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Students Put UCLA Taser Video On YouTube 1583

dircha writes "As widely reported, an incident in which Iranian-American student Mostafa Tabatabainejad was tasered up to five times by UCLA police on Friday, has been captured by a fellow student using a video enabled cell phone and published to YouTube. From the Daily Bruin: 'At around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Tabatabainejad, a fourth-year Middle Eastern and North African studies and philosophy student, was asked to leave the library for failing to present his BruinCard during a random check. The 23-year-old student was hit with a Taser five times when he did not leave quickly and cooperatively upon being asked to do so.' In a story which has raised concerns of racial profiling, police brutality and the health risks of taser use, the ubiquity of video cell phone technology has given us a first hand record of an incident which might otherwise have been a he-said, she-said affair. While the publishing of the video to YouTube has given the issue compelling popular exposure beyond the immediate campus community."
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Students Put UCLA Taser Video On YouTube

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  • by DragonPup ( 302885 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:38AM (#16925716)
    ...if after watching this video, you see what the LAPD(and by extension, the UCLA PD) are willing to do on camera, and in front of dozens of witnesses, what do they do without people watching?

    And am I the only one that upon hearing, Police burtality" and "Caught of tape" are completely unsurprised the LAPD are somehow involved?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:45AM (#16925772)
      The UCPD is not a part of the LAPD. The UCPD is a separate law enforcement agency with the same powers as CHP officers run by the University of California.
    • by Trekologer ( 86619 ) <> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:47AM (#16925786) Homepage
      The officers in this video are either the dumbest cops in the world, to repediately brutalize that young man not only on video but with literally dozens of witnesses. Or they think that because of the uniform they wear, that they are above the law. It doesn't matter which one it is, those animals should be out of a job and in jail. The video did not show everything but there is at least one part where the man is clearly on the floor and is tazed again, sending his body upward in a horiffic spasm.
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:56AM (#16925878)
        The officers in this video are either the dumbest cops in the world. . .

        Let us stipulate for the moment, just for the sake of argument, that the first Tasing was justified.

        Their insistence that he get on his feet or they would tase him again is all the proof we need that they were not the brightest bulbs in the pack. The function of a Taser shock is to disable by disrupting nerve and muscle function.

        If you could stand up after being Tased they wouldn't be using them in the first place.

        • by Anti_Climax ( 447121 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:41AM (#16926298)
          Their insistence that he get on his feet or they would tase him again is all the proof we need that they were not the brightest bulbs in the pack. The function of a Taser shock is to disable by disrupting nerve and muscle function.

          If you could stand up after being Tased they wouldn't be using them in the first place.
          I don't know about the campus police, but part of the taser training for full police officers is to take a taser shot themselves, just like with mace (which is much more painful and longer lasting).

          The current taser models override the voluntary muscle nerve impulses and cause the body to tense for the duration it's firing. Once it's off you're back to normal within a few seconds, with the exception of the adrenaline rush.

          Almost everyone is able to get right back up if they choose to do so, especially if people are trying to pull them up from under the arms as it appears those officers were trying to do at one point in the video.

          However, tasers are intended as a means of subduing a suspect without causing serious harm, not convince them to move.

          So to respond to your original post, he could have gotten up when they told him to, the taser shot won't stop that. He chose not to. That's non-violent resistance, and I wouldn't begrudge anyone that. They needed to suck it up, get a few guys and carry him out if that's what needed to be done.
          • by localman ( 111171 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:20AM (#16926672) Homepage
            The current taser models override the voluntary muscle nerve impulses and cause the body to tense for the duration it's firing. Once it's off you're back to normal within a few seconds, with the exception of the adrenaline rush.

            This isn't what I've seen. Just last month an acquaintance of mine, a police officer in Indiana, offered to dress like Keith Richards and be tasered on stage for five seconds while "Start Me Up" played. No, I'm serious... it was a contest put on by a radio station to give away backstage passes for the Stones concert: whoever did the craziest thing, determined by judges and crowd reaction, got the tickets.

