Saturday, November 18, 2006

Why I hate TASER guns; UCLA Police use TASER on student.

Have a look at this. UCLA Police tasers a student who is unwilling to "stand up" AFTER he's being tasered.

It's clear that the police is on the wrong track. Although this student was obviously not cooperating, the police could've simply handcuffed him, and have two officers carry him out. Here's how I think the police should handle non-cooperating students.

- talk. Police should be able to reason with a student. Ask what the problem is and try to convince the student it's a lot less hassle (for both parties) to cooperate.
- handcuff him and carry him out.

The police might have talked to the student before, but this video doesn't show this; All we see is yelling officers threatening to TASER the student.

The handcuffing seems not an option to these policemen. What's wrong with the UCLA police?

Tasers are dangerous weapons; "Amnesty International have documented over 150 deaths following the use of tasers."

Personally I believe these weapons should be outlawed; again and again videos like these show up where it is clear the weapon is NOT "used instead of a leathel weapon" (which is often the argument for using TASERS) but out of convenience; the police considers the (threat of the) use of the TASER "easier" than reasoning or simple handcuffing/dragging.

Afer viewing this video we can all remove this UCLA University from our shortlist.

Here's what Wikipedia writes about the incident:

On November 15th, 2006, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a student of the university, was tased for refusing to leave the Powell Library[37]. The media[38] reported that the officers of the University of California Police Department (UCPD) inflicted "multiple taser shots to a 23-year-old student in the Powell Library computer lab". Several students recorded the incident on their phones, which shows Tabatabainejad screaming while being tased multiple times. After being tased, the police asked him to stand up, but Tabatabainejad either could not or would not. The police then continued to tase him several more times. Tabatabainejad claims that he was leaving the library when the police confronted him, and would not let him leave, which is supported by several eye witness accounts. Library policy forbids those who do not possess a valid UCLA ID from entering and using its facilities. Those who are asked to produce an ID must do so or must leave. The police reported that the Mr. Tabatabainejad did not produce a UCLA ID despite repeated requests. In the videos, several bystanders can be heard asking for the police officers' badge numbers as well as condemning what they thought was excessive force. Another police officer can be heard threatening to tase another student, who was protesting the incident, if he did not back away. The video can be seen here. The university is currently investigating the incident.


leftdog said...

WOW - those images are so powerful. I also share your question as to what the hell is going on with the LAPD. This recent incident comes hot on the heels of this other incident of LAPD brutality

Anonymous said...

The issue I have with the way this story is being reported and talked about is that this student has responsibilities he did not live up to.
1. Have your id in the library
2. Leave when you are told

Did he create his own problem, he sure did. You want to fire the security officer for excessive force, I am fine with that, but kick the kid out of school too.

Erik Abbink said...

Anonymous, what you don't seem to get is the "excessive force" part.

Nobody should be exposed to physical pain when not able to present ID of some sort.

The student IS a student of the school and was therefore legitimately studying in the library. The fact that he was not able to show ID does not make him a criminal.

The video shows that the UCLA Police uses excessive force to student who merely forgot his Student ID. His sole act of objecting to a request of the UCLA police (to leave the building) should never have triggered the use of a Taser or, as you are suggesting, "kicking the kid out of school". The "kid" felt he was being racially profiled and therefore objected to the request.

Smart officers had either talked him out of the building or asked him for some other ID, not so smart officers had dragged him out of there; only abusive policemen use tasers on students.

Police should have been aware how to deal with cases like these. Tasering of a single obstructing student should not never ever have been allowed.
The UCLA has a history of activism. You would think, given the activism history, that the UCLA board would be smarter than they appear to be sofar. The firing of the officer should be the first step, but definitely not the last.

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