UCLA Student Tasered for Not Showing ID in Library

fuck ucla cops fuclaUpdated below

He wouldn’t show his ID, and he wouldn’t leave on his own. So THEY SHOT HIM WITH A STUN GUN!

23-year-old Mostafa Tabatabainejad is my hero-of-the week.

The arrest was recorded on another student’s camera phone and showed Tabatabainejad screaming while on the floor of the computer lab. The video also showed the student shouting, “Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your [fuckin’] abuse of power…”Here’s the cell-phone vid of the incident posted to YouTube:

< ---LATimes.com photo gallery – Friday protest.

Here’s the AP account from Thursday:

“As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building,” [UCLA Police Department Spokeswoman Nancy] Greenstein said…. Tabatabainejad encouraged others at the library to join his resistance. When a crowd began to gather they used the stun gun on him.

Click here for the Daily Bruin article.
taser gun rally LAist UCLA
Henry posted photos at LAist from Friday’s rally like this —>

And more suspended-in-disbelief commentary from Martini Republic, LAObserved, and UCLA LJ forum

UPDATES:

From the L.A. Times 11/21: Terrence Duren, an 18-year veteran of the UCLA Police Department, tased Tabatabainejad five times. A 2001 UCLA officer of the year, Duren has been the subject of other use-of-force complaints and previously recommended for dismissal. In one previous incident, Duren shot and wounded a homeless man in a University building, a case that went to trial. Duren has stated all of the past allegations against him regarding police misconduct and use of excessive force were investigated by the UCPD and proven false.[8] Prior to joining the UCPD in the late 1980s, Duren was fired from the Long Beach Police Department.

I like Reuters’ angle on the issue, including an interview with the founder of Cop Watch LA.

Keith Olbermann discusses with Daily Bruin‘s Sara Taylor here.

FOUR NEW VIDEOS
The Daily News reports:

four new videos surfaced online Thursday, showing Los Angeles police clubbing two young people as they videotaped the arrest of a third during a [July 8 Minutemen rally] in Hollywood.

Welcome Boing-ers, Cory and others dig up a bit more dirt here. The Small Print Project is still in effect — help me out here.

121 Replies to “UCLA Student Tasered for Not Showing ID in Library”

  1. The dumbass should have left and not fought the police to produce this “martyr” video. It's obvious he didn't leave when he had the chance and he should have stood the fuck up. Obviously everyone has rights but when your using your rights to be a dumbass your dumbass should get tazed. Unfortunately your dumbass is probably smart enough to sue. Poor rich dumbass your still a dumbass.

  2. You are all wrong – this event was partially
    staged- as propaganda for the new police state-

    you are being conditioned and manipulated-as you
    have been all your life-
    You are being trained that if you ask wrong questions you will be tortured-
    WRONG QUESTIONS = TORTURE or Concentration camps-
    Unpaid Taxes= Torture / Jail
    Read wrong book = TORTURE
    Best thing you can do is watch the Video online
    ” Zeitgeist the Movie ” Educate yourself and
    don’t let them manipulate your mind and steal your
    sole.

  3. well this just goes to show that our rights r not worth the papper there wrought on freedom of speach out the door. i see he got taserd for no reason and anyone who can see that is a nuckle head . he was asking a question after listion to john kerry for 2 hours . these student pay for there education than when lectur or a speach comes up there on full alert and useing deadley force. i think the rent o pigs should be fired and charged and i think andrew should file a few suits of his own against the school along with the rent o pigs . and anyone elese who had anything to do with this ……

    i ask why wasnt john kerry arrested for beaing so boring .
    the best part of the speach was the action.

  4. Anyway as to my last comment i can only think that we are getting to deep into this and a change of subject would do us all good just my 10 cents worth.

  5. This is great, after this much time has passed, I’m still able to watch this video to put a smile on my face. Anyone know of any other videos of assholes getting whats coming to them?

  6. I’m an american soldier, and I have to say, the way the police handled this is horrible. They did not abide by proper proceedures. Unless the person was violating the LAW, they are not allowed to tazer more then one time. After that, they are only allowed to struggle with them. Also, they kept refusing to give out their badge ID’s. By american law, any government official (including officers) is required to give out their badge ID if asked. However, they are also allowed to ask for that persons ID in return. However, they cannot refuse, because they are legal to be reported by civillians.
    These officers did not follow proper procedure, the kid said he would leave, they did not give him that chance. By all means, I hope these officers are identified, and the man presses charges (which he can do!), because they will not only loose their badges, but any chance they ever had at any other job.

  7. What the heck is going on over there in the Left Coast? I’m here on the East Coast at UF and can’t ever imagine that crap happening here at UF. I guess we’re not as anal and up tight about rules and regulations here to the point of tazering someone.

  8. It saddens me to read some of the comments written that give the impression that it is ok to use violent acting against a non violent individual. The fact that people in our society can say things like “That idiot should have just left when he was asked. He has full responsibility for this incident.” Why did the police not have an EMT place him on a stretcher and remove him? Police should only use pain as a self defense mechanism, which is the law citizens have to follow.

  9. those who excersize power and control must do so from a mindful state with intentions for the well being of all beings. clearly this is a failure in this incident… those who define the suffering of others shall so to be made to endure that which they have forced others to endure…no matter how ignorant our justifications, what you give is ultimately what you get, if you fail to recognize this and treat others poorly or as you would not have yourself treated, you can look no further then your own past actions as your oppressors and causes for suffering and failure to connect and enjoy the best of life. o well they will all figure it out eventually one way or another…

  10. Quote by Voice of Reason
    “That being said, the police cannot use any force neccessary to make a suspect comply that isn’t posing a danger to himself or others, i.e. being violent and posing an imminent threat.”

    So what do they do about robbery?

    You can guess where I stand. I dont think he should have been tased, but the guy was dealing with cops. Cops arent suppose to take an hour of shit from some dumbass drunk on the side of the road while he/she can ‘exercise the constitutional right’ of something. They dont comply, they use the means necessary. Like-wise, they probably dont need to be taking shit from some guy above the law standing on his pedestal in fron of a couple hundred other people defying authority for whatever reason WHILE he was at fault. The whole time he was standing there saying ‘dont touch me’ or whatever he could have been walking out of the building with a officer holding his arm, but he had to make his point.

    Ok no I dont think he should have been tased either but I personally wouldn’t be defying the authorities when I can rationally say I am at fault.

    Also, that video doesn’t really show the situation from the best ‘angle.’ Starts too late and is too far away to see whats goin on.

    How about this. You have a get-together at home with some friends and a few friends of friiends. One of they is being annoying you tell him to leave. In 5 min the preson isn’t gone, what are you ganna do. Let him exercise his right to be there? Bull shit.

  11. Voice of Blah Blah Blah,

    You don’t have to pity me, unless you think me laughing my ass off the 4th and 5th time they shocked him is a reason. I’ve never even met anyone that has acted like this in a library especially during midterms. There were probably 200 people in there and it’s probably 30 minutes minimum of study time they missed out on. I couldn’t tell you the difference 30 minutes of study time saved my ass on exams. What does that say about the respect he had for everyone there? It’s ass-clowns like this that would have made me want to take a bat to his knees and give him a real reason to sit on his ass.

  12. To Peter– I never said that tasers should go away so please do not put words in my mouth. I just simply stated they’re illegal in NYS. And used correctly, I would definitely see tasers as a useful protective weapon. If tasers were legal in NYS, I’m sure I would carry one just like the pepper spray I carry for personal protection. But to see tasers being used so recklessly by those who are licensed to carry them, especially in the position of law enforcement, erases to the question marks as to why NYS banned them in the first place. And once again, the student was not inciting a riot with his words. He never asked any student to attack police and all of the bystanders were nothing but cooperative.
    To Voice of Reason– Thank you for not just being the voice of reason but also for being the voice of sanity.

  13. Let me preface this by saying that my father is a cop.

    That being said, the police cannot use any force neccessary to make a suspect comply that isn’t posing a danger to himself or others, i.e. being violent and posing an imminent threat. “When faced with obvious non-compliance, the officer has the legal right to use whatever force is reasonably neccessary to gain compliance.” This statement is absolutely false, Joe Manning. I don’t know what movies or shows you’ve been watching, but passive resistance, like falling limp, no matter how obviously non-compliant it is, never necessitates or legally warrants brute force like that of a tazer. It’s the law, not my opinion.

    And how do I know that it’s passive resistance that the student was engaged in and not violence or behavior of the nature that would provoke a clear threat to himself or others? Aren’t I just hastily assuming too much in defense of the alleged victim based on a shoddy video and my sympathy for the young man? Nope, the police THEMSELVES have made official statements admitting exactly this to the press prior to the ensuing investigation. He fell limp; that’s what he did. That was the “struggle.” So all you’re babbling about “he applied physical force against the officers that attempted to remove him from the building” is an utter fabrication on your part and in complete contradiction with the facts. Do a web search and watch the press conference if you think I’m just making non-objective assumptions. I’m not going to spend time specifically questioning your motives or biases here, but you are spouting out lies sir.

    So let’s continue with some more of your greatest hits now… “The individual began to attempt to garner support from others that had gathered around in resisting the officers attempt to remove him from the building.”

    Come on now, these people in a gathering weren’t rebelliently joining in a display of any kind, nor were they overtly physically stopping the officers from leaving or doing their job. They were an anxious, curious crowd moping about, clearly stunned by the scene they were witnessing and feeling genuine sympathy for another human being on the ground being tazered for passive, and yes, complete and utter non-compliance. A few, and I stress, a bare few indeed pleaded for the officers to stop and also asked for their information with clear concern and at times indignance. Oh bestill my heart at the violent uprising to challenge the poor civil servants doing their duty.

    Furthermore, the very accusation by the police that the student attempted to gather resistance against the police is completely unfounded based on the evidence. All we can clearly ascertain is that the student was certainly seeking to draw attention to what was going on at the time. Anything further to say is pure speculation, colored by one’s own intuition. Just because the police said it happened does not make it so, just like what the student himself said isn’t taken without rational scrutiny and the reserving of difinitive conclusions about the specifics of the incident which are not documented or supported by the video or witness testimony available.