            Anyways, he had been tasered before as part of his training, so this was his second time. The MC shot him across stage with the electrodes (they go quite far) and then juiced him for five seconds straight. He stiffened like a board and two bouncers helped him to fall safely face down on the ground. And there he lay for at least 30 seconds wihout moving: despite his best efforts, he could not get up. In fact, the crowd was mostly silent and occasionally gasping as we thought he might be dead. Eventually, with the help of the bouncers he was able to regain his feet. He won the tickets. But he was moving in slow motion for another 15-30 minutes and complained that he felt like shit for the rest of the night.

            In any case, I'm just saying that when they turn off the taser, at least some of the time, the victim cannot get right back up as you claim. So telling someone "get up or I'll taser you again" is absolutely moronic.

          • by Walt Dismal ( 534799 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:16AM (#16927218)
            It is conceivable that the student could have been so shaken, fearful, and angry he literally could not stand up, that he would prefer to just sit there and try to recover. I've seen Taser demonstrations where people could not get up after even a short 1-2 second burst (a TV newswoman for example). Further, had the student had any sort of pre-existing medical condition such as a heart condition or weakness caused by (legal) medications, he certainly would have justified in not responding to the 'get up' demands. Finally, by the third time he'd been Tasered, he is likely to have been quite weak and shaky regardless. Judging by the level of his repeated screams, I'd estimate that his heart rate accelerated a lot and he was weak with systemic shock. Long ago, when I was chased and shot at the first few times, I trembled from the adrenal rush and got weak and shaky too. This kid went through a combat experience, in effect.

            Failure to show a piece of paper is no justification for the brutality shown. There was utterly no justifiable reason for the patrolmen to not have handled this in a more humane way. The school deserves whatever financial justice the UCLA alumni choose to visit upon them for hiring dumb thugs to 'protect' the students. Do not donate when solicited by UCLA. Make them hurt.

            The video was the sickest thing I've witnessed recently, unless you count watching parts of the movie "Saw".

          • by Shaper_pmp ( 825142 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:15AM (#16928048)
            "The current taser models override the voluntary muscle nerve impulses and cause the body to tense for the duration it's firing. Once it's off you're back to normal within a few seconds, with the exception of the adrenaline rush."

            Ummmmm... no [].

            Tasers work by using electrical shocks to rapidly contract and release your muscles. This has the very short-term effect of making you lose voluntary control of those muscles, but it also depletes the ATP (your muscles' "fuel"). A half-second burst will make you twitch violently and go "Ow". A 1-2 second burst will daze your attacker. 3-2 seconds will cause loss of balance, disorientation, and will leave you "passive and confused" for several minutes.

            A decent taser jolt (or, say, 5 or so jolts in quick succession) will effectively empty your muscles of ATP - your muscles literally have no fuel to contract, so you simply can't move them. Once the tazing stops your body will begin to resupply ATP to the muscles faster than it's being used up... but you'll be weak, shaky and possibly incapable of walking or standing up for several minutes.

            "Almost everyone is able to get right back up if they choose to do so, especially if people are trying to pull them up from under the arms as it appears those officers were trying to do at one point in the video."

            You've obviously read simplified reports of what happens when someone is given a single half-second burst. This is not the case for longer or repeated bursts.
      • by dthree ( 458263 ) <> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:34AM (#16926816) Homepage
        And did you catch the part near the end when the cop tells one of the students standing there watching that if he doesn't step back he will get tasered, too?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The UCPD is a wholly separate entity from the LAPD. It is the University of California Police Department, found at all UC Campuses.
  • Sick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twifosp ( 532320 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:41AM (#16925738)
    This was pretty sick. If you get hit by a tazer it's pretty impossible to stand up for at least a few minutes. That's the entire point of a tazer. They could have just handcuffed him and carried him out. I hope these "officers" go to jail.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Macadoshis ( 893254 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:44AM (#16925756)
    After watching that video I'm shocked.


