) no possible danger to any of the police,” Zaragoza said. “(He was) getting shocked and Tasered as he was handcuffed.”

The video:

The description of the events is pretty shocking and the video is painful to watch and listen to.

John Aravosis says the incident is “beyond outrageous” and that Tabatabainejad was merely engaging in “civil disobedience”. I’d say he was resisting the lawful instructions of a police officer and being verbally abusive. Still, I agree that the use of a taser against a skinny student for the crime of being a dumbass would appear to be an excessive application of force.

Digsby contends that this is “becoming a depressingly commonplace occurence in this country. Excruciating pain is now commonly accepted as a proper way for the police to bend people to their will.” He adds:

I’ve seen dozens of these videos and it makes me feel nauseated each time I see someone lying on the ground after being tasered while police threaten them with further pain if they refuse to comply. Inevitably these people are disoriented and confused and angry and shocked yet when they fail to properly respond, the police calmly taser them until they do. It’s the coldest application of pain I’ve ever seen.

Jack Dunphy, a police officer posting at Patterico’s, sees it a little differently. He notes that false accusations of abuse are routinely aimed at police officers as a tactic of gangs and defense attorneys. A police trainer emailing Michelle Malkin is unsympathetic as well, arguing that the officers’ only flaw here was being too politically correct in using the taser, when they should have whacked him really hard with a club one time to get the incident over with.

Tabatabainejad was asked to show his ID by uniformed officers, refused to do so or offer an explanation, and then started acting a fool when being escorted out. It’s not unreasonable that this would raise red flags. Still, the officers had no reason to believe they were in danger and could easily have subdued him, cuffed him, and dragged him down to the station.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Chris Short says:

    “Civil disobedience” or being a moron; either way if he would have done what he was told none of this would have happened.

    I would have liked to have seen the footage prior to the shocking.

  2. LJD says:

    the officers… could easily have subdued him, cuffed him, and dragged him down to the station.

    They could? How do you know? It’s called non-lethal force, and it was appropriately applied.

    This jerk got what he was asking for. I guess the ‘shocked’ student body could opt for the alternative, no security checks. Then thay can get back to the preferable muggings and rapes.

  3. Maria loves pictures says:

    What a scandal. This policeman are very brutal maniacs. I think the responsible officials should be fired or at least be prosecuted for their sadistic actions.

    Thank you for sharing this story with me !

  4. Michael says:

    “Civil disobedience” or being a moron; either way if he would have done what he was told none of this would have happened.

    Yeah, he and Rosa Parks were both asking for it. Should have just shut up and done as they were told, damned trouble makers.

    Seriously though, isn’t it about time to pass legislation making anything that stops short of causing serious organ failure as acceptable force when arresting skinny college kids? If it’s good enough for the army, it’s good enough for the police.

  5. sdd says:

    Tasing a hundcuffed person is torture and there is nothing there but this.

  6. Patrick McGuire says:

    I fail to see the problem. What you have is a smart-ass, foul-mouthed university student who is all full of himself, who was repeatedly given the choice of leaving quietly or getting tazed. He chose the latter. Nothing was forced upon him, he made a choice.

    I wonder if he is smart enough to learn from this experience.

  7. Scott G says:

    James: First, let’s recognize that the atmosphere (outraged students at UCLA demanding the officers’ I.D., etc.) lends a bit of a grievous atmosphere to the video. Had the students not been a factor, would that change the way this video comes across? Maybe. Nevertheless, to the merits . . .

    Lethal force is only applied when an officer’s life or is in danger. Non-lethal force, such as the TASER, is applied for a number of reasons, such as to obtain compliance. This is usually for the safety of the officer(s) and the subject.

    I lost count of the number of times the officers told the student to “stand up.” The reason they wanted him to stand up is that they wanted him to walk under his own power. If they had to drag him, or carry him, the possibility of injury to the student and/or an officer goes up dramatically. Also, consider that they were in the middle of what could be considered (especially by the officers) a mildly hostile crowd. Officer safety dictates that they not tie up their hands carrying a non-compliant student — especially one which could have, at any time, walked out on his own two feet under his own power. Note that the officers did finally carry the guy out (and quit tasing him), but only after there were other police officers on the scene to ensure their safety.

    We also have to keep in mind that the whole reason this guy was being escorted out (and arrested) was that he refused to show a student i.d. The officers had no idea who this guy was, and that makes him an unknown. To police officers, the unknown is dangerous.

    Also, when a subject is fighting arrest, particularly when the subject is fighting being handcuffed, it is frequently necessary (and safest) to TASE the subject in order to get the handcuffs on while he is incapable of fighting. Again, this is safest for the officers and the subject, and results in a decreased risk of injury to all involved.

    Dunphy is right, except that he fails to mention that plaintiffs attorneys also bring false charges of abuse to extort money from the officers’ insurance companies. Also, let me respond to Digsby by saying that tasing neither disorients nor confuses (I’ve been tased myself several times as part of my training). When its over, its over, and you have all of your faculties.

    I have personally never tased a subject, though I carry one on duty. However, I would not hesitate to use it if the situation required it, and the video leads me to believe that it was a valid use of force in this case.

  8. Anderson says:

    As Digby points out, a person who’s just been tasered is likely to be disoriented & unable to immediately comply with orders. Police officers should have to consent to being tasered a few times themselves in training before they’re allowed to use it on others.

    It’s like junior high school, with punks shoving a kid onto the ground and then kicking him when he doesn’t get up fast enough.

    Unsurprisingly, the same OTB readers who think Abu Ghraib was just swell, also think this was fine. At what point do we officially become an evil society? Will we know it when it happens?

  9. Buddy says:

    Anderson,

    Actually Police officers ARE usually required to be tased before using them. It’s pretty standard practice as part of training. Also, ‘Drive Stun’ mode, which is the mode he was getting hit with, is quite typically used for as a ‘pain compliance stimuli’ and not a ‘disabling shock’ Without the probes, you don’t get the same disabling effect, and its more like a ‘cattle prod’ sort of thing.

    Plus even with probes, its not ‘disabling for 15 minutes’ or whatever. I’ve been hit quite a few times with them, in quick succession in a training exercise. Yes it hurts. Yes it sucks to get hit by them. No its not long term disabling (generally speaking, presuming you aren’t jacked up on coke or something and have a heart attack).

  10. G A Phillips says:

    Sounds like a liberal,Zap him again! Oh and Anderson, the murder of 45 million babies over the last 30 years makes us a pretty %$^&ing evil society.

  11. legion says:

    They say a conservative is just a liberal who’s been mugged. And a liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested. I would say the comments on this thread support that.

    I realize new gadgets like tasers, pepper spray, etc are there as alternatives to gunplay. But using psychology to defuse a situation has _always_ been a key component of a good cop’s arsenal. A “non-lethal” weapon is something that’s not designed to kill. Too many people these days (both in the police and the general public) have been lulled into thinking that a “non-lethal” weapon _can’t_ kill or even cause notable problems, and that leads to their being used too quickly in too many situations.