    “The student began to behave beligerently, he used inappropriate and extremely disrespectful language, he applied physical force against the officers that attempted to remove him from the building ”

    So what exactly is appropriate language for someone being electrocuted? “Kindly stop tazering me, oh mighty officer sir”? Cursing less than a handful of times seems within reason to me when you’re being repeatedly tazered by some intimidating men and are on the ground writhing in agony. I’m going to stop there because that line of reasoning is too absurd to spend more than three or four sentences expounding on. And the second idea presented there I already showed was complete bs, which can again be verified by those seeking to be objective by viewing the video of the official statement made to the press.

    So what have we established so far?

    1) Force is not legally justified for all forms of non-compliance, especially not passive resistance.

    2) The student was NOT taking violent actions of resistance or using any force on the officers. And let’s be logical here, if he had done so, he’d be CHARGED FOR IT. He’d be charged with assaulting an officer, which he has not been, another sign that half of yours and others’ depiction of the events is false.

    3) The student may or may not have tried to stir up others to engage in dissent or riotous behavior. This is purely a case of he said/they said and we can only rely on the witnesses not directly associated with the police or the victim and the video itself for finding out what really happenened that day. All we know for sure is that he tried to draw a lot of attention to his being detained, grabbed, and tazered. Is this something to deplore or be taken aback by?

    4) To the unfortunate disapproval of some, people sometimes curse when severe pain is being inflicted on them in dramatic circumstances. This must truly come as a shock to us all. Let us celebrate the brilliant insights of those who would point this out.

    5) Someone being tazered and yelling ironically draws quite a crowd in a university setting. And wouldn’t you know it… onlookers are even compelled to voice well articulated, polite discontent a few times during the witnessing of such an incident.

    And this rebuttal could be endless. *sigh* As someone else said, how could he be using the university computers to complete a paper (that was due Wednesday morning if you watched the interview with his lawyer on MSN) if he wasn’t an actual student. Perhaps if these protectors of the peace were really interested in doing so, they would have done some actual police detective work before seizing on the man and tazering him for not bowing down to their commands.

    A general overall point that must be made here is that the police are NOT the law. They are state employees paid to enforce the law, and they must do so legally, following very strict procedures, which these officers clearly did not. You do not have to listen to what cops tell you just because they tell you to and simply because they are “law enforcement officers.” If you know your rights and stand up for them, no matter how obnoxious you come off or whether you were doing it to cause a scene or not, you are supposed to be protected by the law, not assaulted with tazers. As another person said, the one cop threatening the other concerned student to follow instructions or he would be tazered too tells volumes about the entire situation. These cops could have humorous an unruly, stubborn student who was suspicious of profiling and casually resolved the matter, but instead they chose to light him up like a Christmas tree… and then carry him out. *bangs ahead against wall repeatedly*

    It’s all rather transparent. Some of you are confusing obedience to authority with safety and true legal procedures. In truth, this student could have been calling the officers “pigs” for five minutes straight and not leaving and they still wouldn’t be legally justified to tazer him. Is that clear? Seriously, that’s how the law works. Cops can’t just act in the heat of the moment like that even when someone’s being stubborn, difficult and overtly defiant of their orders. The police have to have just cause for taking such extreme actions, and they will certainly fail to provide such just cause when this entire issue gets brought up in court.

    Outside of the setting of martial law, officers of any law enforcement agency cannot zap you just because you won’t stand up. Anyone who thinks that’s the law or should be is a fool, an apathetic wretch, or perhaps both. And for the person that mentioned the “battle” taking place…. you’re either a gifted comedian or completely out of touch with reality. What we saw was one human being suffering at the hands of severely overreactive authority figures, and for what… his passive, non-violent, albeit obnoxious, annoying, stubborn, unruly, etc. etc. non-compliance.

    You know, rapists sometimes get less punishment for their crimes than this university student got for simply refusing to show his ID card to staff and police to make a point because he thought he was being profiled, and very well may have been, though that it indeed speculation at this point and perhaps paranoia on his part. The bottom line is that the cops were wrong in the overreaction to a situation that would’ve been best and most easily handled by the officers doing their jobs correctly, or at the very least CARRYING HIM OUT instead of applying numerous tazer shocks and hurting some kid, enflaming a university and and millions of concerned citizens, and putting themselves in a position to risk their jobs and face jail sentences. The whole thing makes any rational, empathetic person sick to their stomach. If it doesn’t, I pity you.

  14. oh common.. aaron, how many time you need to tasered him, for him to get under control. his neorone was paralzed.. i guess one time should do. men.. theres a lot of ways to make certain people to get them under control.

  15. well, its difficult to take sides as everyone will have their own arguments, but you also have to remember that cops are not as educated as they seem to be. After some bachelors degree, I don’t know what subjects they are trained in, but I don’t think their IQ is high enough to imagine what 50000 Volts can do to the human body. Imagine a guy with a pace maker or some embedded electrical device..suffering this torture.. More research has to be done in this field and cops should be educated about the impact of their weapons on the subjects.

  16. That idiot should have just left when he was asked. He has full responsibility for this incident. The police did not escalate it, he did. He had to be tasered to get him under control. The police should be suing him for wasting their time.

  17. I wonder what the reaction would be if he was a suicide bomber and blew up the library that killed all of the students present. (He did have a back pack with unknown contents) Would the cops be blamed for insufficient use of force?

  18. Jenn or anyone that doesn’t believe in tasers for that matter, Officer Injuries down 80%, Suspect Injuries down 67%, Lethal Force down 78%, Baton Strikes down 56%… If you think Tasers are going away anytime soon, you truly are misguided. I’m sure no one can give me an answer but I’ll ask the question anyways, Can anyone give me an example in the complete history of our planet that anyone asked others to “join your resistance” when they were leaving an area? Is it really not easy for you to see his true intentions? You call yourself a New Yorker and yet you can’t read this guy like a child’s book? Sad sad sad…

  19. I am a New Yorker so this event is particularly disturbing to me as NYS Law makes the use of tasers illegal. I didn’t even know law enforcement in other states used tasers; then to hear about law enforcement using tasers so recklessly and forcefully is incredibly disturbing. Yes, the student was very angry but the bottom line is he was UNARMED. He posed no threat to the general public and definitely posed no threat to armed and trained law enforcement personnel. Thankfully this was not the case but what if this student had a heart condition or a pacemaker? One taser shot would have been dangerous enough but five could have killed him. Furthermore, the student was already cuffed and apprehended when he was tasered. How can anyone think of that as even remotely necessary? Then they tasered him again because he wouldn’t “stand up”. WHO would be able to stand up after a TASER shot? This student was not fighting or kicking or attacking anyone in anyway– he wasn’t even able to get to his feet. He was simply spewing outrage– which last time I checked, arrested or not, every individual still has the right to free speech. The student had been arrested and the officers only kept saying stand up as they tasered him back down– I did not hear any Miranda Rights being read on that tape. People are actually commenting that this story is only getting coverage because the student was of Iranian descent. But stop and think about it from the beginning– would the officers have been so excessive and brutal in tazing him if he had been Caucasian? And then threatening to taze students for trying to go to the aid of a kid who couldn’t get to his feet by the end of it is definitely an abuse of power.

  20. Joe manning, your comment suffers because of several assumptions that you make. I won’t address them all, but one glaring one is that police can use ANY force to force a suspect to comply. This is simply not true. If a suspect not complying because he’s kicking around, the police can’t break his legs to stop him from kicking. Granted, this is an extreme example.

    But this is all irrelevant. In this case, the police had no reason whatsover to shock the student AFTER he was handcuffed. Read comment 82. The police could have avoided the pain of the drive stun by simply picking the student up. The police went way overboard.

  21. Interesting part at the end where the police officer, demanding that an angry student steps back from the scene, says

    “Get back or you’ll get tasered too…”

    There’s a telling comment if ever I heard one.

  22. It is absolutely ridiculous to assume any wrongdoing on the part of the UCPD officers that apprehended this Iranian-American student.

    The officers are being accused of singling out this student because he was Iranian and using excessive force.

    Let’s look at the facts:

    First of all – the police officers did not single out this person. They responded to a call for service at Powell Library. The call for service was initiated by a CSO (Community Services Officer) which is in fact a student “security” employee of the University. The officers did not choose the person they had to detain and remove from the library – the CSO identified the person as one that could not prove that they belonged in the library and thus this person was in violation of University policy and a probable threat to student safety.

    The officers verified that what the CSO stated was true – the person was unable to provide a photo identification that proved that he was in fact a student and had a reason to be in the library at that time.

    The officers verbally instructed the person to leave the building several times.

    The individual made the choice to not comply with the lawful order of a state police officer. The officer at that point had cause to detain and if neccessary arrest the individual. Anyone with any common sense knows that when you are instructed to do something by a law enforcement officer – you comply first and then you can enter a dialog with the officer if you choose to do so – but you comply first.

    When faced with obvious non-compliance, the officer has the legal right to use whatever force is reasonably neccessary to gain compliance. The individual made efforts to not comply – he let his body go limp and attempted to prevent the officers from removing him from the building. The officer called for backup, and several other officers – including a sergeant – arrived to assist with keeping other individuals from becoming involved. The individual began to attempt to garner support from others that had gathered around in resisting the officers attempt to remove him from the building. The student began to behave beligerently, he used inappropriate and extremely disrespectful language, he applied physical force against the officers that attempted to remove him from the building.

    The officer’s attempt to use the “drive stun” function of the Taser was a reasonable force option. He could have used physical force – which would have likely left lasting damage in the form of cuts or bruises on the student’s body. Instead he used a light pain compliance force option that would leave no lasting damage to the individual. The “drive stun” function of the taser is not something that would quickly disable someone. It is intended to deliver a shock to the individual in the effort to cause them to comply – or “drive” them in the direction that you want them to go – sort of like a cattle prod. They did not actually shoot the student with the Taser. If they actually shot him using the Taser cartridge he would likely have been immediately disabled and unable to walk on his own.

    The officers used reasonable force and only that force neccessary in an effort to gain compliance from an individual.

    What are students protesting? That a student is not above the law? That they too must comply with the lawful order of a law enforcement officer? Are they protesting that the UCLA Campus has a policy in place that requires University identification be carried if a student, staff member, or faculty member desires to be in any library building after a certain hour in the evening?