  • by Loopy ( 41728 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:46AM (#16925776) Journal
    ...between him and the police at the very end where it's "time to go" is supposed to prove what, again? Context, people. Context.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:57AM (#16925888) Homepage Journal
      I will say about this what I said about Rodney King: there is nothing that could have happened before the camera started rolling that could justify what those cops did. I don't care if this guy was Hannibal Lecter; once a suspect is incapacitated, further use of this kind of force is torture, not restraint.

      Now there will no doubt be a flood of whining along the lines of, "Oh cops have such a tough job, and they deal with scumbags all day, and you just don't understaaaand!" Whatever. About, oh, fifteen years ago it was my job to render medical care to a group of people who had quite actively been trying to kill me a little while before, and who would have kept trying if they'd had the chance. And I did it, no tasers or billy clubs or attack dogs or waterboarding required. Which is why, whether it's happening halfway around the world at Abu Ghraib or right here at home in America, I have no trouble saying: fuck this shit. The people who do such things to prisoners aren't cops, or soldiers, or any kind of public servant. They're criminals, and because of their abuse of power, should be treated even more harshly than we treat serial killers, pedophiles, and other such scum.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MSG ( 12810 )
      It's supposed to prove that the police committed a gross abuse of their power. Tasers aren't equipment for "correcting" the uncoperative, they're intended to incapacitate dangerous persons without the use of deadly force. There was no reason to use a taser on that student.
    • by spasm ( 79260 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:48AM (#16926360) Homepage
      Regardless of whether the cops were responding appropriately by tasering him or not (and, as you point out, we're missing the first half of the interaction), the fact the cops refused to provide names and badge numbers to onlookers on request tells you either a) the cops believed they were doing something wrong; or b) the cops believed they did not need to be accountable. Either of those is a huge problem, independent of the justifiability of the initial tasering.
  • by SRA8 ( 859587 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:47AM (#16925788)
    I keep hearing people complaining "if he had just listened" or "all he had to do was get up." But seriously, think about it -- should he really have been tased repeatedly or simply arrested?
    1. After being shocked repeatedly, could he even have been ABLE to "just" stand up?
    2. After being shocked repeatedly, would be have been in a mental state to understand the cops' commands?
    3. He was on the floor. An irritating act, but something deserving electrocution?
    4. What if someone asks for a warrant, should they also get electrocuted. After all "all he had to do was let them search."

    Put simply, this was WRONG. The kid deserves to be arrested, NOT electrocuted. To those of you who say "tasing is non-lethal," well, i dare you to do it to yourself. Post a video on YouTube to prove it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by couchslug ( 175151 )
      Many PDs require that officers authorized to use Tasers submit to a stun. Some even volonteer for a sustained jolt: []

      "i dare you to do it to yourself." eos.htm []

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 )
      After being shocked, Yes [] he could well be able to stand - after all, he was more than lucid enough to verbally harrass the officers around him complaining about the patriot act...

      Part of the problem is if he refuses to get up, you cannot drag him to arrest him - he must stand so he can be removed. What we cannot see in the video was how much the person may or may not have resisted being pulled to his feet to take him away, he could well have been twisting pretty wildly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:47AM (#16925790)
    first hand account []
    Yes, I was indeed at Powell Library at approximately 11:30 on Tuesday night, and yes I did see the entire event as it went down.

    Let me start off by saying that the guy DEFINITELY was asking to get his ass kicked. He was being extremely rude with the campus patrol guys (who are college students...this was before the real UCPD got called in). He was not complying with their requests to leave the premises, and he was definitely itching for a fight. I actually know the guy and a few of his friends, and I can tell you that he's the kind of guy that loves to make trouble.

    Just as a little backstory, one of the quotes the guy has on his facebook (which he now has taken down) was "I like to find the most difficult solutions to the simplest of problems".

    He definitely taunted the UCPD into behaving the way they did with him.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I like to find the most difficult solutions to the simplest of problems.

      This might've been taken out of context from the web page, but I actually agree with this since the most difficult solution provides the most opportunity to learn something new for the most simplest problem. Too often too many college students take the easiest way out instead of busting their ass to find alternative solutions. Sometimes that hurts.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:02AM (#16925940) Homepage Journal
      It is a cop's job to deal professionally (which includes not using excessive force) with people who are causing trouble. If they can't do it without going apeshit on the guy, they shouldn't be cops.

