Thursday, November 16, 2006

UCLA Student Tasered by UCLA Police for not showing ID


Anonymous Dolores H said...

I saw this earlier today. I can't believe this. Those cops just gave that student the University on a silver platter, and the university lawyers the biggest headache ever.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After being at a small concert in Houston where the band was attacked by cops over a noise complaint and then audience members (including a 14-year-old boy) were tasered, I'm not the least bit surprised.

People with intelligence that low are certainly not worthy of the authority we allow them.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Step 1: put several thousand volts through person, leaving them incapacitated.

Step 2: Demand that person immediately gets up. Threaten to taser person if he does not 'comply'.

Repeat as necessary.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

Horrible. But the most amazing thing to me is how long it took for the students standing by to become outraged and to attempt to intervene on the victim's behalf. And as for legal action against the university, you would be amazed at how difficult that suit will be. Governmental entities have immunities and damage caps that protect them.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

This will explain a lot. The student's name is Mostafa Tabatabainejad. I'll bet if he was a blond, blue-eyed white kid John Smith he wouldn't have been tazered. These guys probably trained at the LAPD.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

A more detailed story in the L.A. Times.,1,1813095.story

3:44 AM  
Blogger Cold Potato said...

The thing that bothers me is the students that do nothing to help.

Sadly, we are slipping into a world where free speeh is barely given lip service, cops abuse their "power" with impunity, and most "americans" dont give a darn.

Any sane person could think of half a dozen better ways of dealing with this situation, from both the cops and students' point of view.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

If the policy to ask for i.d. from everyone was in effect and he wasn't the only one asked, then he should have complied rather than trying to turn this into a national incident.

I would love to see the response from everyone so outraged by this if they had intentionally not asked for his i.d. for fear of being accused of racial profiling and he had an explosive device strapped to his body, ready to take down a few infidels.

All he had to do was show his i.d. and the whole incident would have been something to complain about to his buddies while out drinking tonight. He choose non-compliance and the consequences that come with that. People are so quick to judge law-enforcement for using force, but when an officer encounters a situation like this, they never know if it's someone who is going to choose to be difficult to protest or if it's someone who is going to attempt to take their lives. They have to be prepared for any situation.

That being said, tasering him five times was probably excessive, but you would think that after the first time he would realize they were serious and try to cooperate even a little bit.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous andrea said...

What? He's punished for leaving his ID in his other pants?

I mean, just look at what he's doing... if he's studying for a CHEM 101 exam, then it's probably justified for him to be in the library, and there is a reasonable suspicion that he's a student.

Or just get him to bring up his student email account/Peoplesoft account/something on one of the computers.

There is more than one way to solve a problem.

Cops : No need to taser if you're not stupid.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure the student was a bit of a dick about being obliged to leave, but you'd think cops would have a thicker skin about these sorts of theatrics.

If they get to keep their jobs even after threatening the onlookers to the event, I think a obligatory part of being a UCLA cop is getting tasered 5 times so they have an honest appreciation of what one can and cannot do after such an experience.

And Frank, the cops were more likely thinking he was a homeless guy and not a terrorist. That would account for the cheerful overuse of force.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

Frank, you posit some mighty big ifs in your post. As I read the L.A. Times article, he was the only one being singled out to show his ID. Assuming that is true, and obviously none of us have first hand knowledge, what your your response be then?

2:52 PM  
Blogger milowent said...

apparently this guy thought he was being singled out, whether he was or not.

when you use force, the 1st use of force does not justify continued use of force (rodney king anyone?) i cannot imagine that the policies on taser use were not blown to hell in this case, EVEN if the 1st use of the taser was proper.

as for the students, it seems it took awhile for people to realize what was really happening. the policy probably got the benefit of the doubt until onlookers saw otherwise.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Ragman said...

He wasn't incapacitated by the taser. You could hear him bitching after they hit him. From what I've seen on the Taser website, he's pretty tough to keep talking shit after getting tased that many times.

The kid was an idiot. You don't argue with a cop, you do what they say. That way, when they trample your rights, it's quite obvious. You get your lawyer and do it in court.

The two cops picking him up could have easily cuffed him, since he didn't appear to be fighting that hard, and they had control of him.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

This gives me serious chills. I've never seen anything like this. No matter how you put it that was completely unnecessary.
I would have been in there in 5 minutes helping the poor guy.
My father is a police man and if he saw this, he would be completely enraged.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

University cops have an agenda, there is really no arguing the other way, and they are protected...

By Laura Berman / The Detroit News
Laura Berman

In the good old days of college protests, you could skip school, show up at a demonstration of thousands, chant a little and go home.