    And while I agree that the guy was being a bit of a jerk, and basically asking to get run in, tagging somebody while they’re on the ground & non-threatening is _not_ an appropriate use of force. It’s cops inflicting pain as punishment. Period. And threatening people who ask for your badge number? That’s grounds for immediate dismissal (if not criminal charges) no questions asked.

  12. cian says:

    Are there rules and regulations as to when and how a taser should be used? In the past, before their arrival on the scene, officers would have to first attempt talking the guy or girl into complying and that may take time but, from my limited experience (as a witness)most people calm down eventually.

    A taser is quick and easy for the officer and, that being the case, will likely be a first option rather than a last. Certainly that seems to be what occurred in this instance.

    The atmosphere Scott describes was caused by the tasering, and not as a response to the students outrage. The campus security officers were obviously out of control and while a policeman’s lot is often not a happy one, to condone this kind of behaviour is a dangerous step.

  13. Steven Plunk says:

    Modern police training seems to put more emphasis on use of new technologies (tasers, pepper spray) than on the old technology of talking and communicating. Why bother to talk a guy into leaving when you can just shock him. You get compliance, you teach the guy a lesson, and you bolster your reputation as a person not to be trifled with. You can see how this invites abuse.

    Blame the officers to some degree but it goes back to the way we train them to handle disagreements. Try arguing with any cop about anything and you will see how they first verbally then physically intimidate you. They are trained to do those things with everyone from a hardened criminal to a housewife angry during a traffic stop. The taser is just the next step.

    Sure we have a right to speak our mind but modern police departments want no part of that. Their first concern is not the public or the rights of the public but it is with themselves. Again I don’t blame the individual officers but the leadership and the training they provide.

  14. M1EK says:

    You people are just loathsome. Seriously. Zombie Thomas Jefferson is headed your way to administer some remedial education.

  15. vemrion says:

    I can think of no other word but “fascism” to express my feelings about the actions of the officers in this video. Certainly, “abuse of authority” and “police brutality” come to mind, but they don’t really sum up the mindset of the officers fully.

    The cops’ mindset is the scariest thing. It seems to be that “authority must be obeyed at all times, no matter what.” That is not consistent with the student’s constitutionally protected rights, which place his inalienable rights far above any sort of convenience achieved by granting limited authority to officers of the peace.

    I’m sure it would be much more convenient to give police officers unlimited power to use and abuse as they saw fit, but such an arrangement is totally incompatible with the concepts of freedom and liberty for which our forefathers fought and died. Freedom is far more important than being quiet in a library or being cooperative with police.

    Even more disturbing is the reaction of many people (including people on this board) who seem to think that just because someone wears a badge they are beyond reproach and we cannot question their judgment. This is lunacy! Officers are human like the rest of us — they make mistakes, and some of them are “bad apples.” I really question how someone can justify tasering a person who is handcuffed and laying on the ground. To me, this violence by the cops is nothing short of obscene.

    More ranting here

  16. M1EK says:

    From the UCLA Bruin:

    “Also shocking is witnessing the male student who was threatened with a Taser after requesting an officer’s badge number.”

    Anybody who can hear that and side with the cops needs to get the hell out of my country.

  17. James, my guess is that they were using the Taser in ‘drive stun’ mode – basically like a shock prod, which is painful but not disabling. It’s used as a nonlethal, nondamaging pain complaince technique – as opposed to physically overcoming someone with arm locks, etc. which often results in injury to the arrestee or the officer. The video doesn’t show the entire encounter, but I’ll bet the police officers have audio of it…I’m making popcorn.

    A.L.

  18. Buddy says:

    AL:

    Exactly. I guess people would rather they use joint bends (which can cause physical damage) or baton whacks instead of a bit of a jolt with what is essentially a cattle prod when used in the mode these tasers were used in.

    Or maybe the dude shouldn’t have escalated the situation in the first place by leaving when the cops were called. It sorta got stupid on all sides, and I’m not quite sure why they didnt just drag his butt out (there seems to be some discussion about a UCCP rule about dragging students out of buildings) but this guy was being an idiot, too. He is at least partially responsible.

  19. Mr Moderate says:

    The police clearly taser this guy while he’s in handcuffs. That’s just brutality. The student was subdued by that point.

    A taser is specifically designed to interfere with motor coordination. It affects people differently; some people are hardly affected, other people are incapacitated for up to 15 minutes. I’m not exactly surprised that the student didn’t get up.

    And to all the people who say the student deserved the tasering because of the things he said, that’s ridiculous. You never taser someone for words, only for actions. He can yell the most ridiculous stuff that you can imagine and that’s simply not an excuse to taser him.

    Finally, tasers are hardly nonlethal. The cops in my hometown (Rochester, NY) killed a guy back in 2001 with a taser. Around 150 people have died in the last 5 years from tasers. (It is clearly better than shooting people, though.)

  20. legaleagle says:

    There is no single quality that Republicans worship as much as boot-licking servility in every form, and that is why they either excuse or outright approve of torture wherever and whenever it occurs. And that’s exactly what it is in this case, of course. Cops love any excuse to taser people they can get their hands on. Beyond suing the filthy scumbags blind, the best way to deal with this is for every human being associated with UCLA to spit on the floor and turn away every single time they pass any member of this force, until these sadists are flushed down the toilet, where they belong. Let them know they are loved as much as any vicious occupying army of brutal thugs.

  21. Anderson says:

    Anybody who can hear that and side with the cops needs to get the hell out of my country.

    Amen.

  22. Ticketplease says:

    Just like Chris said in the first post. Do what the man says and no one gets hurt. He didn’t do what the man said so HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED! Game over!!! I don’t know what is wrong with people these days. I get pulled over and I do what the officer says to do….verbatim. I never have any problems. Actually he got less than he deserved, but that’s another PC story, jeez!

  23. annie says:

    Do what he says and no one gets hurt…just follow orders, no questions, just “behave”.

    That sounds distinctly un-American to me.

  24. Phil Smith says:

    You can’t tell from the video what the kid did at the beginning of the confrontation. All you can tell (from the audio) is that he’s throwing a tantrum. Anyone who says, from this video, that he deserved or didn’t deserve to be tased is full of it. It just demonstrates your general views on police use of force, not the specifics of this situation.

  25. Scott G says:

    Responses to some of the comments above:

    There’s no question that some cops resort to the TASER (and sometimes chemical spray) too quickly. I caution my officers about it on a regular basis. That said, however, going to the TASER does not automatically indicate the officer’s desire to “punish” the suspect. In fact, it’s almost always to gain compliance so that more serious injury or tactics do not have to be employed. Any attempt to argue what a particular cop’s mindset is would be ridiculous — you can’t do it in court, and it doesn’t add anything to this discussion to do it here. Bottom line: you don’t know what the officer was thinking. I’m a cop, and though I know what most officers would probably be thinking, I can’t say for sure what those particular officers were thinking at the time.