      A civilian who reacted like this to somebody taunting him, arguing with him, whatever, would be headed to prison for aggravated assault. Cops, because of their position of power, should face even harsher penalties for such behavior.
    • by _iris ( 92554 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:13AM (#16926060) Homepage
      That matters not, my friend. Police are trained, for good reason, to detain someone with the least force necessary. Anything beyond is police brutality. Part of being a police officer is being able to withstand taunting (and much worse) without losing your composure and being able to follow the official protocols for detaining someone. I could not be a police officer. If I was a police officer and I had to witness some of the things they have to, I would probably punish the suspects outside the system, to put it gently. Police are professionals precisely because we need enforcers who can deal with precisely these situations without brutalizing anyone, even if the suspect wants to be brutalized.
    • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:16AM (#16927208) Journal
      Sorry, but I think the term "Philosophy student" in the summary says it all.

      Keep in mind, that "I like to find the most difficult solutions to the simplest of problems" and "he's the kind of guy that loves to make trouble" are not the same thing as being a violent person. In fact, this is exactly the kind of mindset you'd expect from a philosophy major with an interest in the philosophy of non-violent resistance and individual rights.

      A real criminal doesn't refuse to show ID and stand his ground with the cops, they would get the hell out of there before it escalates. Making a scene like that is exactly the kind of thing a libertarian with an attitude or a leftie into protest politics does. Remember that guy who went to the Supreme Court over not showing cops his drivers licence? I bet this guy also had his ID in his pocket, he just wanted to make a point about requiring it.

      That "he urged others to join his resistance and a crowd began to gather" (from the ABC story) sounds like he was trying to make a political point. That he knew to "fall limp to the floor" also seems to indicate he was at least aware of non-violent protest tactics. His middle eastern ethnicity and Bahai faith probably make him extra-sensitive to issues of profiling and discrimination, too.

      That he was being a self-righteous asshole is just another indication that he's not a criminal and is instead an intellectual who was expecting an argument or debate - instead, he got some muscle-bound cop who thought insolence and disobedience had to be met by force.

      So congratulations, Campus Cops - you found the least dangerous, most-likely-to-sue-over-civil-rights student in the library and tasered him in front of a crowd with cameras. Great job.
  • by m0nkyman ( 7101 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:48AM (#16925806) Homepage Journal
    Nice to see that the introduction of street corner cameras is being matched by our ability to watch them.
  • Bystanders (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lspd ( 566786 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:55AM (#16925864) Journal
    What's up with all the sheeple standing around watching? It's shameful that such a large crowd was too timid to stop the police from doing something so obviously wrong. What exactly would it take to get the crowd to intervene?
    • To be expected. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot.kadin@xox[ ]et ['y.n' in gap]> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:06AM (#16925982) Homepage Journal
      And this surprises you ... why?

      I've seen cops and bar bouncers smack around people on various occasions, some of them deserving, some of them probably not, and in each case there were people standing around and watching. I've never seen anyone who wasn't directly connected in some way to the person getting the beating involve themselves unnecessarily.

      Most people will happily stand back and watch Bad Things Happening To Other People Who Probably Deserve It Somehow. It's probably humanity's oldest form of entertainment.

      To most of the people in that library, the whole thing was just like watching COPS, but in the ultra-ultra high definition sometimes known as Reality(TM).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      They did try, didn't you hear them saying "officer, I want your name and badge number". There were claims I read that students asking for that were threatened with arrest. If they'd rushed the police, there could have been deaths - the crowd handled it as best they could, short of calling for backup themselves, or chanting something to get the police to feel intimidated and back off temporarily.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by heli0 ( 659560 )
      What's up with all the sheeple standing around watching? []
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macrom ( 537566 )
      Laws that allow a crowd to intervene, maybe? I dunno about you, but I wouldn't want to go to jail for assaulting an officer. And whether or not you think it would be justified doesn't matter. AFAIK citizens aren't allowed to directly intervene in the affairs of a police officer. That's what the courts are for.
  • surveillance society (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:56AM (#16925868) Homepage

    The words "surveillance society" scare a lot of people, but I would actually love to live in a surveillance society that worked the way this event worked out: the surveillance is carried out by individuals, in a public place, voluntarily, and all they're doing is recording something that they saw with their own eyeballs anyway.

