Friday, November 17, 2006

You better watch out, you better behave

UCLA student doesn't have ID during a library sweep, ends up tasered by police on his way out of the building, police who threaten to taser other students who try to intervene (and reinstate perspective). I'm with Digby in finding taser use a frightening and disturbing problem, which converts a reasonable desire for compliance into a brutal (and sometimes lethal) attack. The Patriot Act is making this country a scary place to live.

Update: not that it really addresses the larger issues, but perhaps this should surprise no one -- the officer involved here has a history of using excessive force.

17 comments:

The Gendarme said...

Would you rather that they shot the guy?

I would much rather have tasers as the go to weapon of choice for trigger happy LA area police than other weapons. Just be glad he didn't have a screwdriver in his hands.

ACM said...

Those are the choices?? Don't you think that your average campus security guy, let alone a dozen police officers, could get the guy's arm behind his back and escort him out of the place? Why on earth should any sort of violence at all be required?

this. is. my. point.

Classifying tasers as "nonlethal" has made police think that it's reasonable to use a very painful strike where barely any force is required at all.

ACM said...

jeeze, listen to the guy screaming on the video, and tell me that the guys saying "we just want you to stand up" have any idea what the effect of 3-5 tazings on the nervous system really is. I'm feeling sick...

t. gray said...

I am a bit baffled with the idea of ucla police asking for someone's id in a library in the first place. The library at ucla is a government depository and as such cannot restrict its use to ucla students only. The general public must be allowed access. So what is this id checking about?

ACM said...

They restrict the library to students/ID carriers after 11pm, and have done so for a while. That doesn't seem so problematic to me (e.g., you could easily end up with vagrants sleeping in the stacks otherwise)...

t. gray said...

You mean like at a public library?

t. gray said...

Also, why not just have the students show their id to get in after 11pm? Then you wouldn't have the potential for roaming police rousting students trying to study.

Anonymous said...

"The UCPD released a statement yesterday afternoon, in which spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein explained: "This is a longstanding library policy to ensure the safety of students during the late-night hours. The CSO [community service officer] made an announcement that he would be checking for university identification. When a person, who was later identified as ... Tabatabainejad, refused to provide any identification, the CSO told him that if he refused to do so, he would have to leave the library.

"Since, after repeated requests, he would neither leave nor show identification, the CSO notified UCPD officers, who responded and asked Tabatabainejad to leave the premises multiple times. He continued to refuse. As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building."


He got exactly what he deserved. Why wouldn't he simply leave when asked? Why all the drama? It's not like they didn't know about the policy and it was announced that security officers would be checking ID's.

Seems to me like a spoiled brat who doesn't think the rules apply to him...

ACM said...

so now a limp student is an acute threat? or do you think that all nonviolent resisters (or all college students with a corncob up their asses) should be given violent, painful treatment?

it's not about his being right, it's about proportion. I don't see any here.

Anonymous said...

Hey ACM, you ever been tased? I have. It's not debilitating. It hurts like hell, but as soon as the taser is turned off, you can move.

Why didn't the little punk obey the orders of peace officers who are simply trying to do their jobs? What was the little punk trying to prove? Was he "standing up to the man?" Was he trying to be some kind of "hero?"

These officers, who are merely trying to do their jobs and enforce university policy, should not have to deal with stupid punks who think that rules don't apply to them. He refused to comply. They got him to comply. I'm sure if they had used "physical" force to get him to comply, the left-wing loonies would have been all up in arms about that as well.

Most police departments now prefer to used methods such as a taser to subdue unruly subjects rather than physical force simply because it is safer for them to do so, particularly when in the midst of a crowd of people. They don't want their hands to be tied up when they may need them to deal with other unruly people.

Kudos to these officers. I hope this punk learned a valuable lesson.

protect and serve said...

"Why didn't the little punk obey the orders ?"

Tasers should not be used as pursuaders in non-violent scenarious any more than guns should be used a pursuaders in non-violent situations.

If a suspect resists arrest, then the suspect shoul dbe charged with resisting arrest, not compelled to "obey orders" with a cattle prod.

Does this seem unreasonable?

I wouldn't pay tuition at a university that arms their police with tasers.

Capt. John Smith said...

What I see is a very amateurish police response to a belligerent student. These officers are obviously poorly trained and are overly reliant on their Tasers. Two solutions spring to mind immediately: 2) Take away their Tasers until the officers are adequately trained, and 2) suspend the officers or otherwise discipline them. Did you hear the one officer threaten to Taser another student who was complaining? That's called punitive action without due process, and it would be clearly illegal and unconstitutional were he to do so. The police of chief should resign or be fired, as he has obviously failed to properly train his force, and the campus president should seriously consider banning Tasers. Also, the feds should consider filing civil rights charges against the officers and their superiors. As for "the gendardme:" honestly, I have seen bar bouncers do a better job of defenestrating belligerent patrons. It's not rocket science and it doesn't require weapons of torture.

Anonymous said...

I'm a UCLA grad and I think that jackass got exactly what he deserved. I bet most of the commentators on here have no idea how full that school is of subsidized yuppies who want to show off by "stickin' it to the man." That idiot kid deliberately provoked this. I just wish I were there to taser him myself.

Capt. John Smith said...

Well, I'm a UCLA grad AND a former UC employee. Does that make my opinion count twice as much as yours?

Really, all you need as a qualification to comment on this is to be a human. Even an idiot can see that there was a better way to handle an uncooperative, and, yes, obnoxious student.

I have a strong hunch that UC's lawyers won't want a jury to see that video, so they'll just pay to make it go away. Unfortunately, the money they'll use will be that of the taxpayers, including me.

Would've been a lot cheaper to just properly train the cops.

Anonymous said...

No, it doesn't count twice as much as mine but for the record, I am also a former UC employee and now currently work for USC's Libraries. We get nut jobs in the libraries all the time and have to escort them out. You really have no idea until you work in one what our stressed out CSOs and campus police have to deal with. We have had people bring guns and weapons into the libraries looking for trouble. I stand by my previous statement that this guy got exactly what he deserved. WHY didn't he show his ID??? The policy is clear as day--it's for the students' own protection, darn it! I know that sounds laughable because of this incident but no one makes note of the number of times problems have been averted due to the vigilance of our campus cops.

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously relating this abuse with the Patriot Act? Police brutality was a problem long before the Patriot Act was signed into law, and will continue to be. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world today, but very few of them have anything to do with the Patriot Act.

Anonymous said...

"Just be glad he didn't have a screwdriver in his hands."

Who? The stdent or the cop?

Tasers like sidearms should be used as defensive weapons, not offensive weapons. Cops don;t pull their guns to compel behavior "IE get out of the car" not should the use a taser to compel behavior "get on your feet." Tasers amount to assualt and battery, unless the policeman must defend himself or orthers.