    There are, indeed, rules, regs, policies and procedures that regulate how and when a TASER should be employed. Most of the time it’s contained in a department’s “Force Continuum”, which is basically their use of force policy, guided by legal principles. These vary from department to department, but almost all (if not all) start with mere officer presence. If simply the presence of the officer does not gain compliance from the subject — and in this case, it obviously didn’t — then we resort to verbal commands. Again the fact that the officers instructed the subject to stand up umpteen gazillion times proves that verbal commands were not working. In other words, the psychological/verbal/talk-them-down option wasn’t working, and there’s not always time, for various reasons, to keep that up indefinitely.

    At this point departments differ as to what the next step is, but many will authorize TASER application (they may call it “less than lethal” or “intermediate force” or whatever). I should note here that most departments require you to fill out a form describing why you used a TASER, and so forth. It is permissible to skip over steps in the force continuum, but you’d better be able to explain why you did, and if you don’t have a good reason, you will likely be disciplined for violating department policy.

    An officer will not TASE you for arguing with him, or even cursing at him. He will absolutely TASE you for not complying with his lawful orders (which is illegal, incidentally — even though that guy may have thought he had a constitutional right to not stand up), particularly if there is a safety issue involved. In other words, constitutional rights are inalienable, but they are not supreme. There are other legal considerations that trump your rights. Hence, for example, arrest and incarceration. You don’t have the freedom to disobey the lawful orders of a police officer. Sorry, but that’s the law of the land. Otherwise, we would have anarchy.

    I ordinarily would not TASE a suspect who has been handcuffed. However, that said, if I thought there was more chance of injury to either the suspect or myself if I had to carry or drag him, regardless of whether he was cuffed, then TASEing might be the best option. Contrary to popular belief, handcuffing does not necessarily subdue a suspect. There are dead police officers who have been killed by cuffed suspects.

    For the record, despite what the media would like to you think, there has not been one — not one — instance of a verified death by TASER. And, again, the physiology of the weapon necessarily means that once the TASER quits activating, there are no lingering effects beyond, perhaps, a second or two.

  26. M1EK says:

    Responding to the last few comments:

    Again, once the cop threatened to tase somebody for asking for his badge number, it became crystal-clear what we were looking at here. To continue to defend the cops after seeing that makes you nothing more than a rotten fascist.

  27. frank says:

    Scott, you are right about the law of the land. He couldn’t or wouldn’t get up, so he got hit. Makes sense. After all, while on the field, the police have the power to interpret the law.
    Off the field is a different story. And if this kid has any influential people or lots of money on his side the cops will be introduced to another law of the land. The law of getting SCREWED…not so sure they don’t deserve it.

  28. Devin says:

    Yikes, remind me never to be out after dark on the UCLA campus without having my papers in order. Maybe they could devise a system where the cops, or administration, could tattoo I.D. numbers on students so they can be more readily identified. Hmmmm…sounds familiar…

  29. Bryan R says:

    I like reading the responses of those who think the police were acting like gestapo. This is a college kid with an audience who had two choices. Stand up or get shocked. He chose number 2 repeatedly so he’d be able to talk about it at the next keg party. Throws some crap in there about the Patriot Act, etc etc. Makes me want to get a job on the UCLA police force. The one way the police went wrong is they should have asked him to stand up one more time.

  30. Anderson says:

    1933 in Germany becomes easier & easier to understand. “Don’t mess with the storm troopers, and no one gets hurt — how hard is that?”

  31. Devin says:

    Not one verified death attributed to the use of a taser? But when I do a search for just that thing I get hundreds of returns talking about deaths attributed to it’s use….oh wait, never mind, it clearly states those individuals died because their hearts stopped beating…whew, good to know they are 100% safe, was worried for a second there.

  32. Bryan R says:

    I hope the UCLA bulletin board or webpage points out how potentially deadly tasers are. Maybe the next “student activist” will stand up.

  33. Buddy says:

    Devin,

    Corrolation does not equal causation. Show me one case where a taser was directly attributed.

    *crickets*

  34. M1EK says:

    Bryan R,

    You’re a really awful excuse for a human being. Again, when the cops threatened to tase a bystander who asked for their badge number, it became obvious that the cops weren’t the good guys here.

  35. Bryan R says:

    M1EK, you are a pathetic piece of crap. Now that that’s out of the way…

    When a campus police officer who is there for your safety asks you to produce your ID card or leave the library after 11 PM for the safety of the other students, you should do it. He wasn’t mugged from behind. He was being a jerk.

    Before any force was applied, these “Nazis” told him what would happen. But like many college students, it was more of a hoot to play the victim than to comply with what is in the best interests of these other students that you care so little about. He got what he deserved.

  36. M1EK says:

    Bryan, you waste of blood and hair: the fact that those same cops threatened to tase somebody for asking for their badge number SHOWS WHO THE BAD GUYS WERE.

  37. Phil Smith says:

    Yep, Bryan and M1 just continue to demonstrate my point. I don’t think either one of you actually watched the video.

  38. Bryan R says:

    Nice tidy world you live in, you bloodless baldy. Good guys and bad guys. Was the comment about tasing somebody asking for a badge number inappropriate? Yes. If they had actually tased that guy, I’d agree the cop should get in trouble or suspended.

    I’m just not shedding tears over a guy who wanted to stir up some shit from the beginning. If Mr. Tabatabainejad had done what I would have done when I was in college; namely cursed under my breath and walked out of the library, not a hair would have been touched on his anarchic head. Gotta protect the normal folks from the jerkoffs. No tickie no washie.

  39. M1EK says:

    Phil and Bryan,

    Despite you trying your damndest to confuse the issue, it’s readily apparent who the bad guys are when a BYSTANDER ASKS FOR THEIR BADGE NUMBER AND IS THREATENED WITH THE TASER.

    That’s not just “inappropriate”. That’s fascism.

  40. Sven says:

    He was being a jerk.

    As Jack Nicholson once said, “My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.”

  41. Phil Smith says:

    Except that is not what happened, M1. Watch the video.

  42. Bryan R says:

    Whatever, snowflake. If the word fascism in reference to that one dumb remark by the cop makes you feel better, makes you feel like it’s a systemic conspiracy we’re too dumb or blind to see, you’ve got it. It was a fascist remark.

    But despite your best efforts to confuse the issue, every OTHER sentence was not fascist and was, rather, the bored repetition of “Stand up!” Know why they kept saying it, those fascist blackshirts? Because they wanted him to stand up, exit the library, and end the debacle that the student (not the fascists) created.

  43. Wayne says:

    Anderson You commented “Anybody who can hear that and side with the cops needs to get the hell out of my country. Amen”

    I side with the cops in this case. I have and will fight for this country. This is my county and I will fight for it to my end. I suspect you will run off to Canada before you fight for this country. So if anyone will be leaving it will be you.