  23. UCLA seems to have a policy requiring building security to randomly check ID’s. Problem: UCLA is a public institution, and thus ANY tax payer has the right to be on campus and in public campus buildings (like the library). Why has no one at UCLA challenged what is so obviously an illegal policy?!?! I am a graduate student at Indiana University and we can’t even ask the homeless guy not to hang around the Student Union. How is it that at a university twice the size of mine, no one has thought to challenge this “random ID check policy”?!?!?!

  24. As you all learn to sing “One Song” at your “University” remember that the melody is fascism.
    If so many people graduate college for enlightenment how come the vast majority of you end up sucking corporate wind and making the world a much worse place.
    If you don’t like martial law how come it exist in the United States?
    UCLA is just a factory for obediance training.
    Suckers! Lazy, apathetic sheep!

  25. The taser is meant to stop a dangerous suspect without the use of a firearm. It was never meant for use on an unarmed individual who doesn’t present a danger to law enforcement. The fact that the student refused to get up is nothing more than civil disobedience. The police, by tasering him ONCE never mind FIVE TIMES were abusing their power. There were enough members of law enforcement there to cuff him and carry him out without the use of tasering. One last thing: Tasers are being questioned due to numerous deaths related to their use. They are being abandoned by many police departments throughout the country because of the danger they represent. The excessive number of times they used the taser on him could have killed him, particularly if he had a condition unknown to them or the student himself. Would the taser have been justified then? I think not. The mere fact that he refused to comply is not justification for tasering. He did not, again, present a threat to anyone in that library, either to the other students, the police or himself.

  26. for all those who thought the cops were right about this whole situation im sorry to say ur pretty fuckin stupid and dumb. If u havent done shit why should u even show ur damn Id to the cops. i wouldnt. simple as that. and a lot of cops are F’n racist. Cops do a lot of illegal shit and tell us to abide by the laws. LAWS MY ASS. the cops are fuckin stupid and they think they know what their doin. Cops in this country are worthless. And to those who think he was wrong I just wanna see yall MoFo’s get tazed and i’ll just cheer the cops right on.

  27. these people who call themselves police, are just bunch of assholes who are in power. All of them abuse their power. Taiser a student because he didn’t show his I.D. are you serious? What kind of bull shit is that? because he is Iranian, they assume he is up to something? Imagin how many times this happened when no one has a camera, and no one is around.

  28. I cant believe these responses. Yes, there was a way for the student to avoid the situation, and yes the police could have removed him without tazing the living hell out of him.

    But how can everyone be alright with this sort of action? Police are authority, yes. We all agree laws make our society safer, yes. But to just give in to it, to preach “obey thy master” is dangerous. to just say “well he didnt listen to the police so he got what he deserved” is rediculous. He wasn’t being violent, he was being uncooperative, there was no need to taze him. WHY NOT JUST TURN ON THE HOSES AND LET LOOSE THE DOGS?

    WHY ARE U SO IN LOVE WITH YOUR POLICE STATE?

    To all you who said He had it coming, or that this wasnt totally fucked up you can suck my hairy balls. Youre the SS, youre the gestapo, and you’re ruining this country.

    And I know there are good well meaning ethical cops out there, but most of them are just low class low iq power addicts. Why do cops deserve respect?? Because they have a dangerous job? Fuck them, they love it. FUCK YOU to all the asshole cops out there, FUCK YOU to all the people who blindly respect them, and FUCK MTV… i know thats not related, but FUCK MTV.

  29. First, let me qualify everything I’m about to say:
    1)I believe there are multiple sides to every story;
    2)it is unlikely that either the UCPD’s account or the student’s account are perfectly accurate;
    3)the video does not give a perfect account because the audio is spotty in parts and because the video starts midway into the incident; and
    4)I’m not taking any statements made by either side into account, because I will for argument’s sake assume all statements to be false.

    Most would agree that if there were no justification for the use of a taser, then police were wrong in using it. For example, a police officer cannot walk up to a random person on the street and taser that person. A police officer likewise cannot walk into a jail cell, walk up to a person who is lawfully detained and taser that person, despite the fact that that person might have broken the law previously. So what justification did the police have for using their taser?

    There are two possible legitimate justifications, and one not-so-legitimate justification. The two legitimate justifications are 1) the taser was necessary to protect the peace and safety of the officers and bystanders, and 2) the taser was necessary to ensure compliance with the officers’ commands. The not-so-legitimate justification is that the taser was necessary to punish the student for disobedience. The police lacked all of these justifications.

    First of all, some might think that the police were justified in tasering the student as punishment for disobedience (as distinguished from being justified in order to force obedience). However, it is not for a police officer to decide what punishment would be necessary, or to deliver that punishment — that is the job of a criminal court. Judges and juries decide what punishment is necessary for a violation of the law. This is why we have criminal statutes in place. Statutes are written and passed by elected representatives of the people, who must follow the wishes of the people. We have statutory laws that say things like “the pentalty for disturbing the peace by speaking loudly in an area for a prolonged period of time is a fine of x dollars and/or x hours of community service.” Noticably absent from our books are statutes that say “the penalty for not complying with an officer’s command to stand up is 5 taserings.” In fact, this sounds very much like capital punishment, which except for the death penalty, our country has rejected as a whole. For example, we do not deliver 5 lashings for trespassing, and we do not cut off hands for stealing. Therefore, it was not the place of these or any police officers to deliver physical pain in order to punish a suspect.

    Others would say that in this case, it was necessary for the police officers to taser the student for the safety of themselves and others. Those people would also say that in this case, the police officers did not know how dangerous the student might have been, that the student may have had a concealed weapon which he was going to use. Even conceding that much (which it would be improper to do because in this country people are innocent until provent guilty AND because police need reasonable suspicion to check a person for weapons), surely the student had no opportunity to use the weapon AFTER he was handcuffed. Yet the police tasered the student while clearly handcuffed, at 3:10 into the video. This justification thus cannot stand on the facts shown by the video.

    The last possible justification, is that it was necessary for the police to use a taser to get the student to comply with their command. This cannot be true, however, based on the facts as presented in the video. At 4:27 in the video, we hear the police shouting “stand up, stand up, stand up, stand up, that’s all we want.” The police then taser the student, presumably to force him to comply with the order. (Why the police thought the student would listen at that point after so many previous taserings, one can only guess.) But then, later in the video, with the student in the same exact position, at 6:10, the officers carry him out physically. So if the police could have simply carried the student out, without the excruciating 40,000 volts of pain delivered by tasering, why did they need to taser him? If the police could have brought the student out of the building simply by lifting him up, why did they have to resort to tasering the student?

    The taser should only have been used if necessary. Even if there are no lasting side effects or no immediate health risks, the pain associated with the taser was inappropriate and unnecessary in this case. This country does not have capital punishment for misdemeanors. This country does not deliver pain as punishment. Even our death penalty is designed to be painless (well, that’s a whole separate issue, but at least some claim it is painless). The officers had no reason to taser the student multiple times like they did. If they could have carried the student out in the first place, they should have. There was no legitimate justification. The officers were on a power trip. They threatened innocent bystanders. THEY obstructed justice when they ignored students calling for their names and badge numbers. They distorted our system of justice by committing perjury in their police record. They had no reason whatsoever to resort to this cruel form of less-than-lethal, last-resort weapon on a peacefully resisting suspect. They should be ashamed of what they did, of how much power they abused. The police are upholders of the law for the benefit of citizens. When they abuse their power, they begin to inflate their own egos to the detriment of the citizens they are supposed to protect. This kind of brutality should not be tolerated.

  30. Well, as I said earlier, there is ALWAYS more to the story, and it is NEVER wise to form opinions on a few seconds of video. Anyone worth anything with an education should feel that way.

    That being said, a friend passed along this link that is quite damaging to the officer involved. I know this is going to get a lot of “I told you so” comments, but those will certainly come from people very content in their ignorance to cast the first stone. Anyway, here’s the link. People like this have no business wearing a badge, much less carring a weapon. He is a disgrace.

  31. Correction, “but without a corresponding lack of public concern” should have been “with a corresponding lack of public concern”. Got my tenses all cocked up there.

  32. “Actually funnily enough just before I checked back here I was watching Mr Knoxville do just that… get tasered (by a gun and drive stun) and getting straight back up.”

    I’m really not even sure how to address even the vague idea that Jackass could be used as a peer-reviewed scientific study.

    “Hurm making me out to be a sadist, nope never want to see another person hurt without a reason, I personally put that in as I think the taser was a much better option.”

    Read some of the comment threads on YouTube about this and you’ll find that perhaps your ostensibly innocent open-ended question can be taken rather badly and could have been worded better.

    “Ok as your probably not a med student I will let terminology go.”

    Nope, not a medical student. Hell, I didn’t even finish college. I’m a certified 35 year old college dropout, which would be the only credentials I have to post in threads on teh interweb. So I’ll defer to you when I get terminology incorrect.

    “The study shows that only 27% of the cases identified for the study had a possible link where the taser could have been or may have contributed to death… not a single case where it DID cause the death but I understand how hard it is for definitive answers.”

    As I understand “contributing factor” that would seem to indicate anything that helps bring about a final conclusion or state, whether by itself or in conjunction with other factors. Overeating is a contributing factor to obesity, as is lack of exercise. Gravity would be a contributing factor to falling on your ass after slipping on ice, as would the ice itself. So, understanding this, let’s look at the contributing factors here. Around 60% had some evidence of pre-existing heart disease. Nearly two-thirds tested positive for cocaine. We’ll just say all those tests were the result of sound medical examination and not someone doctoring the results for sake of argument. So, the inference here is that most people who use cocaine end up with heart conditions; conditions that may or may not contribute to potentially fatal complications when they’re tased. It would also seem that out of the people who were tased, almost 3/4ths of them were regular cocaine users or at least under the influence of cocaine at the time of the incidents studied. Well, it’s a no-brainer that people can become very aggressive when using cocaine, sometimes to the point of being irrationally violent. Probably a good reason why they were tased to subdue them. So what we’ve got here is a group of people who were all tased, over half had some evidence of pre-existing heart conditions, nearly 3/4th of them on cocaine and every single one of them died. For further sake of argument, let’s go ahead and assume that everyone who died who didn’t have cocaine in their system did have some pre-existing heart condition, so we don’t have to explore the possibility that tasers contributed to the deaths of people with perfectly sound hearts. I’m still a little leery about the idea of using something that may have contributed to the deaths of a large number of the people it’s supposedly intended to subdue. But hey, I’m just an amateur at this kind of thing, so maybe I’m wrong.