    Similarly, I would love to see photo red light reimplemented so that if other drivers saw you run a red light, they could slap a button on their dashboards, and the video would be posted on you-tube. Hell, we wouldn't even need a DMV anymore. Insurance companies would just hire people to watch traffic videos, and log patterns of stupid behavior by certain individuals. The insurance companies would then refuse to offer insurance to those people.

    I'm a teacher, and over the past 10 years of teaching, I've had the following experiences: (1) a student gets upset and disrupts my class for 10 minutes (10 minutes is a long time); (2) a homophobic student harasses a gay student while I'm out of the room; (3) a student attacks me in the hall, throws me in some bushes, and threatens to kill me. In all three cases, I would have loved to have the whole thing recorded on you-tube, because significant disagreements arose later about what really happened. In incident #2, in fact, a room full of students were unable to identify the harasser, and it turned out that it was more of a two-way thing than the initial witnesses (the gay student's friends) had claimed. A room full of witnesses is nice, but a video is a lot nicer.

    The good or bad effects of this kind of technology depend a lot on who uses the technology. It's like guns. Guns in the hands of Nazis stormtroopers: bad. Guns in the hands of individuals: good.

  • by Slipgrid ( 938571 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:58AM (#16925904) Homepage Journal
    There was 60+ students standing around. If you ever see something like this happening, and you don't help, then you are just as bad as the police were in this case.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      There was 60+ students standing around. If you ever see something like this happening, and you don't help, then you are just as bad as the police were in this case.

      It was non-lethal force. If someone were to "help", then that allows the cops to use lethal force to protect themselves. Bad idea.
      The students did the best thing by watching and videoing the thing. We need to keep civility and let law enforcement do their job. If you disagree, then the courtroom and legislation are your tools to try and fix t
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:15AM (#16926086)
    The problem with that video is that we enter midway through the true story, where he is down and been tazered once already. But why are there four cops around? What exactly was he doing that made them ask him to leave in the first place? It would seem that in order to be asked to leave from a library you would have to have done more than be speaking loudly or bring in a sandwitch.

    That combined with how he was screaming about the "patriot act" made me more than a little suspicious that the victim went in with the goal of mixing it up with some law enforcement people, angry at The Man to start.

    That video raises more questions than it answers, about both sides of the conflict. Next time, if anyone else is in the same situation can't you stand on a chair please!
    • by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:20AM (#16926126) Homepage
      To be in the library you're required to present student ID on request by staff. He said he didn't have his on him. He refused to leave when staff told him to, so they called campus security, who told him to leave. He still refused, and the police were summoned.

      According to other articles, at the time the video starts, he'd stood up and starting walking towards the door. One of the cops grabbed his arm to escort him, he yanked his arm away and yelled "don't touch me!" Whether or not he then passively resisted leaving by going limp, or was simply thrown down and tasered, depends on who you ask.
  • police POV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:38AM (#16926264)
    As a police officer, I have two things to say about this:

    1) This kid sounds like an ass and I'm certain that there will be more than enough "He got what he deserved posts." I might even agree in the moral sense, but not in the ethical or legal sense, because....

    2) This cop should never work in law enforcement again. This is inappropriate use of force by any professional standard. One post is not nearly enough to recount the things he did incorrectly, but I'll hit the high points;

    General rules for any controlled encounter (one where you aren't in danger from the get go) include finding out what the issue is, telling the subject what he/she needs to do, and explaining what will happen if they do not. There is almost never a need to place your hands on anyone for any reason until you are ready to take them into custody unless you are suddenly attacked. This "officer" is grossly incompetent. Understand we deal with aggressive people that posture by yelling and swearing at us all the time - this should not disrupt the officer on bit. Keep. Your. Cool. So, screaming/swearing or not, this encounter should have been over with three sentences from the officer.