  44. carsick says:

    As I watched the video I was stunned by the security guards seeming inability to defuse the situation. My understanding is that police go through extensive training in how to defuse situations much tougher than some students in a library watching a guy get kicked out for not having his library card. They seemed intent on escalating a situation where the student was yelling “I’m leaving!” The university will certainly have new guidelines written soon if they didn’t already and it will be a very expen$ive lesson.

  45. Bryan R says:

    Good job, Sven. If you can’t think of anything intelligent to say, you can always call someone a name. Funny how defending against the fascists and namecalling go hand in hand. I’m sure it’s just coincidence.

    And if you’re too dumb to do that, you can always quote someone else doing it.

  46. M1EK says:

    Phil, I’ve watched the video twice, and unlike yourself, also sought out news coverage in which a witness went on the record about the taser threat from the police.

    Again: a police officer who threatens somebody with a taser for asking for his badge number is a BAD GUY. No matter how bad the guy is who’s being restrained. Police being unwilling to identify themselves to the public is a clear sign of fascism.

  47. M1EK says:

    “But despite your best efforts to confuse the issue, every OTHER sentence was not fascist and was, rather, the bored repetition of “Stand up!” Know why they kept saying it, those fascist blackshirts? Because they wanted him to stand up, exit the library, and end the debacle that the student (not the fascists) created.”

    If they wanted him to exit the library, they could have just picked him up and carried him out. This is standard practice for many, many, many cases like this.

    When I watch this video, I see cops who really wanted to tase this guy.

  48. Wayne says:

    Carsick
    The student did yell, “I’m leaving!” but then refuse to stand up and actually leave. If you have ever dealt with people in these situations, you would know that they often will say one thing while doing something completely different.

  49. Wayne says:

    As many have stated before, when police physically manhandle someone there is a greater risk for physical injuries. Some units’ policies state to use tasers first. I use to prefer physical handling but that was just I but officers must follow their unit’s policies or they can be sued.

  50. carsick says:

    Wayne,
    All I can say is the police in my city are trained to deal with much worse situations than a kid in the library without his library card. Police officers, and those security guards don’t fall under the category, learn how not to escalate a situation into a near riot particularly over such a minor offense. Those guards’ idea of defusing the situation included repeatedly yelling “Stand up!” and a tazer. I know real officers are trained much better. Calmer heads did not prevail because there seemed to be no calmer heads present. Officers of the law are trained to deal with much more strenuous and stressful situations with calm deliberation. Those guys obviously lacked training or they slept through that class.

  51. Phil Smith says:

    That’s not what happened. And I did read the news reports.

    At 4:15, white tshirt starts jumping around like mick jagger.

    At 5:55, he starts in on the asian/south pacific officer, repeating “you shocked the guy”. At no time does he say “give me your badge number”. He waves his arms, bringing both hands within inches of the cop’s face.

    At 6:30, the cop has enough, and tells him to get away.

    At 6:34, a new cop shows up — he was not upstairs at the beginning of the ruckus — and tells white tshirt to “back over there”. He repeats the command. Finally, he says “Back over there or you’re going to get tased yourself.”

    During the entire debacle, white tshirt shows signs of significant adrenaline. I put on headsets and listened very carefully — I cannot hear him say anything about badge numbers until after he’s told to go away.

    You didn’t watch it. You brought your preconceptions and sat them in front of a computer screen. Pretty uninformative about anything but your preconceptions.

  52. M1EK says:

    Phil,

    The bystander who has gone on record about the taser threat was a female. You’re conflating two different threats (the one that the guy would get tased if he didn’t back off is separate from the one the girl got for asking for a badge number).

  53. carsick says:

    Phil
    The incident happened after 11pm. Are you notating minutes into the video?
    Another student, a woman, stated she was threatened with a tazer. Is the white t-shirt jumping around you mentioned that woman?
    “Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number.”

  54. M1EK says:

    So, obviously, you didn’t read the news reports, many of which contain a statement by a student named “Laila Gordy”.

    From the Bruin:

    Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number.

    Gordy was visibly upset by the incident and said other students were also disturbed.

    “It’s a shock that something like this can happen at UCLA,” she said. “It was unnecessary what they did.”

  55. Randy says:

    What exactly is the UCLA police? Are they bonafide officers with training, or did they just give them that title to make them feel good about themselves? The common security guard is usually nothing more than a cop wannabe. without the maturity or training to deal with kind of situations policemen encounter on a daily basis.

  56. annie says:

    The security guards in this case ARE real police officers, at least according to the local radio station in Los Angeles this morning, they weren’t rent-a-cops.

  57. carsick says:

    This just in, apparently the UCLA police failed to be consistent in their treatment of non-compliant perpetrators:
    “Nine students were arrested Thursday after leading a protest inside the UC Board of Regents meeting and refusing to exit the room when police officers tried to remove them.”
    None tazed. Of course, being in front of the board of regents may have had some effect on their actions.

  58. anjin-san says:

    Another day in Bush’s America.

  59. Phil Smith says:

    Yeah, I read about Laila. Yes, I’m notating the minutes on the tape. No, I’m not conflating anything. M1 was talking about the tape when he started in with the “get the hell out of my country/fascist” nonsense, and not about Laila or any other female.

    From the UCLA Bruin:

    “Also shocking is witnessing the male student who was threatened with a Taser after requesting an officer’s badge number.”

    Anybody who can hear that and side with the cops needs to get the hell out of my country.
    Posted by: M1EK at November 17, 2006 11:30

    Obviously, you didn’t hear it. So don’t even try to claim that you were talking about Laila. You were not talking about a female, you were talking about a male. And as I have already noted, I personally cannot hear anyone threatened with tasering or even arrest for merely asking for a cop’s badge. If you can, tell me where it is on the tape, and I’ll listen again. Until yhou do, I’m sorry — I can’t find anything of the sort. I did hear white tshirt get threatened with tasering, but not for asking for a badge. I’m not calling him a liar, incidentally; I’m pointing out that he appeared to be adrenalized to the gills, and his memory of the situation is not likely to be very reliable. I’ll rely on the video, thank you. And the video doesn’t support the claims being made.

  60. M1EK says:

    Phil, you lovely fascist-apologist:

    I was quoting a statement in the original article by the Bruin. Not the video. Not my own words (hence the quotes). Note the comment in which I mentioned that I sought out the video AND THE PRESS COVERAGE IN WHICH THE WITNESS WENT ON THE RECORD.

    Unless Laila Gordy and the other student are lying, which is of course a possibility, the cops are VERY BAD GUYS. And all I see is you tap-dancing around this issue trying your desperate best to make a very bad video look like sunshine and butterflies.

    What we’ve got: an awful-looking video and two witnesses (so far) on the record as being threatened with tasing for asking for badge numbers.