    “I find it interesting that it states may last anywhere from 5 to 15 mins. When the blurb for the product, police training videos, jackass videos, empirical reports from law enforcement people who have had to undergo it all say it only lasts a few seconds. The evidence for the claims I cant seem to find I want to know who studied it to show it lasts that long.”

    The blurb for the product? Taser International and their phalanx of lawyers have been trying to cover their asses on that for years. Could be a good reason why they switched terminology from “non-lethal” to “less-than-lethal”. You think they’re actually going to have their product literature state, “Effects are prolonged in duration and may result in permenant injury or death”? Yes, police sometimes do have to be tased as part of training. Under controlled circumstances, using a very short duration pulse (sometimes shorter than the normal five second setting) and surrounded by people capable of rendering immediate aid. Even then I think you’ll find most of them describe it as the “worst pain imaginable”. I’m seriously not even going to address Johnny Knoxville at all.

    “Well I guess I shouldn’t be allowed to graduate because I’m a bit skeptical eh… good work mate nice to see your not overzealous.”

    I’m not qualified in that field to decide whether you graduate or not. As a doctor that is. As a skeptic, I think you need more coursework. And as far as being overzealous, maybe I do tend to be, but I don’t apologize for that. I’ve got two reasons I consider pretty solid for being that way. One, the police have the state-sanctioned ability to use force against people, up to and including lethal force. As such, they should be held to the highest standard possible for conduct. They should not automatically be assumed to be correct in the application of force simply by virtue of being police or having other police review their behavior. Two, and this is the big one for me, over the past ten years or so I have seen increasingly greater levels of police use of force for minor infractions or against people who present no physical danger to the police themselves or anyone else, but without a corresponding lack of public concern. People are becoming acclimatized to the police using greater levels of force and are excusing or ignoring things that they really shouldn’t if for no better reason than the fact that it could easily be used on them some day. Police apply pepper spray directly into the eyes of passive resistors using cotton swabs, shoot people dead-on with baton rounds that are clearly labeled on each cartridge “Do not fire directly at individuals as serious injury or death may result” and in some cases use everything short of actual firearms on people who aren’t even involved in whatever incident they’re supposedly trying to sort out, and nobody seems to care. They casually use these weapons to threaten and intimidate because they’re ostensibly not lethal; they believe they can do so with impunity, without having to answer for it. Unfortunately, they seem to be right. I’m not a big fan of authority, but if it must be, then it must also be proper and just authority with the informed consent of the people subject to that authority, not “We say so, so accept it”. Anything else is an incredibly dangerous road to travel, but I fear we’ve all ready been on that road for a long time and we’re picking up speed.

    Oh and Andy, thanks for fixing my screwup back there, much obliged.

  33. Hi

    I saw it and it made me angry. How can you expect a guy to get up when he is been tazzered not once, not twice , not three times but four. Are they nuts?

    Ok mmm what about this, you are walking on the street a police officer says Id card please, oops officer I object to having an ID card, so I have not one, or right your under arrest, why I have done nothing wrong, broke no law – this is abuse of power, the police officer repeatedly says ID card now.

    Officer I have not got one and I ojbect for you to have ask for one. Your resisting arrest, boom tazzered. much like a women who was pulled over by the police and was askiing for her driving licence, she refused, as she beleived, no questions asked tazzerd, over here you do not have to show ur driving licence to the police , but can produce it at the nearest police station within seven days.

    End of confrontation, no tazzering, no bad publicity for the police and no adverse affects on the person being tazzered.

    Police marches on boys.
    By the way why are police officers dressed like soliders these days.

    best wishes

  34. “Damian, How many times have you seen cops sustain multiple drive stuns and still be able to get up?”
    Actually funnily enough just before I checked back here I was watching Mr Knoxville do just that… get tasered (by a gun and drive stun) and getting straight back up.
    “I’ll bet you do wonder a lot about how he would have reacted to that. Maybe more than you should”.
    Hurm making me out to be a sadist, nope never want to see another person hurt without a reason, I personally put that in as I think the taser was a much better option. No lasting effects (in the main and I will address the lancet study in a moment) and generally pretty safe… better than some of the painful positions I see people put in which are more likely to damage a joint than a taser is an anything else.
    “Except for the people who’ve died due to heart failure”.
    Ok as your probably not a med student I will let terminology go.
    The recent lancet study relating deaths to taser use is from 2001 and a bit spurious to say the least. More recent studies such as the Am J Cardiology from 2006 stated cocaine use is highly linked to AF and VF and raises the chance of heart problems when tasered. However cocaine on its own also has these side effects and also if used for any length of time can cause muscle breakdown including cardiac muscle which may have had the same effect. The study shows that only 27% of the cases identified for the study had a possible link where the taser could have been or may have contributed to death… not a single case where it DID cause the death but I understand how hard it is for definitive answers. The same study shows that 60 odd % of the people had pre-existing heart disease and 74% had positive toxicology. Oh dear big holes in the original article.
    “I find it interesting that a final year medical student doesn’t seem to be aware of the Lancet Medical Journal study which says immobilization can last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes”
    I find it interesting that it states may last anywhere from 5 to 15 mins. When the blurb for the product, police training videos, jackass videos, empirical reports from law enforcement people who have had to undergo it all say it only lasts a few seconds. The evidence for the claims I cant seem to find I want to know who studied it to show it lasts that long.
    Get real I never said it didn’t hurt… I also never said it didn’t paralyse. I just said that all the evidence I come across (some written but mainly video) shows it to be a very short lived effect.
    Well I guess I shouldn’t be allowed to graduate because I’m a bit skeptical eh… good work mate nice to see your not overzealous.
    Damian

  35. great discussion.

    but DISSENT is all we’re talking here. It’s no crime to take advantage of your well-earned freedom.

    Nobody gets shot in a library. It’s Westwood, not Guantanmo.

    And surely tuition ain’t cheap.

  36. Cops use threat assessment techniques in order to determine the appropriate reaction in a given situation. Their training includes what’s called a “Use of Force Continuum,” which correlates police reaction to various situations. The first step, for example, is mere physical presence – that is, just standing there with a badge and a gun, which is a significant deterrent in the right place and time, and relates to zero-threat level. The next level is a voice command, such as “get up,” “freeze,” etc. The next step is where we’re at in this video; Tasers, pepper spray, mace, and other such devices that are nonlethal, and meant only to incapacitate. (Hear that, everyone? Tasers INCAPACITATE; they do not force compliance, unless the command you want someone to comply with is “involuntarily fall on the floor and scream like a twelve-year-old girl.”) This is supposed to relate to a threat level that is a little nebulous – it’s not exactly clear. They’re definitely not used only in situations where the cop’s life is on the line, but it’s definitely supposed to be saved for some threat level beyond harsh language; there’s levels in between, like damage to property, or threatening a bystander, or threatening a bystander with a deadly weapon. Clearly, we don’t have any of those things in this case.

    Mr. Tabatabainejad has a very strong case for police cruelty, aka “unlawful use of force,” “unnecessary assault or battery,” or whatever the similar charge is in California, because the police used a level of use of force that does not at all correspond with the “threat” that they were faced with. Beyond that, torture is a very strong possibility; the Taser is designed to put people on the ground, yet they are Tasering him repeatedly for not standing up. This catch-22 could, by the right lawyer, qualify as torture in the legal sense. I don’t know about California, again, and I apologize – but up here in New England, many police officers are protected with special immunities in most cases. There’s a fairly high chance that these police, because they were clearly not presented with any level of threat beyond noncompliance, will be summarily tossed out by their departments and denied their immunities and protections, which would make them open to criminal charges of assault and/or battery, with aggravating factors like using a dangerous (if not lethal) weapon on a victim that is bound by handcuffs and unable to defend himself – or whatever the California Penal Code version of these offenses is. Mr. Tabatabainejad himself will, of course, also be able to sue in a civil court, based on whatever the civil code of California might be. Let’s just suffice to say that these cops are going to be in a boatload of trouble – and I usually support the cops in most cases, so it pains me to say it. But facts are facts, and these cops truly used a far higher level of force than was justifiable in this situation.

    Mr Tabatabainejad’s race is irrelevant – or at least it should be. But let’s face it: this is post-9/11 America, and there’s absolutely no way to simply deny that his race – apparently of Middle Eastern descent – is a factor. Would it make a difference if he were black? White? I honestly don’t know, but the question sure does linger after watching the video, with all those rich white kids that aren’t being illegally assaulted by police.

    Just because a police officer gives an order does not justify a violent response; it’s violence that justifies a violent response. Police officers aren’t permitted to simply zap a waitress who forgets to put sugar in the coffee, nor are they justified in zapping someone who simply, and only, refuses an order. Those of you who seem to feel that this kid got what he deserved just for disobeying an officer should be ashamed – without people who were willing to disobey cops, we probably still wouldn’t let black people go to white schools, probably still wouldn’t let women vote, and might still be a property of England. Violence against cops is one thing (and surely deserves reactions just as violent as this one, if not more so!) but civil disobedience is an American tradition. And before you complain that I’m making him out to be so much more noble than he really is, ask yourself: is refusing to show ID any less noble than refusing to give up a bus seat to a white man? Is it any less noble than throwing tea into the harbor just because you don’t want to pay the taxes on it? The answer is simple, of course: this kid’s case is in the same league as these. Whether it’s paying taxes, or racial discrimination, or mandated identification, these are constitutional issues that have always been treated with utmost gravity. Just because he’s a college kid doesn’t mean that he can’t possibly have a constitutional challenge – and this case clearly presents such a constitutional challenge.