    A) "Sir, per university rules and regs, I need you to show me your valid student ID or leave the library."
    B) "I need to to show me your valid student ID or leave the library right now, or I'll have to take you into custody for trespassing and disturbing the peace."
    C) "Sir, I am placing you under arrest." Then Mirandize him and be done with it. If he does anything but exactly what you tell him ("Sir, place your hands behind your back.") then....

    Now and only now, if he/she resists (NOT if he simply fails to cooperate i.e. passive resistence), you may use force sufficient to subdue him to the point of having him cease to be a danger to the officer or bystanders. That's pretty simple stuff, folks. Basically, never be the first to use force, but when you do - do it quickly and overwhelmingly then STOP when he's restrained. You are a trained professional who owns the situation and NOT a street brawler.

    From what I can tell, he never told the subject he was under arrest until after at least five taserings, some of which occurred while he was in cuffs and all but the first while he was on the ground unable to stand under his own power. This "officer" grabbed the guy's arm while he was leaving. Bad move, even if it seems like a little thing. Physical contact constitutes use of force, and any trained officer knows this is a big line to cross. I don't care if he didn't leave immediately - in that case place him calmly in custody early on and be done with it, no argument needed. You're the cop; you NEVER need to be in an argument. You aren't asking him what he wants to do, you're telling him. Never ever let a subject think they are in control. Arguing tells the subject they have some power.

    What he did is inexcusable. If this power-tripping bully didn't have a badge what would you think of somebody tasering a defenseless person on the ground FIVE TIMES some while he was handcuffed and yelling at him to "get up." A badge doesn't free you from responsibility, it adds to to it exponentially.

    This sadistic SOB gives all true professional LEOs a bad name and is part of the reason so many distrust cops. I've had training on most of the common less-than-lethal systems (lawyers don't let us call them non-lethal) including tasers, stun guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets and even conducted some training on the same. Unless this guy was issued a system with no training, he knows damn well the individual won't be getting up immediately after one tasing, let alone five. Frankly, I hope this guy answers for assault charges.

    To summarize, to non-cops this might appear to be a case of overreacting during a tense moment with a belligerent person. To most professionals, this is about as vanilla an arrest as there is where the cop did basically everything wrong. So wrong, in fact, I intend to use these videos as a training aid.

    This was so absurd that I actually laughed when the guy threatened to to taser the bystander who asked for his name and badge number. It's almost like he was trying to get fired and sued.
    • Re:police POV (Score:5, Insightful)

      by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:24AM (#16929340) Homepage
      You sir, are a shining example of what police SHOULD be. I hope the vast majority are like you.

      I have talked to a few police officers I know about this incident (naturally everyone knows about and is talking about it) and while they agree with you, nobody went as far as saying the officers should be fired. I suspect there is still a little of "we protect our own, no matter what" there. One alarmingly raised the point that the proliferation of camera phones is damaging law enforcement and something needs to be done about that...

  • by nexeruza ( 954362 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:40AM (#16926286)
    I read a post above that claimed the student involved loved to make trouble. And what I saw from the video would lead me to believe that is likely true. However it shows just how primitive the police force at the scene was. They were led into "abusing" the student and took it hook line and sinker. You could classify the person as mentally ill by definition he obviously was making bad choices that would only further his situation. Yet the tough pigs thought force would fix the problem. I blame both sides, a disruptive irrational person got the best of the police force. There was no need to injure him; a professional team would have kept him subdued and safe from escalating the situation and waited for time to let him calm down until he could quietly leave the area. Instead they strutted their big balls and made the situation worse. If they don't have training in this then I really do wonder if the next time I'm upset and the cops show up I'll take a few slugs for behaving badly. What makes me blame the police is their unprofessional handling of the situation. They're supposed to be "peace officers" but obviously they chose to turn this into an aggressive situation in which the hammer won. From the moment they arrived, many of them, they had physical superiority, there was no weapon, there was a person that wouldn't stand up. God forbid they seek other options instead of harming the individual to cement their power over them.