    What you’ve got? Nothing but faith.

  61. Phil Smith says:

    Nonsense. You are clearly the sort who, when he cannot defend his statements, calls names. I haven’t apologized for anyone, nor have I taken any side. I have stated repeatedly that the video doesn’t support the statements being made. Viz my first comment on this thread,

    You can’t tell from the video what the kid did at the beginning of the confrontation. All you can tell (from the audio) is that he’s throwing a tantrum. Anyone who says, from this video, that he deserved or didn’t deserve to be tased is full of it. It just demonstrates your general views on police use of force, not the specifics of this situation.

    Posted by Phil Smith at November 17, 2006 12:37

    And you, most obligingly, continue to illustrate that point. All I am certain of at this point is that if someone challenges you, they get called fascist. Improve your vocabulary, boy.

    And no, Laila does not have to be lying in order to be mistaken. I’m not even saying she is mistaken. I am saying that “eyewitness reports” aren’t always reliable. I’m also aware of other “eyewitness accounts” that dispute your favored version of events.

    The video doesn’t support you.

  62. carsick says:

    Apparently the student was tazed four or five times for non-compliance, not resisting or assaulting, non-compliance.
    Common sense tells me that non-compliance that does not endanger others or the perpetrator probably does not trigger multiple use of a taser by most official guidelines but we’ll see soon enough as the lawsuit and investigation proceed.

  63. Putting aside the issue of police brutality of a moment, as an alumnus of the UC system, I find the incident to be an embarassment. This kind of incident would NEVER happen at private university since the head of the university would immediately fire the security officers and probably some the security management for bringing bad publicity to the university. This kind of bad press will cost UCLA money in lost donations.

    I find it ironic that conservatives are so pro-police. The only reason these officers are not being fired for embarassing the university is that they are unionized and I know how much conservatives love unions, particularly for government employees. If I brought this kinda of bad press on my employer, I would be fired and rightly so. Whether the student deserved this or not, UCLA is shown in a bad light and the officers should be dimissed for that reason alone.

  64. M1EK says:

    Phil, your claim to not be supporting the officers here but instead be a skeptic is the most laughable thing I’ve read in these comments in quite some time, and that’s not an easy bar to surpass. Congratulations.

    And the word I called you was “fascist-apologist” as in “Phil is an apologist for fascists”. I stand by this 1000%. You’re an apologist for fascists. Don’t like being called that? Stop apologizing for them.

  65. ervington says:

    This is bogus. Do the police go through every single night and every student in the UCLA library for their photo identification after 11:00pm? Do they then monitor it like they do parking, walking around and checking new students who have come in since 1100 to make sure they also have their student ids? If it’s such a big deal, why not just check EVERYone’s id at the door.

    This isn’t about how much of a dumbass the arrested kid may or may not be, or about whether a taser is an appropriate tool in making an arrest. It’s about the fact that, in all likelihood, the only reason this kid was asked for his id was because he was “suspicious” looking (see color of skin….OR it might be that he was treated this way because he politely refused to show id…which would be a problem, except of course that he decided to leave. So at that point he got in trouble for…not having an id while using the library? Except of course, that he was leaving, so he was doing exactly what the police were supposedly there to enforce?

    As a recent college grad, it just doesn’t fit. Isn’t there a law that requires all of age US citizens to carry id on them at all times? Am I going to be arrested every time i go for a walk without my wallet? Does any campus actually take the policy of “required to have valid id on you at all times” seriously, or is it just a nice safety net/CYA policy so they can excuse harassing whomever they want?

  66. carsick says:

    ervington
    It has been many years but my old university made you show student ID just to get in the library. I know there were other ways to get in but you had to register to get a guest or researcher pass. Not uncommon from my experience of going to a Mid-Western urban university to be expected to profer an ID upon request.
    On the otherhand, if the UC student was considered more of a threat to the officers because he had darker skin color… well, that’s a different issue than just not being able to show he’s actually a student at the school.

  67. Phil Smith says:

    Tedious. If you have anything substantive to add, I might be interested. If you can offer nothing but name-calling, well, color me unimpressed. I am quite sure you do stand by your childish little accusations, but you have nothing to stand on, so good luck with that.

  68. Devin says:

    Buddy,
    I will agree that to date no causes of death have been “directly” attributed to taser usage. Many people with heart conditions and other ailments have just simply happened to die at the time of application, I’m sure there is no “direct” connection between the two. Some may say a heart condition is an extenuating circumstance and so the death cannot be linked to the taser because the heart in question may have just stopped of it’s own accord at the time. The heart, a large muscle that contracts when a physiologically produced electrical signal is conducted through it, may possibly be affected by a large jolt of electricity delivered to the body. By the ‘corrolation does not equal causation’ argument, I could assert that bullets have never killed anyone either. It was a heart condition that actually killed them, the heart has a design flaw which causes it to cease functioning when there isn’t enough blood for it to continue pumping. Or better yet, jumping off a tall building never killed anyone, it was that sudden stop on the pavement that did it.

  69. Robert says:

    When you outlaw guns, only outlaws (the police) will have guns.

    Sign me, liberal against gun control.

  70. Wayne says:

    I was wondering if the guy belongs to the drama club. Seems like some theatrical screaming for dramatic purposes.

  71. Todd says:

    First off, to those bringing up Rosa Parks and Holocaust images: What in the bloody hell is wrong with you?! Do NOT denigrate those events by even trying to compare this with them.

    Second, the childish behavior by some on this thread (particularly M1ek), is appalling. When you resort to name-calling, you show your ignorance. Grow up alreay!

    Third, if this young man had simply followed the established university rules as everyone else did, none of this would have happened. Seems someone thinks the rules don’t apply to them. You want to do that? Fine. Be prepared to take responsibility for your actions then.

  72. Jim Treacher says:

    Do what he says and no one gets hurt…just follow orders, no questions, just “behave”.

    That sounds distinctly un-American to me.

    Sounds like being a grownup to me. This child wasn’t “speaking truth to power,” he was throwing a temper tantrum because he didn’t want the mean policeman telling him what to do. By his own admission, he fell to the floor and began screaming BEFORE they zapped him.

    M1EK’s totally right about the fascism, fascism, fascism, fascism, fascism, and oh, don’t forget the fascism. That’s why the student was “disappeared” and all the witnesses are in hiding. Wait, no, actually he hired a lawyer and will probably make a mint from this, and they put on their Che shirts and held a protest. Just another day in Bu$h’s AmeriKKKa!

  73. another option: shoot the doofus with a rubber bullet, in the head. it should not be allowed to reproduce it’s apparent lack of intelligence into the gene pool

  74. Buddy says:

    Devin, look up cum hoc ergo propter hoc. Of course you’ve probably never heard of it because modern ‘schools’ don’t teach logic anymore. You can indeed prove a bullet caused a perforating heart injury and was causative of death. You can indeed prove that a fall caused blunt force trauma and was causative of death. But every taser death case I’ve seen so far has had some underlying factor (mostly upper drugs, coke or meth, but often a combination of that and heart disease, etc) that was the primary causative factor in these deaths along with the physical struggle the subject put up. Could the taser be a mitigating factor? Maybe.