    Finally, there’s case law that goes all over the place: in cases like Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District, Humboldt County, et al; Brown v. Texas; even Papachristou v. Jacksonville made the Supreme Court question state’s “stop and identify” statutes, in terms of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. A California statute that required people who loiter or wander on the streets to identify themselves whenever asked to do so by a peace officer. This had been interpreted, by the California Court of Appeal, to mean that the person must provide “credible and reliable” information when an officer has reasonable suspicion, or during a Terry stop. But in Kolender v. Lawson (461 US 352, decided in 1983) the Supreme Court struck down the law, saying it was vague for not identifying precisely what “credible and reliable” meant. Whatever new legislation replaced that statute, I have no idea, but I’ll bet it’s worded very carefully.

    Either way, the fact that we live in a society that may very well be getting to the point at which anyone (on the street, in a school, or even on private property) can be prosecuted – even assaulted with a dangerous weapon! – for simply not identifying oneself… well, that should scare more than just civil libertarians. For those of you who are UCLA students – protest; get the word out and make this a visible issue in your community. For the rest of us – don’t hold your breath; this gets worse before it gets better.

  37. By the way, Steve you are a rascist. This guy is in his own country – the US. Just because he has Iranian descent does not mean he is not American. Damian, I hope you’re not allowed to graduate for awhile b/c you obviously need to do more studying on the effects of electrical shock to the human nervous system. It hurts and paralyzes! Will, failing to show an ID is not a crime and is definately not grounds for using a taser. Neither is failure to comply reason enough to use a taser. This case will be a no-brainer. There was nothing dangerous about this guy. Skullhunter and Bill, nice comments.

  38. I cannot believe some of the comments here defending the police. Forgetting a student ID is NOT reason enough to use a taser! So he did not comply with the police. So What? Legally, they can only ARREST him at the most, they cannot use a taser! There are many people on this board who have obviously never studied law. This incident stands out not b/c of the person’s race but b/c it was unnecessary cruelty. A taser is very painful and should only be used in dangerous situations. This was not one of those situations. Furthermore, this guy was doomed to be unable to comply when the police yelled at him to get off the ground after using a taser on him. Do any of you know what it’s like to have a high dosage of electricity like that? I do, and it becomes very difficult and painful to move afterwards. That’s why it’s also known as a stun gun! It’s used to paralyze potentially dangerous people. This is a clear abuse of authority, and there was no justification. All those who defend the police are cruel. This video lasted long enough for anyone with a brain to get a grip on the situation and know the police went overboard. I mean, judge the reactions of the students who were there! The situation was out of control. It is unnecessary to know this guy’s background as it is irrelevant. In the video, I saw the p[olice repeatedly and cruely use a taser on a human being just b/c he refused to comply – and in many cases was unable. I think the police force in it’s entirety is full of individuals with huge egos on a power kick. I think those supporting the police are probably a police officer themselves or a family member of one. This is an institution that not only fails to understand and know the law (I’ve caught police misunderstanding the law on many occasions — do NOT take legal advice from them, they do not know the law) but repeatedly breaks the law. They’re a bunch of hypocrites who are given too much power. I hope those police officers are permanently removed from the force.

  39. Dammit, I missed a close tag there, apologies. The link that didn’t show up where it was supposed to, as you readers may have figured out is to the wiki entry on “pretext”. Sorry about that folks.

  40. “If the suspect was later found to be a murderer or a rapist would you have still berated the police officers for their badge numbers?”

    Oh, gee, well what if he was Ted Bundy? What if he was Adolf Hitler? What if he was the frickin’ Anti-Christ? What if people didn’t use spurious logic like this in arguments? Are you suggesting, Tim, that when officers use force on suspects without obvious cause, we should just assume they’ve gotten a psychic vision that the suspects are actually monstrous Jeff Dahlmer-style criminals?

    “Was the suspect shot with the Taser multiple times? Sometimes that happens because the contacts don’t reach the skin and the charge doesn’t go through so the taser has no effect.”

    He was hit using drive stun. Drive stuns are perfomed by uncapping contacts at the end of the taser and applying them directly to the subject. Basically, you push the taser against their body and discharge it. The contacts don’t need to actually hit skin to work. Again, the manufacturer cautions against multiple useage of drive stun, and suggest that it only be used when officers are in immediate danger.

    “Now i know for a fact that all cops have to be tasered as part of thier training. I have seen video footage of this and reports from people who have been tasered (in training) and never seen a reaction like his.”

    Damian, How many times have you seen cops sustain multiple drive stuns and still be able to get up?

    “I wonder how he would have reacted at another level of force maybe a baton?”

    I’ll bet you do wonder a lot about how he would have reacted to that. Maybe more than you should.

    “Anyway he was asked to co-operate 50 times that i counted.”

    Yeah, because if the cops were up to no good, they’d have been laughing at the suspect instead of asking him to cooperate in front of an entire library full of witnesses.

    Wikipedia — “Pretext”

    Very few police are going to just whomp on a suspect in front of witnesses without at least trying to cover their own asses. Flick a finger at someone’s eye or jam them with a pin stuck in your Sam Browne belt, they jump and struggle, you beat the tar out of them because they “tried to assault you”. Keep asking someone to stand when you know damn well they can’t, then continue to apply the force preventing them from standing because they’re “being uncooperative”.

    “Again he was tasered, they could have piled four cops on to one and drag him out and risk getting him and the officers injured?”

    At 3:12 on the above video, the subject is hit with drive stun. His hands are cuffed behind his back. He is not struggling, flailing or even moving, and the officers appear to be supporting him without difficulty. Unless the injury you’re worried about was a possible hernia or muscle strain, they didn’t look to be in a lot of danger.

    “This is exactly why Tasers were invented. It is a relatively harmless method of gaining compliance.”

    Except for the people who’ve died due to heart failure.

    “As for the nervous system not allowing him to comply well the local current effect usually lasts about 30 seconds tops. He didn’t have a widespread shock and wouldn’t have been unable to react.”

    I find it interesting that a final year medical student doesn’t seem to be aware of the Lancet Medical Journal study which says immobilization can last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. “widespread shock” has nothing to do with it, he didn’t touch a power line, he was hit with a device specifically designed to cause pain, disruption of the central nervous system and loss of motor control.

    “I wonder if he had been a threat (which was possible in the police view) how people would have reacted … probably “hero campus police protect students””

    More spurious logic. If cops see a person who is handcuffed, not struggling and not even moving as a “threat”, then maybe they’re in the wrong line of work and should look for something less stressful. So in this case it’s not “hero campus police protect students”, it’s “asshole campus police protect wounded egos from student failing to show proper deference”.

  41. Plain & simple. To be assaulted with a fist, baton or any other means after being handcuffed is a crime.
    C R I M E. Say it again, a crime. Anybody listening out there? Regardless of any other circumstances; whether the student was right, wrong, smart or dumb, an individual in restraints cannot be treated in this fashion. Even though it would have also been a crime, I do believe that the other students should have gotten physically involved. If 2 or 3 students were shot during this, so be it; I doubt very seriously if the cops would have fared better.

  42. Well i have to say i am surprised at many people here.
    I bet most people only watched the video and didn’t even read the “eyewitnes reports”.

    The person was confronted by a library worker, REFUSED to show ID… now thats not the same as forgetting it, not being able to find it etc.
    Anyway the police were contacted, he was asked to show ID as he was leaving. Maybe he wa a student but maybe he was a thief how do they know. He didn’t co-operate became beligerent and was eventually tasered. Now i know for a fact that all cops have to be tasered as part of thier training. I have seen video footage of this and reports from people who have been tasered (in training) and never seen a reaction like his. I wonder how he would have reacted at another level of force maybe a baton?

    Anyway he was asked to co-operate 50 times that i counted.

    Again he was tasered, they could have piled four cops on to one and drag him out and risk getting him and the officers injured? This is exactly why Tasers were invented. It is a relatively harmless method of gaining compliance.

    As for the nervous system not allowing him to comply well the local current effect usually lasts about 30 seconds tops. He didn’t have a widespread shock and wouldn’t have been unable to react.

    I wonder if he had been a threat (which was possible in the police view) how people would have reacted … probably “hero campus police protect students”

    Damian
    final year medical student
    England

  43. Was the suspect shot with the Taser multiple times? Sometimes that happens because the contacts don’t reach the skin and the charge doesn’t go through so the taser has no effect. More likely the officer holding the taser squeezed the trigger to administer a charge after the first contacts made contact.

    Was the suspect singled out? Sure, after he failed to show his ID. Had he just opened his wallet and shown his ID this would probably never have gone further unless the officers had some other reason to investigate further.

    Why wasn’t he read his rights? Because in the US the Miranda laws state that you read rights to people who are being arrested for a specific crime and not taken into custody. These officers seem to be taking this suspect into custody.

    Amazingly, those who want the officers fired and the supect to sue are hoping to use the same system of laws and justice that resulted in this incident. Go figure.

  44. I saw the video and read the story. What I made of this is a young man who did not or would not produce ID when asked by a lawful authority (campus police). Based on his reported bahavior I don’t think he demonstrated any common courtesy or respect for the lawful authorities and did not cooperate with then carrying out their duty. Without being able to show a valid ID he was correctly asked to leave that building. His lack of movement was interpreted by the lawful authorities as a failure to comply. I have to believe he was warned that his failure to comply would result in his being taken into custody. My guess is that he became more disrespectful and a decision was made by the police to take him into custody. The authorities involved then called for assistance resulting in more campus police being present. At that point he resisted their efforts. You can hear him clearly resisting in the videos. The taser and the following battle are more evidence of the now suspects attempts to resist. What follows is even more interesting. You have a number of student trying to intervene in the suspects behalf. Some seem to be going as far as interfering with a peace office in the execution of their duty in blocking the path of the officers and the suspect. Let me ask the bystanders question: If the suspect was later found to be a murderer or a rapist would you have still berated the police officers for their badge numbers?

  45. One more thing.

    It is possible to feel the effects of post traumatic stress after witnessing violence. If any student still feels shaky or teary or has insomnia as a result of this incident, have a chat with someone at the counseling center.