    For those that don't know, this is very far from unordinary. I've hung with "bad" people and the police act like this all the time. They have the gun, they have the badge, in court they are a credible witness. Go up against them and you WILL LOSE without proof. Even with proof you are unlikely to win unless they kick the shit out of you while you stay absolutely motionless, even then you better hope your arm didn't move more than 2 inches cuz if it did you were attempting to violently assault an officer. I am exxagerating a bit but if you think this is uncharacterstic of police behavior you are ignorant (meaning that you just don't know).

    Officers obviously need more training on how to handle a non dangerous situation. This comes up every time Joe Blow Black man with a rake is capped. They need to understand that having a gun, having control, does not mean using it to expedite the situation. If they have to spend 2 hours trying to calm the man down so be it. That's what they are payed to do, to keep everyone safe. Force should only be applied when NECCESSARY, and that is the downfall of this whole situation.
  • by ET_Fleshy ( 829048 ) <lespea@ g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:57AM (#16926456)
    Haven't heard anybody mention it yet, but the kid was handcuffed when they were shocking him. That, according to multiple claim-to-know people, is against pretty much every district's / precinct's rules.

    Also, the guy was in the process of leaving when the officer(s?) grabbed his arm, that's why he shouts out "let go of me." Now I agree that the guy probably shouldn't have been such an asshole when he was asked to leave the first time, which provoked the staff to call the "cops," but he definitely didn't deserve any of this.

    Also, "this is your patriot act!" --> wtf???
  • by foreverdisillusioned ( 763799 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:21AM (#16926678) Journal
    Again and again, the police apologists come out in droves saying "Oh, but you don't know how HARD it is being a cop!" and "The guy was definitely asking for it!" I'm just going to say what I said last time this came up (original post: =15830849 []) Full text:

    The perfect reply to this argument (which comes up every time someone mentions that most cops are assholes) is this: a McDonald's employee has more accountability than a cop does. As a 16 year old burger-flipper, if a customer acts like a complete asshole--even going so far as to yelling and cussing you out--you are NOT allowed to verbally abuse the customer in return in any way, shape or form. At most you can ask him/her to leave the building, that's it.

    Years ago, I worked at McDonald's for four months and a very good friend of mine was punched in the face. Through a plate glass window. A woman tried to order at the pickup window, was told she needed to drive around again, so she punched through the drive-through window, hitting my friend in the face. If she (my friend) had hit her back, there's not a doubt in my mind that she would have lost her job. Instead, she walked away calmly and called her supervisor and the police.

    Now, I'm not implying that the police shouldn't use force when necessary. I'm also not denying that they're human too, that it's a nasty, dirty job and I'm sure it's really rough on them. But you know what? Working at McDonald's is in many was rougher (if you doubt this, I could tell you some more horror stories... absolutely the worst 4 months of my life, period.), and yet their workers are held to a much higher standard than the police. Why is that? Why do so many of us make allowances for the police to exercise HUGE leaps of personal discretion, to bend the law whenever it suits them? It's a tough job, but they chose it and we shouldn't let them bend the rules (or ignore them) whenever they feel like it. I saw a TON of asshole customers at McDonalds, yet I didn't say a foul word to any of them. I didn't spit in their food either (no one did--they would've been fired on the spot.) I did my job as professionally as I could, regardless of how shitty I was treated.

    And I was a fucking fry cook!

    Please please please please PLEASE tell me we can hold our police officers up to the same standards as our burger flippers.
  • from the latims (Score:5, Informative)

    by mtenhagen ( 450608 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:06AM (#16927586) Homepage
    he UCLA police officer videotaped last week using a Taser gun on a student also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and was earlier recommended for dismissal in connection with an alleged assault on fraternity row, authorities said.

    UCLA police confirmed late Monday that the officer who fired the Taser gun was Terrence Duren, who has served in the university's Police Department for 18 years.