Today, parents of hundreds of Michigan State University students are wondering why their Emilys and Jasons can't watch a basketball game on TV in East Lansing without encountering the riot police and getting tear-gassed.

"We were smothered with it," said Keshav Grover, a pre-med freshman at MSU from Troy, who was among those gassed after watching the Spartans' Saturday night NCAA tournament defeat televised on campus.

Other students likened the scene to a war-zone, with helicopters overhead, tear gas canisters exploding in front and behind them, and students vomiting and passing out. "I was telling the police, 'This isn't Iraq,' " said George Dirani, who was shocked by the intensity of his physical reaction to the gas: He vomited.

At Holmes Hall, an MSU dormitory 10 minutes from an apartment complex where the tear gas was deployed, students came streaming into the dorm, their eyes tearing and red. According to the staff supervisor on duty that night, Erika Doster, the students who showed up were sober. "Actually, everyone I talked to that night was sober," she said. "They were begging us to let them in, because they couldn't get away from the gas."

A few temporarily lost all vision. Doster says she lost her voice - and is still struggling to get it back. "One girl had an asthma attack and we had to call the police," she said.

Abigail Fisher, a freshman from Bloomfield Hills, wrote a long e-mail to her mother that night detailing the scene, in part because she was horrified, in part because "I didn't want my mom to wake me up on Sunday morning after hearing news reports," she explained.

She was gassed walking between two jobs, she said.

The East Lansing police defended their actions, creating a time-line that described students throwing rocks and bottles, bringing out couches to burn in the streets, breaking glass downtown, and gathering in large crowds that numbered 3,000 or more.

Capt. Juli Liebler said 270 officers, including state police, successfully pre-empted the kinds of serious problems that occurred in 1999.

"You have to wonder what these kids were even doing out there in the streets. It wasn't a celebration," she pointed out. "They lost." But students -- including Andrew Schepers, the student governing board president, insisted students yelling "Green and white" were cheering an exciting season.

"If five people were standing outside a bank, would you arrest them for possible bank robbery?" asked Abigail Fisher. "Really, it was ridiculous."

To put students "through real physical anguish without a good reason was wrong," said Keshav Grover, the pre-med freshman from Troy.

Whether pre-emptive tear-gassing is overzealous or not, the night was marred by a new reality: Any Big Game's conclusion is automatically regarded by police, college administration and students as a potential setup for a riot.

Win or lose, that's plain sad.

Laura Berman's column runs Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in Metro. Reach her at (248) 647-7221 or

11:31 AM  
Anonymous SJ said...

Before I was even over my initial shock to this video I began to ask myself ‘what am I looking at?’ It looked and sounded like torture, and the juxtaposition with a library setting only added to the bizarreness in which I saw some indifference, concern, confusion, brutality, anger, irrationality. The obvious observations have already been presented by others, but I came to two additional conclusions: I’m seeing cops tazer a mentally ill person, or I’m seeing a staged act to bring attention to the patriot act. There is also the question of what I didn’t see. The issue of ID is not evident from the video, and I didn’t see any violent resistance to arrest that should warrant repeated shockings. Additionally I can’t determine why the cops seem to need to remove the victim from a public building immediately? Clearly there are several things happening in this video, but some of them are pretty fuzzy. Does the so called victim have an agenda or is he a nut with out a library card? Regardless if those were really campus cops they could have easily handled the situation with out such brutality.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Cop said...

I am willing to bet that next time he complies.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

To cop, I'm willing to bet that there won't be a next time because the sorry sacks of excrement that did this won't have their old jobs for long. They'll have to get rid of their excess testosterone somewhere else. Let's just hope it's not in law enforcement.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how people can see the same video and draw completely different conclusions...

To the Student: shut the f**k up. How many times do the police have to yell at you to stand up before you do as they say? 2 dozen, 3, 4? If you did what they asked, instead of challenging them, you wouldn't be tasered the 1st time.

To the Cops: Threatening to taser the onlookers when they disagree with you is abuse of power of the worst kind. Man and I think the cops at my college are bad.

That being said, I was proud of the crowd not reacting with violence to the cops and trying to be reasonable after the "I can't believe this is happening shock" was over.


8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad how this "new generation" thinks . . .

The student could have avoided the entire situation by either showing ID or leaving - very simple!

We are AT WAR with terrorists whether you belive it or not! They will strike again on American soil; and yes, the authorities are nervous. If they are a little heavy-handed and we are all a little safer, so be it. If you don't like it, leave. Go live somewhere where there is no law, no order, only chaos. I think you will quickly realize that being safe and not having as many liberties is a much better choice than having free reign to do as you wish, but having no safety.

4:26 PM  

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