  46. See folks. See what happens without our constitutional rights to protect us. I don’t give a fuck if this school is private public if its the keystone cops or the goddamn oooooh I can’t even think of what I was going to say there. It doesn’t matter who is inflicting this kind of pain on a person. If that person was not a physical threat to those cops…they had no fucking reason to taser him over and over. See before the Patriot Act and every being cool with arabs at Guantanomo getting tortured this individual would have been handcuffed and put in a police car and detained as long as it took to verify who he said he was.

    Did anyone else noticed that every time the cop screamed STAND UP, the guy would get kicked back down by the other cop??? Do a websearch on torture at Orange County Jail and start reading about the shit Bush’s pet sheriff is allowing to go on in his jail!!

    Boy I’m pissed.

  47. I attended UCLA many years ago and subsequently completed undergraduate and graduate work at USC. My then fiance (an incredibly bright and successful scientist and olympic-level swimmer) was accosted on campus by both campus officers and LAPD who thought he was there illegitimately because he is African American. I am not surprised that perceived ethnicity is still used in deciding how to treat an individual.

    At least one account of this incident mentioned that this particular student was singled out to show his id. How unusual is it for a student to leave his or her residence without an id? I can’t imagine that it is a rare occurrence and that those who check for identification haven’t previously encountered the situation! I suspect that the student would have been treated differently if he’d been a woman or of European descent.

    Mr. Tabatabainejad was completing a paper when first asked to display his id, and was already leaving when the officers returned. Students often become cranky after long study sessions at night. Some are less than courteous with campus police officers (Note the statement in comment #49 describing the officers as “…University Police status (Borderline failure in life)…” Even if he was verbally resistant or even abusive, there is no excuse for this level of violence!

    If this were my son or daughter, you better believe I’d be livid.

  48. What’s wrong with all of you people this guy is a nut case he’s just looking to cause as much trouble as he can. He is clearly refusing to be reasonable and I think is trying to incite a roit (illegal). The guy is just a big babyif he were in his own country he would most likely be dead or charged with a crime and let’s not forget what those Iraian’s did to us in 1980 (the kidnaping).

  49. This video clearly shows, unquestioningly, police brutality in action. The officers in question must be dealt with appropriately and justly, so that the peoples’ faith in law enforcement personell may be restored. Officers like that give cops a bad name. Stuff like that doesn’t happen where I live, and the cops here are very friendly with the community. People are always going to be people. They’re bored, but they don’t go around beating people just for the fun of it.

    Let’s face it, people. It was a LIBRARY, not a DRUG WAREHOUSE. And even if the student WAS out to set an example of racism, those cops just played right into his hands. Idiots. A sheer lack of competence, no matter how you slice it.

  50. Having said what I think….
    I have to add that I am really amazed at the quality of video that can come from a CAMERA PHONE? Not bad at all. And the length of the video too! Anyone know what kind of camera phone was used?

  51. It is amazing to read all the judgements people make from a few seconds of video. Does anyone here know the background of the “victim”. Has he been a cause of concern before? Was anything said by him that might have implied a threat – perhaps even before the video was taken? I have in the past, and sometimes present, also expressed anger at the police – even though the police themselves have never treated me bad (well, except in Washington state – but that’s a whole other story). They have always been polite most everywhere I go. They are just people after all. And as such, they too can be driven towards emotions and actions just as anyone else. There is more to this story than just the video. As I am pretty confident in thinking these police were not out tasering and beating people all day long before they got this call. I’m not saying anyone is guilty, nor completely innocent. But it is people who are guilty of something themselves who are quick to anger and quick to judge. Anyone who’s ever investigated a dramatic situation even a bit more in depth than just watching a video knows there is always more to the story – always.

  52. I just got done watching on YouTube, the UCLA student being tasered for not showing his ID. He couldn’t have been logged onto the schools network without a valid user account, thus proving he was a valid student from the very beginning of this obscene incident.

    I have never been more embarrassed of my country then after watching that, and hearing his screams as the taser, clicked-clicked-clicked.

    I am not afraid of any terrorist, I am more afraid of the police-state the Republicans have turned our country into.

    I am more confident in the Democrats ability to protect me from foreign threats, than I am in the Republican ability to protect me from a police-state.

    Bush just signed a bill to do away with habeas corpus for the first time in our country’s history. Both Bush and Cheney need to be impeached.

    I will write to every congressman encouraging them to impeach Bush and Cheney at the earliest opportunity.

  53. Pingback: Drunken Hitman
  54. I cried a little when I watched this video a sitting in Powell a few days later. I never cry. Really, never. I was feeling sick to my stomach, and very uncomfortable to say the least. I’d like to write pages of organized thoughts, valid arguments, and make points about it all, but it makes my head spin so I can’t. The video speaks for itself. If you watch it and you see what I see, I don’t need to say anything. If you watch it and see what I see and don’t agree that this is sickening, unacceptable, and VERY VERY scary, I pity you because someone stole your mind from you. Try to get it back. They aren’t right because they wear badges. They can’t do that! My heart hurts a little. I am a UCLA student, I don’t feel that good about it all right now. The student body should do all that it can to keep this issue alive. They can’t get away with this. None of my professors even mentioned it in class! WHY?!? This is something more important than the lecture. Our freedom is threatened… our “freedom”. My heart hurts. I feel violated, and I wasn’t even there! My heart!, it hurts!

  55. Honestly, had I been a bystander, I would have realized that this was massive police brutality and tried to help the kid up myself. if the dumbass cop wants to taser me then that would be fine, i’ll see him in court when he’s trying to justify to the judge how i posed a threat to him by trying to help out a guy whose nervous system probably won’t allow him to stand up. People have to realize that cops are there “to protect and to serve” not to use their University Police status(Borderline failure in life) and torture a guy.

  56. this is what you call brutal excessive force in the most hideous way i have ever seen in my life. for the kid, his right to do as he pleases in “free” america has just been taken back again to the 50’s and 6o’s. totally absurd. i mean he had a bookbag and was studying for god’s sake. please students of UCLA stand up for this guy and take this to the highest level to have tasers banned from these guys and sue those guys and whomever employed them for 100’s of millions. this is such a criminally, recklessly, and maliciously act of assault, torture, and definitively abuse of every right the college student has. TO END THE COPS SHOULD GO TO JAIL !!!!!!!!!!!! this makes me sick to my stomach….

  57. Pingback: Hermes
  58. Anybody who takes the time to study the history of the Republic and the laws which govern it will quickly realize that there is indeed something terribly wrong. Back in the old days, one cop would have simply escorted the kid out. There is absolutely no reason why it took that many cops and “equipment” to subdue that which didn’t need to be subdued.

    Keep this story alive. Write letters to UCLA. Do your part as a citizen to prevent such things from happening in the future. Remember, the police work for us, the American people.

  59. 5) Wow, three-cheers for the pussy who “filmed” this with his cameraphone. I couldn’t see a thing for most of the video. If I had a camera in that room, I would have been as close as possible the entire time. The cameraperson also fled immediately when the cops threatened to taser bystanders. Please, people, at least stick around and be witness to this kind of shit when it goes down.

  60. 1) This is clearly inhumane and disgusting behavior on the part of the police. 3+ cops can’t just take the kid by his arm and lead him out the door, like they’ve done for thousands of years?

    2) If I am ever working somewhere and a customer or visitor is not following the rules, this video makes me about 1000x less likely to call the cops.

    3) “Go back upstairs or you’ll get tased too.”

    4) If this is the level of abuse police can get away with on college campuses on a normal weeknight, imagine what horrors we will see the next time we have real widespread unrest or protests on a campus. It’s disgusting.

  61. Wait a second, this is the 21st
    century United States. Anyone who doesn’t obey a police officer immediately has forfeited his rights. He deserves to have his head blown off. Those cops should have pulled their revolvers and shot him down right there – and shot down anyone who had the gall to complain that they did. They’re officers of the law! If they don’t kill anyone who gets in their way, how will we ever have a safe society?

  62. un -FRIGGIN- believable. I truly hope these cops will be SEVERLEY punished for their Nazi actions. Perhaps all STUDENTS should start bringing TAZERS to school with them? Maybe then there would be no fear in taking confronting these morally devoid pathetic excuses for cops.

  63. luke,

    Additionally, the manufacturer of this particular taser apparently warns against repeated use of the “drive stun” setting, further specifying that “drive stun” should only be used when there is an immediate threat to the officer’s safety. For the benefit of all the “He got what he deserved” people, let me break this down for you.

    Tasers were introduced, ostensibly, as a non-lethal method of dealing with violent subjects without resorting to lethal force. ie. someone has a knife or other potentially dangerous non-projectile weapon, the taser can be used to immobilize them so the weapon can be removed from their possession and they can be safely arrested. This is what they were supposedly designed for, this is what they were marketed as: a method to subdue violent subjects without permenant injury or death to either the subject, arresting officers or anyone nearby. They were not introduced to be used for pain compliance. Regardless of how belligerant the student was, you can’t seriously tell me that three police officers felt he was going to somehow hulk out and wipe the floor with them. The repeated shouting of “Stand up!”? That’s called “covering your ass”. They are now seen by multiple witnesses and on video issuing orders the student didn’t comply with. It doesn’t matter whether he had the ability to comply or not; this automatically biases the case in their favor. As we’ve all ready seen, there are people here who would eagerly acquit the police and convice the student solely on the basis that the police issued orders and the student did not comply. I wish I could say I was surprised or shocked by such statements, but I unfortunately am not. As a society we have been raised and indoctrinated to almost always defer to authority, to not question, to comply automatically and to demonize those who do not follow that behavior model. For those concerned by this; observe, question, document and do not be afraid to speak to others about it. For those who support the police when they engage in this kind of blatant abuse of power and public trust; may you live in the world you dream of, and may you not be able to escape it when it turns out to be a nightmare.

  64. How do you expect someone to get up after being tasered in stun mode?
    How idiotic is that : “get up or I’ll taser you again”. The dumb thing is meant to immobilize somebody until the officer puts the cuffs on , not to repeatedly torture someone already in cuffs.

    Check taser out on Wiki…
    According to the many sources, a shock of half a second duration will cause intense pain and muscle contractions startling most people greatly. Two to three seconds will often cause the subject to become dazed and drop to the ground, and over three seconds will usually completely disorient and drop an attacker for at least several minutes and possibly for up to fifteen minutes.