    However unless you have some statistical analysis that shows an abnormal number of deaths resulting from arrest of cocaine jacked arrest vs non-taser arrests of cocaine jacked people then you can’t really say anything about causation, hence ‘corrolation does not equal causation’. Which BTW is not an ‘argument’ its a logical fallacy.

    My guess is that people who are jacked up on cocaine and resist arrest have an abnormally high death rate in general, and indeed there might be a trigger in re: taser use that can cause heart attack in these suspects, but no studies have been done, so the relationship is ancillary at BEST.

    Generally speaking, tasers are much less harmful that many forms of PHYSICAL restraint (including wrist locks, et al) In fact it is often more desirable to ‘encourage’ compliance in certain individuals than attempt to detain and apprehend, depending on how strenuously they are resisting. In this case, the jury is still out on that matter although I sort of lean toward ‘yes this was probably excessive’.

  75. jpe says:

    The guy wasn’t resisting, Buddy. So shove it.

  76. Buddy says:

    P.S. I have seen one case where the taser was identified as a cause of death. One case out of who knows how many uses, and the guy was, again, jacked up on meth AND he was shocked for like 2 minutes (this would be improper use, and the officer should be in trouble IMO)

    I still stand by my statement that with proper use these things are generally safe. I would like to see a third party, peer reviewed study on these things, though, too.

  77. Buddy says:

    jpe: and you know this how? Were you there? If so, enlighten us as other eye witnesses have said somewhat differently.

  78. Lex says:

    Still, I agree that the use of a taser against a skinny student for the crime of being a dumbass would appear to be an excessive application of force.

    Well, that’s big of you.

    I was with the cops right up through the first Tase. After that, they should have just picked the guy up and carried him out. But, no, they had to demonstrate who the badass was.

    Everything after that first Tase was nothing more or less than torture. These cops should go to prison. For the rest of their lives.

    And any cop who threatens a civilian who asks for his badge number should lose his badge, and his certification for wearing one, permanently.

    If you have a problem with freedom, get the hell out of my country.

  79. crux says:

    The kid should have been cited with a ticket. At worst, the cops (4 or 5 of them) should have dragged his ass outside the library and then cited the kid – or handcuffed him and hauled him away if he still couldn’t control himself. This would have been par for the course.

    Instead, according to many witnesses, they tortured him and threatened other students. Maybe they should’ve just pumped a few slugs into him and tossed his corpse down the stairs. Then impaled his head on a pike outside the library as an example to any other anti-authoritarian smartasses. Man, I wish I’d lived in imperial Rome.

  80. justme says:

    See this opinion on tasers from an LAPD officer:

    http://www.policeone.com/less-lethal/articles/1188331/

    … no questions anymore

  81. I am wondering what the exact rules are for students and id’s at UCLA’s libraries. When I was a student at UC Irvine (and granted, it’s been a while) we never needed an ID to be in the library. Indeed, I have used the UCI library at least once years after graduate without having an ID. I simply couldn’t withdraw books.

    When I was in grad school at the University of Texas, likewise there were no ID’s needed, save to check out books. I know that scholars actually travel to Austin to do research in the libraries and only need to identify themselves if they are seeking special privileges. Of course, that may have changed as well.

    I must confess that I don’t see the need to go around randomly checking IDs and if the ID is central, then students should have to show IDs when they enter (if they can do it at Sam’s and Price Club, they can do it at the library).

  82. ltieman says:

    “Still, we must come to grips with the fact that some officers in some agencies use the TASER in situations that most of us would agree are frivolous. The infamous video of an officer using a TASER on a lady sitting in a vehicle during a traffic stop, who would not put down her cellphone and produce her driver’s license, is an example.”

    From the policeone article, how is this situation any different. The kid did not have his library card. I could see this situation being warranted if there was an actual crime being committed and the criminal was not complying with police. But this was just some kid in a library. What would you think if you were sitting down and a cop came up to you and tried to remove you from the building for not having your id on you. I know I would be flabbergasted, and honestly I think most people would be too.

    I guess I do see a difference, the lady had broken the law by speeding, this kid was just sitting there minding his own business before the cops came up.

    If I was a cop, I would be pretty pissed off at these guys, because it is because of things like this that many people don’t like cops. 95% of all cops are good people who really want to make their communities a better place, but a rotten apple spoils the bunch.

    Finally, I find it hilarious all the “conservatives” here that are standing up unquestionably for the power of the state to use force to kick some one out of a public building for not having a piece of paper saying that he could be there. What happened to a fear of big government? What if these police officers were coming for your guns instead of for some kid in a library? He has the same constitutional rights to be there, as you do to have your guns.

  83. puddlejumepr says:

    This entire horrid episode stems from wasting police resources. Police should not be assigned to enforce school regulations. They should only be enforcing actual civil and criminal laws. Putting the police in a situation in which they are asked to enforce school rules that do not threaten the safety of civilians or harm property places them in a no win situation. If a student doesn’t comply and they let it go, they give up their authority and weaken the authority of the police force itself. If they force compliance as they would in an actual criminal matter, they will be correctly accused of overreacting to a non-threatening situation. Police are trained to deal with criminals, not annoying students who don’t always believe that the rules apply to them. This kid reacted to the police, as he would have to a library monitor who asked him to leave. He was annoying and a bit disruptive, but he would have gone eventually, but most likely he would have gone if the police had not been there to escalated the situation. In fact, a non-police officer attempting to get the kid to leave would have been able to threaten sending for police to remove him, which would have probably sent him on his way. Instead the kid reacted poorly to what he perceived as being bulling behavior by the police. What it comes down to, it is a simply surreal situation to have the police taser student over being in a school library without an id.

  84. Me says:

    This is F-ing rediculous. There are so many things wrong with this for so many reasons.

    Anyone who is arguing the cops were just doing their job is a complete friggin moron and completely ignorant about the issues involved. This kid is going to have a great lawsuit on those cops.

    It’s really F-in simple… cops can use a taser as a weapon, not a cattle prod, not a torture device. Just like cops can hit you in self defense, but cannot beat you until you do what they say (unless they are telling you to stop fighting, in which case it’s self defense). They tasered the kid for not getting off the ground.

    What if cops had tasered people at civil-rigts sit-ins? We’ve seen cops deal with this situation so many times…you cuff em, you carry em out. You do not taser them until they do what you say. That’s the quivalent of torture-till-submission.

    These cops obviously were not well-trained, were afraid (becuase they are cowards, really), and obviously have no idea what civil rights are. Obviously you’re average constituional scholar isn’t going to become a lowly-campus policeman, so I suppose this could be expected.