    Duren, who was named officer of the year in 2001, also has been involved in several controversial incidents on campus.

    In an interview with The Times on Monday night, Duren, 43, defended his record as a campus police officer and urged people to withhold judgment until the review of his Taser use is completed.

    "I patrol this area the same way I would want someone to patrol the neighborhoods where I live," he said. "People make allegations against cops all the time. Saying one thing and proving it are two different things."

    While he would not directly talk about why he used the Taser on the student, he said a videotape of any arrest doesn't necessarily tell the whole story.

    "If someone is resisting, sometimes it's not going to look pretty taking someone into custody," he said. "If you have to use some force, it's not going to look pretty. That's the nature of this job."

    A student's cellphone video of the incident has been broadcast around the world and focused much criticism on the officer.

    But Duren -- who was back on duty at the UCLA campus Monday night -- said he can roll with these punches and wants to explain himself to students critical of his actions.

    "In this line of business, you have to have a thick skin," he added. "I am proud of my service as a cop."

    The incident occurred about 11 p.m. Nov. 14 in a library filled with students studying for midterm examinations.

    Senior Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, was asked by Duren and other university police officers for his ID as part of a routine nightly procedure to make sure that everyone using the library after 11 p.m. is a student or otherwise authorized to be there.

    Authorities said Tabatabainejad refused repeated requests to provide identification or to leave. The officers decided to use the Taser to incapacitate Tabatabainejad after he went limp while they were escorting him out and after he urged other library patrons to join his resistance, according to the university's account.

    The video shows portions of the incident, in which Tabatabainejad can be heard screaming in pain when the Taser shocks are administered.

    The tape, which has been broadcast on the YouTube website and TV newscasts, prompted widespread criticism both on campus and from outsiders. On Friday, more than 200 students held a march to the police station, while acting Chancellor Norman Abrams tried to quell the critics by announcing an independent investigation of the Taser use. Abrams said UCLA had received numerous e-mails and calls from concerned alumni and parents.

    Tabatabainejad's attorney, Stephen Yagman, said his client was shocked five times with the Taser after he refused to show his ID because he thought he was being singled out for his Middle Eastern appearance. Tabatabainejad is of Iranian descent but is a U.S. citizen by birth and a resident of Los Angeles.

    Duren said Monday that he joined the UCLA police force after being fired from the Long Beach Police Department in the late 1980s. He said he was a probationary officer at the time and was let go because of poor report-writing skills and geographical knowledge.

    In May 1990, he was accused of using his nightstick to choke someone who was hanging out on a Saturday in front of a UCLA fraternity. Kente S. Scott alleged that Duren confronted him while he was walking on the street outside the Theta Xi fraternity house.

    Scott sued the university, and according to court records, UCLA officials moved to have Duren dismissed from the police force. But after an independent administrative hearing, officials ove
  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mad-cat ( 134809 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:29AM (#16927752) Homepage
    *disclaimer: I haven't seen the video due to restricted net access*
    It's this sort of crap that's going to get a very useful and life-saving tool taken away from cops who use it right.

    There's no reason to deploy a taser on someone who is ALREADY ON THE GROUND AND NO LONGER FIGHTING!

    I have used my taser as a police officer twice. The first time, the wires broke on contact and I had to chase him. The second time, the guy fell to the ground and became verbally and physically compliant.

    Tasers cannot be used as FREAKING CATTLE PRODS! They're a sophisticated, useful tool that is meant to incapacitate a VIOLENT criminal in order to protect *both* the officer and the offender from serious bodily injury. When deployed in a sensible, responsible fashion, tasers save lives. When used 3 to 5 times on a compliant subject on the ground, they don't help.

    In Florida (where I am a sworn law enforcement officer), most agencies are not allowed to use a taser unless a subject is actively resisting arrest (i.e. fighting and/or running away). A large powerful agency nearby was using them on everyone for passive resistance (i.e. "I'm Ofc. Jones, who are you?" "Screw you pig!" *taser*)

We can defeat gravity. The problem is the paperwork involved.