  65. MB: Not covered if he wasn’t Iranian? Are you insane. This story broke YESTERDAY – BEFORE anyone knew his name, or anything else about him. I don’t care if he was White, upperclass, a member of Skull and Bones and a bloody FreeMason to boot!… This story got coverage because it DESERVED it. It got coverage because these 4 police officers believed that they had the right to taser a student who was already handcuffed and in custody 3+ times – for failure to stand up – … when his ABILITY to comply could more than reasonably be questioned.

    If anything, the fact that the guy is middle eastern explains HIS frustration with the police. It doesn’t EXCUSE him, but I can;t say I’d be terribly convivial if I’d had to put up with half what we’ve put ‘them’ through based on nothing more than where they – or in many cases their grand parents – were born.

    Defib: There is no ‘both sides’. Regardless of the student’s actions, the police response was *completely* out of hand. I won’t defend the way the student handled himself – he was wrong – but I dont HAVE to. Whatever right the police officers had to use force ended when he was on the ground, handcuffed.

    Even if he was resisting arrest before the *first* tasering. Even if the *first* tasering is found to be an acceptable use of force, there is no defending the 4 or more subsequent shocks administered AFTER he was handcuffed.

    That use of force was egregious and indefensible. Certainly to the point of losing their jobs, and perhaps even to the point of being criminal in itself.

    I appreciate that their job is difficult and dangerous, but that is irrelevant. They are authorized to use force when necessary to enforce the laws, and with that PRIVILEDGE comes the inescapable responsibility to do so judiciously and appropriately. When they abandon that responsibility, they cease to become officers and become criminals themselves.

    These officers have clearly demonstrated that they are incapable of judging the appropriate ( read: minimum ) level of force needed to manage a situation. They, equally importantly, have further proven that they are incapable of realizing when they have exceeded that threshold and reining in their actions appropriately. If they did not begin it, they clearly perpetuated and escalated the violence in this situation.

    At the bare minimum, they need to be removed from law enforcement in the field. I am not presuming upon their character or their moral fiber as individuals. I suspect they are all fine men in private life. Never the less, 4 police officers either participated in this, or ( as bad or worse ) stood by and let it happen. Neither is excusable, and the courts, and the police department must send a message that such outrages will not be tolerated. Period!

    This was not Watts, it was not South Central, or any other sterotypically dangerous area…it was not even a late night traffic stop of an erratic driver. This was a college library at a well respected university, and the ‘perp’ was a student who was known to, and vouched for, by his peers as a student BEFORE the police were called.

    Trust me when I say that students in the libraries of prominent public universities are seldom ‘packing heat’ or otherwise likely to threaten the safety and well being of one, much less four uniformed police officers – even if it is at or after 11pm.

    There was no reason for the *four* of them to be ‘afraid of being shot at’ or any other such apologist garbage. They used potentially lethal force on someone who was physically incapable of effective resistance ( handuffed, on the ground ) not once, not twice but AT LEAST 3 times … and that is if we assume the student was in fact capable of and actively resisting the FIRST time he was shocked.

  66. Every student knows that you need to carry your student id with you at all times while on campus. Although, it is a public place, that does not imply full access to the facilities unless you are a student, faculty or staff. If you can’t prove it, you don’t belong there. That policy has been in place for 30 years. This poor “victim” is full of shit. The policy is posted. He knew he was in the wrong and not complying with campus policy. He was belligerent, and loud. Perhaps the police could have handled it differently, perhaps not. The police don’t have to put up with this crap anymore than we should be expected to. They can just do more about it than your average student. Perhaps the students themselves should have asked politely that he leave. Oh, that’s right, he was asked…and refused.

  67. I think the fact that Mostafa Tabatabainejad is an Iranian-American is crucially important to the situation here. He refused to show ID because he felt he was being singled out by racial profiling by the Library staff. If several of his peers verified that he was in fact a student, it should have been good enough.

    Somebody above said it right when they stated “Was he resisting arrest?” He wasn’t being arrested, he was being escorted. He didn’t break a law, he broke a University Library rule.

    It’s going to be a very sad day when Americans are forced to carry IDs with them at all times and show them upon demand of “peacekeepers” even if they have not broken any laws.

  68. Just so I can make sure I’m reading this right… Do some of you people actually believe handcuffing and repeatedly sending jolts of electricity into someone’s body is acceptable punishment for not complying to a simple rule?

    It’s a sad state of affairs when citizens chalk it up to statements like “If you don’t obey an officer, you’re going to get tazered…” Do you honestly feel that this is acceptable behavior or even expected behavior from a police officer?

    Watching this video made me really upset. It has been a long time when I’ve seen something that really made my blood boil, but I can guarantee you I would have been sitting in jail that night because of my actions towards the police after their repeated attacks on the young man. It simply is not acceptable and is PURELY a bully tactic to get a citizen to comply with what the officers felt was best in the situation. Why is this being viewed by some as an okay or even expected thing to do for the officers?

    I’ve got to quit typing. I’m going to have a heart attack from high blood pressure from this video.

  69. there is no constitutional right to go to or remain in the library of a public university. it is not a hotel or restaurant on the interstate.

    students have had to display ids to use & remain in school facilities for years.

    the policy use these idiot tasers because they are hesitant to touch people anymore. They should have just carried him & threatened him with arrest if he went back in.

    He wanted to provoke & he paid a somewhat excessive price.

    Isn’t there a class issue here, also?

  70. Excessive force plain and simple.

    Abrams should make at least some supportive comments on behalf of the student.

    UCLA is a sick sick place.

  71. absolutely. I think there would have been quite a bit of publicity even had it NOT been a student. Perhaps a transvestite with a burqa — (kidding) — I say that only because I just saw that the Dutch are banning the public wearing of a burqa.

  72. Thanks Andy. Still don’t see why that makes any difference though. Would there be less publicity if his family had been in America for a few more generations? I doubt it. I just wanted to make the point after MB’s comment that I don’t think his race/ethnicity/ancestors really have anything to do with how much publicity the case is getting. I think the fact that a university student was tortured by the police in a public library would get attention no matter who the student was.

  73. if the dude had his backpack on and was in the process of leaving, however slow, then he didn’t need to be tasered. tasering anyone ( like the Two Gallants show in Huston, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbEoYJibTLo ) just makes people mad and resnentful and non-compliant. i’d find it hard to want to comply with anyone, police officer or not, if they are going to use a weapon on me. why can’t they just give out tickets or something equally as painless? why do the police have tasers? they always escalate situations.

  74. UCLA is part of a public university system. PUBLIC. STATE university. Not private. What the fuck are UCLA administrators doing making the public leave the library at night? Why check IDs? We don’t have to leave the library. They have no business throwing non-students out of a library that’s open 24 hours. This needs to be challenged. I suggest that anyone who wants to read a book show up at that library building tonight for a nice long sit down.

    By the way, these cops with the Taser weapon are about to lose just about everything they own to this kid and his attorneys. Tasering someone and demanding repeatedly that he stand up amounts to torture. And it happened at my PUBLIC, STATE university library. I’m pissed. Let’s go read at the library tonight!

  75. MB:
    Where does it say the student was of Iranian descent? I didn’t read that anywhere. And I’d like to think that if this happened to anyone it would and should get coverage. Why do you need ID on you at all times? When did this become law? I walk to the store with just cash in my pocket all the time, no ID. No one has ever had a problem with that.

  76. as a student you agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the university . this is not civil disobedience or a demonstration this is a kid to stupid to remember his id and to stupid obey the rules of the institution if the student wasn’t of iranian descent this wouldn’t even have gotten coverage. Fact is you need to have an id on you at all times period. get over yourselves and learn if you resist measures will be taken

  77. “Police officers have many, many tools at their disposal to deal with people who are resisting them.”

    Few of them are generally pleasant though. Nightsticks, steel batons, faceplants into the pavement. Honestly, I don’t really see a difference between that and being tazered.

    “But that does not, in ANY way, excuse those cops from tasering him repeatedly when he was no threat to anyone. ”

    Absolutely. Probably shouldn’t have tasered him the 1st time. That’s bad form. *Sure as hell* shouldn’t have tasered him after that. That’s possibly criminal.

  78. Was he resisting arrest? I didn’t hear them tell him that he was under arrest, or read him his rights. I thought they were just there to escort him out of the library. If he’s being charged for resisting arrest, then what’s the other charge? What were they arresting him for in the first place? Disobeying a library rule? I don’t think that’s law.

  79. once they tazered him once, it’s pretty clear that he wasn’t going to hop right up — by the time you can hear him screaming 2/3 of the way through the video, he’s been tazered something like 4-5 times, and I’m not sure that the cops have any sense of what state that leaves your nervous system in — they’re focused on getting the upper hand and have lost all sense of proportion.

    as for whether students should have defended him, they were clearly calling on the cops to stop, were trying to take down badge numbers, and were generally trying to intervene, but they were threatened with being tazered themselves, and in the context of what was going on, I don’t blame them for not trying to intervene physically!

    what a mess.

  80. to maiku:

    This will be my last post because I don’t think I will change anyone’s opinions here anyway.

    But again, it would be a lot easier for me to take the student’s side if he hadn’t resisted arrest (as is indeed what he was charged with, I found after reading the article). He gave them an excuse for them to vent their crap on him, and they did. You know, cops have a very difficult job to do and they aren’t psychologists. When cops get involved, bad shit can happen. Everyone should know this from watching Amazing Police Videos on TV. The time to argue about one’s constitutional rights is in front of a judge, not in the face of a slow-witted guy who’s tired of getting shot at all day. The student had a chip on his shoulder, which isn’t against the law, but he allowed that chip to persuade him that he could resist arrest, which is a crime. As you can tell from the video, the cops gave the guy plenty of time to comply before unleashing the tazer. And as for the tazer being dangerous, I’m sure that’s true, but it is a lot more humane than a billy club to the face or (worst case scenario) a gun.

    If you’re interested in being objective, you will see that both sides can be blamed in this incident. The cops could have handled the situation better. But the situation wouldn’t have happened at all if the student had just complied with their orders in the first place, so he is not without fault.