  85. YrbkMgr says:

    I am truly saddened by the commentary here.

    There was a program on the History Channel a while back about Kent State. One of the witnesses, a college girl, went home and told her dad about what happened, and rather than be concerned for his daughters life in an unruly situation, his reply was that the kids (kids, mind you) who got shot deserved it for not obeying.

    A 13 year old girl was abducted by a person who was posing as a police officer and held captive and raped. She did went along with him because she thought she was supposed to obey the policeman.

    So do we ALWAYS comply? Even when it’s wrong? If they tell you to strip and insert things into your body, do you deserve to be tazed for non-compliance? Ah. So there are limits. Who’s to say exactly where they lie.

    It saddens me to see so many people salivate at the brutality. I think those who support this notion of tazing a college kid who was non-violently non-compliant, enjoy torture.

  86. Todd says:

    Ahh, the typical liberal response: If you don’t agree with me, you must be a moron.

    Nothing but a bunch of intellectual fascists (since you libs LOVE to throw that term around.)

    University policy states that if you want to be in the library AFTER 11 p.m., all you have to do is show an i.d. What is so difficult to understand about that? Apparently, this guy is either too stupid or too arrogant to know better. He was asked to leave by campus security, people who are simply enforcing the rules set by the university itself. Don’t like the rules, take it up with the university, not the poor joe who is just doing his job. This kid refused, so the cops are called in. This kid escalated the situation. He could have simply gone back to his dorm and gotten his i.d. but NOOO, let’s put on a major production.

    What a drama queen.

  87. Power says:

    the guy was a foreigner, right? and a stupid liberal to boot.

    he had it coming.

  88. SHAHRIAR says:

    IT IS SAD TO SEE COMMENTS IN HERE BY PEOPLE WHO SEEMED TO ENJOY WATCHING THIS TORTURE AND STAY ON THE SIDE OF POLICE. AMERICANS ARE TRAINING THEMSELVES TO HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME MENTALITY AND WAY OF THINKING LIKE THIRD WORLD PEOPLE, AND IN PARTICULAR MIDDLE EASTERN FOLKS. IF YOU TURN OUT TO MATCH THE SAME PEOPLE IN A FEW YEARS TIME, THEN SURLY THEY HAVE WON THE BATTLE AND YOU HAVE LOST. I USED TO LOVE AMERICANS FOR THEIR WAY OF FREE THINKING BUT NOT ANY MORE. SAD

  89. Echo says:

    Right, ‘Todd’. Conservatives NEVER use derogatory remarks against people who disagree with them.

    I think everyone can agree that this kid was being a moron, fine. But arguing that the cops decided to use a taser on him because he was a danger to them is just insane. Aside from the fact that he is indeed a “skinny college kid”, he also showed absolutely no violent behaviour.

    He was NON-VIOLENTLY uncooperative.

    At no point did he ever threaten or take action against the cops.

    Do you seriously not see a problem with cops administering pain to subjects, merely out of convenience?

  90. YrbkMgr says:

    Don’t like the rules, take it up with the university, not the poor joe who is just doing his job.

    No, there is a case to be made that the kid didn’t do what he was told. The question is, does he deserve whatever he gets for not doing it? Was what the violator received, excessive? That’s the issue. Was the officer just a poor joe (all four of them) doing his job, or were they enjoying inflicting pain?

    When does non-violent civil disobedience become an offense for which physical harm and potential life threatening injury may be imposed?

    If he had died from it (say he was a hemophiliac), would he deserve what he gets?

    When did this nation become a place where one cannot protest what one believes is wrong. Is this Kent State all over again? Is it okay to shoot him?

    And Todd, I am NOT a liberal – I don’t think I know what a liberal is though; what I do know is that this country was founded on certain values and the notion that when someone disagrees with a police state view of things they are a liberal is an old trick stated clearly by Hermann Goering at the interview during the Nuremberg trials.

    What makes you so self righteous so as to believe that if someone disagrees with your view, they are a liberal?

    And answer this question please. If your daughter were the victim, if she believed she had a good reason to do what she did and they severely beat her with nightsticks, until she was unconscious, would you still say that she deserves what she gets?

    In the middle east if you make fun of their religion, they believe it is okay for you to be executed. They also think that if you dress provocatively, you deserve to be raped. Is that your view? You deserve whatever you get, regardless of its extremeness?

  91. jeff says:

    Anyone who is arguing the cops were just doing their job is […] completely ignorant about the issues involved. This kid is going to have a great lawsuit on those cops.

    It’s really […] simple… cops can use a taser as a weapon, not a cattle prod, not a torture device. Just like cops can hit you in self defense, but cannot beat you until you do what they say (unless they are telling you to stop fighting, in which case it’s self defense). They tasered the kid for not getting off the ground.

    What if cops had tasered people at civil-rigts sit-ins? We’ve seen cops deal with this situation so many times…you cuff em, you carry em out. You do not taser them until they do what you say. That’s the quivalent of torture-till-submission.

    These cops obviously were not well-trained, were afraid (becuase they are cowards, really), and obviously have no idea what civil rights are. Obviously you’re average constituional scholar isn’t going to become a lowly-campus policeman, so I suppose this could be expected.

    -ME

    He’s right you know.

    It’s suprising to read so many opinions that propose the student who was in the library studying ‘got what he deserved.’ Beside not having his ID on his person, which is required by UCLA rules, what exactly did he do that illicits such harsh judgement?

    Imagine getting stopped while driving, not having your drivers license, being asked to put your hands on the sterring wheel and being shocked until you comply. You would never stand for it.

    The video does not reveal the student being billigerent, as far as I can tell. Even if it did, they can arrest him and charge him, but they can’t inflict pain until he cooperates.

  92. crux says:

    Another Echo for Todd the biased blockhead (read slowly for best results):

    For all I know the guy left Iran to get away from all the tasering he was experiencing over there. Or maybe he’s just an asshole/clever opportunist ($$)?

    The point these liberals/students/naysayers/American citizens are making is that their perceived boundaries of police force had been crossed – into brutality – and not whether the cops should have been doing their job or not. Were the cops too forceful? And better yet, why?

  93. Alastair McGowan says:

    As a British citizen who has had little experience of America the video I saw disgusted me. The wanton aggression and violence on the part of the officers seems to me unjustifiable. The use of a weapon as a means of gaining compliance is simply unacceptable in the rest of the Western world, and to do that repeatedly simply because he would not or could not stand up takes it over the line into torture. If this is your idea of civil freedom and democracy it”s no wonder you are having trouble convincing people in the rest of the world to accept your model of society. I have decided never to visit your country again. I have written to your embassy about this in greater length.

  94. Jim Treacher says:

    “The use of a weapon as a means of gaining compliance is simply unacceptable in the rest of the Western world…”

    Oh, that’s a good one.

  95. M1EK says:

    Once again, for all the trogolodytes who didn’t get it the first ten times:

    whether or not the kid himself deserved to be tased, the cops proved themselves to be bad guys when they threatened to tase bystanders.

    http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/11/aclu-says-ucla-taser-cops-are-guilty.html

  96. jeff says:

    “I have decided never to visit your country again. I have written to your embassy about this in greater length. -Posted by: Alastair McGowan ”

    Th embassy won’t care. Write the President of UCLA.

    Reconsider your travel plans. Come to cradle of Liberty, Boston, MA. We still take civil liberties seriously.

  97. jeff says:

    Ahh, the typical liberal response: If you don’t agree with me, you must be a moron.
    Posted by: Todd at November 18, 2006

    Since when is it “liberal” or “conservative” to expect campus police to use force responsibly?

    The police are responsible for the civil rights of suspects (in this case a suspect of tresspassing of which he is not guilty.) The suspect was handcuffed. He was not a danger to himself, to bystanders or to the police. The police repeated use of a taser weapon aginst the suspect amounts to unjustified battery. The police have no reasonable claim to self sefense.

    Todd, I don’t think you’re a moron. I think you’re wrong. I could care less whether you’re a liberal, conservative or Bush loving hating neo-con.

  98. Wayne says:

    “The use of a weapon as a means of gaining compliance is simply unacceptable in the rest of the Western world…”

    Try screwing around with the German Polizei and you will find out real fast what a B.S. statement that is.

    Many post keep stating that this was a non-violent crime and the police shouldn’t enforce it if it means escalating the situation. If you not going enforce non-violent crimes then why have the laws on the book in the first place. I guess the next time I go to the movie; I walk in without paying then refuse to leave when the police show up. Then according to the posters, the police should just leave me alone or write me a ticket, which I won’t pay since I didn’t show my I.D. and it in itself is a non-violent crime.

    The kid didn’t get taser because he didn’t show I.D. but because he physically resisted. Passive resistance but resistance no less.

  99. Wayne says:

    If one gets stop while driving and don’t have their license with them. A police officer can take them in. The officer won’t taser the driver just for not carrying their license but if the driver refuses to go with the officer then they will be taser or some other means will be used to gain their cooperation.

  100. jeff says:

    I guess the next time I go to the movie; I walk in without paying then refuse to leave when the police show up. Then according to the posters, the police should just leave me alone or write me a ticket, which I won’t pay since I didn’t show my I.D. and it in itself is a non-violent crime.
    Posted by: Wayne at November 20, 2006 15:16 Permalink

    The police can arrest you, handcuff you and escort you to the police station.

    If you threaten them physically, they can subdue you.

    If you do not threaten the police physically, they cannot assault you with their person, their gun or their taser.

    If you refuse to cooperate, you can be charged with resisting arrest and ignoring the lawful orders of a police officer. If you continue to resist, the police can forcible remove you. Still, they cannot strike you or shock you or shoot you to compel you to leave the building or take whatever action they require of you.

    Your straw man movie theatre scenario fails to address the issue sin play in the ICLA library case.

  101. Wayne says:

    Taser is considered a non-lethal method. Often considered by some as less violent then physical contact. It has been hail in the past as a means to replace physical contact. So in a way, many of the liberal posters are advocating more violence.

    As for the movie scenario, it was in response to the posters stating that the original offense was a non-violent crime and therefore should be ignore. The movie scenario just illustrated how stupid that argument is. The police would have not only the right to use physical and/or nonphysical means including the taser to remove me but an obligation to do so. Again, the taser is considered by many to be less violent than physical force.

    “If you refuse to cooperate, you can be charged with resisting arrest and ignoring the lawful orders of a police officer. If you continue to resist, the police can forcible remove you.”

    Which is precisely what many of us have been arguing in this UCLA case. It was the student’s refusals to cooperate that cause the commotion. I suspect that if they manhandle the student then the same people would argue that they should have use the taser especially if the student received injuries during the process.

  102. jeff says:

    TASER-Related Deaths Increasingly Frequent

    NEW YORK – March 28 – “[It was] the most horrendous experience [of my life]. At one point I just pretended like I was dead because I thought … then they would stop.” — Patricia Skelly, who has a mental illness, and was shocked with a TASER between nine and 15 times while in jail and later in a hospital.

    Sixty-one people died in 2005 after being shocked by law enforcement agency TASERs, a 27 percent increase from 2004’s tally of 48 deaths, finds an Amnesty International study released today. Including 10 TASER-related deaths through mid-February of this year, at least 152 people have died in the United States since June 2001 after being shocked with the weapons.

    “Despite a lack of independent research on TASER safety, police officers are using these weapons as a routine force tool — rather than as a weapon of last resort,” said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). “These weapons have a record that’s growing longer each week — and it’s not a good one. The increasingly frequent TASER-related deaths underscore the need for an independent, rigorous and impartial inquiry into their use.”

    link

  103. jeff says:

    TASER-Related Deaths Increasingly Frequent

    NEW YORK – March 28 – “[It was] the most horrendous experience [of my life]. At one point I just pretended like I was dead because I thought … then they would stop.” — Patricia Skelly, who has a mental illness, and was shocked with a TASER between nine and 15 times while in jail and later in a hospital.

    Sixty-one people died in 2005 after being shocked by law enforcement agency TASERs, a 27 percent increase from 2004’s tally of 48 deaths, finds an Amnesty International study released today. Including 10 TASER-related deaths through mid-February of this year, at least 152 people have died in the United States since June 2001 after being shocked with the weapons.

    “Despite a lack of independent research on TASER safety, police officers are using these weapons as a routine force tool — rather than as a weapon of last resort,” said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). “These weapons have a record that’s growing longer each week — and it’s not a good one. The increasingly frequent TASER-related deaths underscore the need for an independent, rigorous and impartial inquiry into their use.”

    link

  104. Kevin says:

    As an aspiring Law Enforcement Officer. I personally do not agree with the use of Taser. There are far too many studies that show prolonged use of taser application is extremely harmful and in some cases can be fatal. I believe with enough officers present a suspect can be safely “taken down”. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of scenarios that one could justify the use of a taser. But I’m willing to bet that there are equal amount of scenarios where it is not necessary.

    Remember: we were put on this earth to serve and protect. Not beat someone into submission.

  105. YrbkMgr says:

    And even though we might disagree with a single tasing in this case, the multiple tasings were excessive by any measure. It became like those guys who squirt water at the cat to watch it jump.

    Why do police officers use tasers? Because they work. What does that mean? That means that the subject is subdued.

    To tase the guy, then demand he get up when it is physically impossible, and then tase him again when he doesn’t (cannot) comply, is torture.

    If these cops had tased him once, cuffed him and then brought him in, like they’ve done for two hundred years before tasers were invented, no one would have said anything. But multiple tasings, in concert with threatening the bystanders with tasings, is police brutality, period.

    If they couldn’t have brought him in without tasing him, they aren’t cops.