    This is how cops handle wrong-doers. This guy was a wrong-doer, albeit of however modest proportions. I’ve thought about this a lot, and if it had been my son, the first thing I would have asked him is, “Why the hell didn’t you listen to the cops, dumbass?!!” Sure, cops are hired thugs, but they’re societally accepted hired thugs.

    I dunno about tazering a guy when he’s handcuffed, but apparently they still thought he could comply (“Stand up! Stand up!” and wasn’t doing so.

    It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this is in terms of legal and civil actions.

  81. I find it very difficult to comprehend the reactionary responses being posted here by apologists for police brutality. Who wants to be the one that rationalizes police brutality? Who wants to live in a society in which the consequence of -not- having your I.D. is that you are immediately and forcibly removed from wherever you happen to be? Comment 8, you write this stuff about “seeing both sides,” but there are not “sides” in this situation, just as there is no “gray” area here. It is simply and undeniably the case that the police overstepped the bounds of what is acceptable, humane, and legal in their handling of the situation. At the very most, the argument could be made that they committed an “error” or “mistake” in judgement. Nevertheless, we as citizens cannot afford the “mistakes” police like this might make. I don’t care if the police are from L.A. or Bismarck, North Dakota. If police do not want to be taken to task for their actions, they should not behave stupidly.

  82. The idea of rules like that in a university library are there for the protection of everyone. Yes, they should be followed. But I also think there’s room for compromise on something like that. I’ve forgotten my student card for several exams, where it is considered to be absolutely essential to ensure that someone else wasn’t taking the exam in my place. But the people in authority were fair with me. I could show another form of ID that proved I am who I say I am. In a library, I should think that just having the other students vouch that you’re a fellow student (as in this case) should be enough. The police needing to be called in in the first place is pretty extreme. But we don’t know for sure what happened before the actual video. Maybe he was causing problems, I don’t know. What I do know is that those cops seemed to get him cuffed pretty easily. Even without the cuffs, it seems like it would have been easy to lift him and carry him out if he wasn’t cooperating. Perhaps despite this they felt the need to use the taser that first time. I see that as an extreme measure, especially since the poor student was already leaving. However, the further torture of this student is inexcusable. Yes, I think this was torture. He was cuffed and tasered, and they continued to taser him for not standing up. Judging from the screams I heard, being tasered is a painful experience. I think I would have trouble standing up right after experiencing that, I’d want to curl up in a ball on the floor. And if that’s the treatment I got when I was being rather cooperative, then yea, I’d probably start to resist. In fact, I was surprised that the rest of the students didn’t become involved in some way. Sure some of them were arguing with the officers, asking for badge numbers too. Perhaps they were afraid of being tasered. But hearing him say that he was doing what they wanted, and then hearing the screams as he was shocked over and over, I wanted to be there. I wanted to scream at those cops, and grab the taser out of their hands. If I were like these cops then I would turn the taser on them, make them feel it. But I’m not like that. I wouldn’t do that to another human being, especially one that’s just lying on the floor, handcuffed, and not trying to fight back. Even the cops I know wouldn’t do this. Yes they see horrible things every day, yes they get shot at and have to hurt people sometimes. But the cops I know never ever use such a higher form of violence than what’s being used on them. If the guy was physically trying to fight them and hurt them then maybe a nightstick would be in order, but not a taser. If he pulled a knife then yea, maybe a taser. But he was just a student leaving the library. All I heard in the form of resistance was “don’t touch me”. That doesn’t warrant physical retaliation of any kind.

  83. defib – why should people who resist the cops ‘expect to get tazered’? WHY? Police officers have many, many tools at their disposal to deal with people who are resisting them. Tasers should be used where guns would be, but where you want to resolve the situation without a death. They were never meant to be torture devices to force compliance from people.
    Four officers should have had no trouble dragging a student lying on the floor in passive resistance. They had no call or cause to electrocute him.
    The student probably should have had ID, if that was a known policy, and he would have be alright if he’d left peacefully – that’s the ‘law and order’ part of me talking. But that does not, in ANY way, excuse those cops from tasering him repeatedly when he was no threat to anyone.

  84. these police response to this situation is embarrassing and childish. these men should be fired without even a question, and this video should be shown to cops in training. anyone would have been frustrated with this difficult student, but the tasering is obviously overkill. very sad that this is happening in a civilized country.

  85. to defib:

    200 people who have died from tasers in the last five years. Tasers should only be used in a situation where a officer’s life is in danger or when a suspect is violently resisting arrest. They tased this guy multiple times AFTER he was handcuffed. This is the very definition of police brutality, don’t make excuses for it.

  86. It is stunning, and really sad, to see people defending the cops and attacking the student for not showing I.D.

    What country did you grow up in? You probably consider yourself some sort of law-and-order conservative, but you have an awful lot in common with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.

    Did you people, you who criticize the student for not showing his ID, did you think Saddam was a bad guy? If so, why? He was your cup of tea.

    These cops are out of control. They were escalating a minor incident. It’s amazing it didn’t turn into a full-scale riot. And if it had, and those cops had been injured, it would have been completely their own fault.

  87. Persecuting a US citizen who is exercising his/her costitutional right is a crime. Therefor these cops are criminal and there should be some legal consequences. Let see if justice is served.

    Even if this arrest was justified and it was not the use of a taser was totally out of line.

    Are these 4 cops too much out of shape to not be able to carry one student?

    These cops are a deshonor for the police and something major should be done to restore the citizen’s respect to the proffession.

    This beeing said ther is always few bad eggs in any profession. In the case of the police it is more critical. Therefore these bad eggs should be flushed out.

  88. I _CANNOT_ believe that not a single person there acted to defend this student.

    When ‘the rules’ become more important than the safety of a citizen we have entirely lost the original point of the rules and in the process lost our right to call ourselves civilized.

    Today I am sickened to the pit of my stomach by what I have seen.

    The only incident I have witnessed in my life which is worse than this video was the systematic assault and battery of a black man by white security police in apartheid South Africa.

    SHAME ON YOU UCLA.
    SHAME ON YOU AMERICA.

  89. It’s hard to sympathize with the student because from what I saw in the video, he was not complying with law enforcement requests. I am not sure he was being taken into custody, so I’m not sure he was “resisting arrest” per se, but he obviously was not obeying official requests. If you don’t obey an officer, you’re going to get tazered, as anyone who watches Amazing Police Videos can tell you.

    That said, the police were not very sensitive to the situation and yes, probably escalated the situation when some calm talking might have defused it. On the other hand, I believe these were LA cops who were ultimately brought in (if other blogs are accurate on this point), and one can’t really expect a whole lot of sensitivity from someone who gets shot at a lot from hardcore criminal elements most the rest of the day, when not surrounded by reasonable intellectual-types.

    What we had here was a clash of cultures. I see both sides, but ultimately I have to side with the cops, because–what else should they have done? If a cop gives you an order, you are supposed to obey it, according to the law, and if you don’t, they can’t just let you waltz out of there if you want to maintain order in society at large. I am not sure the guy needed to be tazered five times, but I am not sure he should have been resisting so much and/or so belligerently either. I would be a lot more concerned if the cops had picked out an innocent person and started beating the crap out of him for the fun of it (which I’m sure does happen at times). This guy was not so innocent in my view.

    He wasn’t tazered for not showing ID; he was tazered for become belligerent, abusive, and unresponsive to police commands.

    Of course, the police may have won the battle but lost the war. It’s not good campus politics to wail on students–their parents tend to get pissed off about it.

  90. I still can’t fathom why there would EVER be a reason to bring, much less, use, a taser gun in a university library.

    Many of the above comments are right on — I’m surprised to see so many in the blogosphere coming down on Tabatabainejad who clearly acted within his constitutional rights. Nobody can be shot for not carrying an ID.

    He’s suing, and not only should these “cops” be disciplined, but get those damn tasers out of the library!

  91. All law, ultimately, is for the benefit and the convenience of the citizenry. This person was a confirmed student, breaking no law. His lack of physical ID was entirely irrelevant. What happened here was an unprovoked assault on a citizen committing no crime, based on a lack of ‘proper identification’. It goes against the purpose of law, instead of protecting the citizen and promoting his ability to further his life, he was assaulted by those in power despite having done nothing wrong other than not do whatever a given authority told him to.

  92. I agree with you Jack to the extent that he did not have the ID he was supposed to, but security personnel must have protocols in place that permit them to manage, and de-escalate such situations in a professional manner. They in fact escalated the scenario. These security personnel did not behave professionally, and for that Mr. Tabatabainejad cannot be blamed. The University/Police are responsible, and the individual officers executing the arrest of Mr. Tabatabainejad should be held accountable for their actions. They should be fired and never again be allowed to work with, or in the presence of students. It was NOT a situation in which they had no other choice but to have acted as they did. I don’t know why they did what they did, but I sure as hell hope that such heavy-handed methods are not a universal procedure among ALL police. Multiple, competent, physically fit security or Police personnel should be capable of forcibly removing even a highly uncooperative individual from a University building without resorting to tasering, pepper-spray, etc.

  93. The fact is that he is that Tabatabainejad must take some responsibility for the incident.

    Why did it escalate to the point where the police were called. Why didn’t he just leave when he was asked.

    It may be a pain in the ass to carry an ID, but so are a lot of rules.

  94. The police weren’t the ones doing the routine checks, either, just a security officer (or a community service officer, as they’re calling it). After the kid hadn’t left after repeated requests, *that* guy called the police (though it’s beyond me why three or four officers were necessary). He was in the process of leaving (backpack on, headed towards the door) when they arrived–he was “escorted,” and then all hell broke loose.

    The police report is wonderfully, drastically different from many things seen in the video. :

  95. the tasering was obviously unnecessary and an extreme reaction to the situation. i think the cops should be fired, period. they took what should have been a very mild situation and escalated it to something very ugly. although the student referred to the Patriot Act and the first commenter explains that this has nothing to do with the Patriot Act, i would say that it is related in that these are both examples of authority over-stepping reasonable response to a situation and abusing the power that they wield. in this case we see that power used to hurt a human being totally unnecessarily.

  96. USC is a private campus thus no cops. Any incident on UCLA campus involves the police since it is a public institution. This is not because of the patriot act. The library policy has been in place for years and not due to the patriot act and was in place for night-time security reasons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *