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Ear to the Ground

Tasered UCLA Student Plans Lawsuit

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Posted on Nov 17, 2006

The UCLA senior hired a high-profile civil rights lawyer who is accusing the campus police of “brutal excessive force,” as well as false arrest. Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, is of Iranian descent but U.S.-born, and had refused the officers’ request to see his campus ID because he thought they were racially profiling him.

  • Good for him. UCLA’s reputation for a decade hangs in the balance of how it responds to this case.
  • Watch the video of Tabatabainejad being Tasered. As of Friday, it has been viewed over 300,000 times.


    Los Angeles Times:

    The UCLA student stunned with a Taser by a campus police officer has hired a high-profile civil rights lawyer who plans to file a brutality lawsuit.

    The videotaped incident, which occurred after the student refused requests to show his ID card to campus officers, triggered widespread debate on and off campus Thursday about whether use of the Taser was warranted. It was the third in a recent series of local incidents captured on video that raise questions about arrest tactics.

    Attorney Stephen Yagman said he plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the UCLA police of “brutal excessive force,” as well as false arrest. The lawyer also provided the first public account of the Tuesday night incident at UCLA’s Powell Library from the student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a 23-year-old senior.

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    By notauthority, September 24, 2007 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    For all of you out there who believe that authority needs to be obeyed, do not forget the Nazi sheep followers in Germany who believed the same thing. We, as a country, must decide for ourselves rather those in authority should retain that priviledge. We cannot be blindly led by an idealogy of “authority”. Authority could be anyone: Sadaam, Bush, Clinton, even Hitler. We cannot afford to give authority so freely, or we WILL be had.

    Report this

    By Paul Barrier, September 21, 2007 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’ve met with resistance from law enforcement for asking about the skull & bones group. And with some research, I uncovered the big picture.

    Now remember, and this is very important. What you’ll see on my website is true. The letters to the attorneys, and the news media. http://home.earthlink.net/~paulskids2005/id24.html

    Some local protest. http://home.earthlink.net/~paulskids2005/id12.html
    http://home.earthlink.net/~paulskids2005/id20.html

    The president of the United States is a what? http://home.earthlink.net/~paulskids2005/id26.html

    So how is Skull & Bones associated with Molech? And What is Molech?
    http://home.earthlink.net/~paulskids2005/id18.html

    Election results? Andrew had a question about that. http://home.earthlink.net/~paulskids2005/id13.html

    Yes, we are definitly under a dictatorship. But they like to tell us (the general public) that we are free, because this allows them to keep it going.

    Please, please, I beg of you to get my wesite into this. I want to help.

    Just Yahoo my name.

    Yahoo - Paul Barrier.  That’s the cry, yahoo paul barrier, yahoo paul barrier, yahoo paul barrier.

    Thank you Andrew for fighting for all of us.

    Sincerely,
    Paul Barrier

    Report this

    By RS Janes, May 19, 2007 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Many years ago, a co-worker and I had a bet: He bet that you had to have ID on you at all times and produce it upon request by the police. I bet that you didn’t.

    To find out who was right, we called the local police station. The bored-sounding desk sergeant said, yes, you had to have ID and produce it upon request. But then he said we should probably call the state attorney’s office for final confirmation.

    We called and an assistant state’s attorney told us that no, you were not required by law to carry ID and produce it unless you were operating a motor vehicle. 

    When I asked him why the cop had told us a different story, he snorted and said “Hey, if they knew the law they’d be lawyers and make some real money.”

    This was in Illinois two decades ago. Perhaps the laws have changed since then, and I don’t know the law in California.

    One thing: I’m pretty sure there’s no law that you have to produce ID for a campus cop who is not a member of the police force or government.

    Report this

    By mike, February 17, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    as somebody who is studying to be a police officer, i think this situation is a prime example of the reason police have tasers. Tabatabainejad was asked to show his ID card after 11pm, standard practice at the university for several years as i understand it. when he didn’t, they asked him to leave. he didn’t, so they tried to escort him out, but he just went limp and screamed “police brutality!” um, he didn’t follow the rules, and despite what some people say, you are required to produce documentation when a police officer asks for it. he was resisting arrest. they could have beat him with nightsticks, but that would be overkill. they could have used pepper spray, but he wasn’t attacking; just not complying and instigating a larger incident by resisting arrest. he was asked to leave, refused, then resisted escort by the police. perfect situation for the taser and i would have done the same. a taser can be recovered from in seconds, i’ve seen several examples of people getting up the instant a taser is turned off.

    also, the police didn’t threaten to arrest student bystanders, only people who were trying to interfere with them doing their job. that’s called obstruction of justice and is a justifiable arrest.

    Report this

    By MC, December 6, 2006 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This man should not have been tasered even though he refused to leave.I dont think there was a need to be brutal about it.If this incident
    would have happened to me I would be talking to a lawyer and bring a lawsuit on.Its seems to be more about race than anything else.

    Report this

    By Lecrapface, December 1, 2006 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    All of you are arguing over this and that. Was he walking to the door and coming in the door? Was he resisting arrest or was he just trying to get away? Would it have been different if he were white? Was this racial profiling? It doesn’t matter. He got tasered too many times. That’s the point. No matter what else you find wrong with the situation the fact remains. Excessive force was used regardless of his color. Tony, you say you’ve been tasered before for fun, I highly doubt that. Some police departments try out there non-lethal weapons on themselves. There’s a video floating around of one office who got tasered. He couldn’t walk or do anything for up to five minutes from the time he was tasered. You got up and walked around, I highly doubt it. Maybe with 20,000 volts, but that’s certainly much smaller voltage than anything any officer would be carrying.

    Report this

    By Dave, November 24, 2006 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I work with muslims, hindus, and all manner of people of “color”.  We get stopped at the border every time we all get in the car and go to Canada.  It sucks but its kinda a fact of life now.  People don’t like racial profiling but cops do it for a reason.  Statistically it works.  The law is not stupid despite what you see on TV.  Its a nasty thing to say but true. 

    This guy wanted this incident I think. He wanted to be the new Rosa Parks for post-9/11 America.  The thing is he isn’t.  Rosa parks was fighting segregation this guy was fighting rules that we all obey.  I’ve been asked for my ID at the college gym countless times and been kicked out before for not having it.  And I’m white.  It was a reasonable request i think to ask him to leave. 

    The problem is that as Americans need to rise above this as opposed to just jumping for the bait.  The cops shouldn’t have tasered the kid.  It was like 3 on 1 and he was unarmed and I’m sure their careers are over now.

    I doubt this happens very often.

    Report this

    By Stephen Smoliar, November 23, 2006 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Outraged citizen, remember that these were campus police.  They were not “hired by us,” where “us” refers to the citizens of Los Angeles;  and, in the context of the administrative framework of the University of California system, I am not sure that we can say that “us” refers to tuition-paying students.  This is why the introduction to this story referred specifically to the reputation of UCLA, if not UC as a whole.  Having been both a student and an assistant professor, I appreciate the value of a campus having its own police force;  but, since I also studied my Plato seriously, I believe it is important to “guard the guardians.”  We have to wait to see if the University of California shares this belief!

    Report this

    By Outraged citizen, November 23, 2006 at 1:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I am horrified by this incident!  I’m not sure about racial profiling and, yes, the kid could have prevented much of what happened by compliance with police demands.  As to whether those demands were justified, I’m not ready to discuss that.

    But the kid was NOT violent or dangerous, and did not present a threat by simply remaining on the ground.  (Whether he was able to get up or not is another matter.)  Why on earth would the police use tasers in this situation?!!  They could have simply carried him out, if necessary.  There was absolutely no need for this appalling use of force. 

    The police are hired by us to “protect and to serve” us, and their actions here did neither.  Their behavior seems to result from simple anger at not being obeyed.  While force is sometimes necessary, it is not the proper reaction to this kind of situation.  If any other authority had done this (teacher, boss, IRS auditor, etc.), that person could be arrested and prosecuted.

    We cannot allow violence to be used to assert authority, or this nation will be headed in a very bad direction.  We must vigorously protect our civil liberties, as that is what America is all about.

    Report this

    By corey, November 21, 2006 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    all you ucla students that were in there: he got taserd because the stupid idiot was resting arrest if he would of just pulld out the damn id he would of avoidide all of this!

    Report this

    By Ike Ra, November 20, 2006 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I recall a propaganda (“social studies”) film I was shown in the 3rd grade (ca 1988) on the Soviet Union. A point repeatedly made was that, unlike free americans, the soviet people were not free to move about without the proper papers. Failure to produce such papers upon demand would result in arrest, at least. Has it come this far? Many commenters here think that any cop can demand papers and it is our duty to provide them. BULLSHIT!!! Cops lie. Routinely. The police have demanded my papers on several occasions, always claiming they could arrest me if I didn’t produce them. They can’t, and they didn’t. Don’t call them ‘sir’, don’t believe their lies, and always get their badge number. Fuck these pigs.

    Report this

    By Nathaniel, November 20, 2006 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It’s simple really. Arguing is caput. America didn’t take over North America by asking questions and shooting later. You alway shot first, kill all teh Indians take your shit, take the spoils them tr4y to justify your actions to the world. Same with America taking over Iraq. Who gives a fuck what the UN thinks? I thought the UN was suppose to be a united group of peace and the largest participant goes haywire? Truth is fuck that shit. People don’t understand arguement. People only understand war. I just can’t wait till they get what they deserve.

    Report this

    By Stephen Smoliar, November 20, 2006 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Spinoza, life is not as simple as you would like it to be;  and I see no reason to burn any cognitive cycles over whether this is a good or bad thing.  Your attempt to “explain” behavior that you (and I, for that matter) find repugnant reminds me of that wonderful moment in Henry Miller’s TROPIC OF CAPRICORN where he describes confusion as a word we invented for an “order which is not understood.”  Actually, I break this down into two categories:  There is the order that is not YET understood (but may eventually be achieved if we grasp enough of the underlying knowledge);  but there is also the order that can NEVER be understood (such as what the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tells us about the seemingly closed and objective world of theoretical physics).  Anyone interested can read more about this in the blog entry I wrote back in September:

    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-Mff23hgidqmHGqbcv.lfskakEtS6qLVHUEMFUG4-?cq=1&p=124

    I think it is also important to invoke the spirit of Isaiah Berlin, who argued so well (in THE CROOKED TIMBER OF HUMANITY) that the belief that all confusion can be resolved actually arises from what he called the “three unquestioned dogmas” of Western civilization:  (a) to all genuine questions there is one and only one true answer; (b) the true answers to such questions are knowable; (c) these true answers cannot clash with one another.  There is a discussion about this in another context at:

    http://gordoncook.net/wp/?p=49

    Berlin understood that we shall never understand human nature the way we understand the properties of objects dropped from the Tower of Pisa, so the best we can do is learn how to coexist without that understanding.  I reflected on the implications of this at:

    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-Mff23hgidqmHGqbcv.lfskakEtS6qLVHUEMFUG4-?cq=1&p=83

    Another source of reflection can be found in the book COSMOPOLITANISM by Kwame Anthony Appiah, who argues for the necessity of conversation in achieving that coexistence (a conversation which seems to be dwindling more and more in the circles of diplomats and politicians).  I reproduced a few Appiah quotes at:

    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-Mff23hgidqmHGqbcv.lfskakEtS6qLVHUEMFUG4-?cq=1&p=23

    Report this

    By Spinoza, November 19, 2006 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I was just listening to a program on an NPR station about the My Lia massacre.

    One of the commentators was asking why some killed willing and enthusiastically and a few refused to kill, including one who shot his foot so he wouldn’t have to participate.

    No explanation was offered.

    Perhaps some would like to do so here.

    I think that it boils down to left vs. right.  There are two extreme personalities in the world and many along a continuum and the issue is “empathy”, a feeling of responsibility for one’s fellow man.  The only way to make a better world is to somehow eliminate those people who fall on the right side of the political line.

    Report this

    By Vigilante, November 19, 2006 at 6:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I find the arguments #38722 by TheEnd compelling.

    *IF* the facts are a group of students were seated around a table observing behavior appropriate for their library surroundings, and campus cops come in and single out one from this group with a Middle Eastern appearance, that is unnecessary profiling.

    IF two LAPD subsequently taser the subject while he was in handcuffs, that would seem to be excessive.

    I am entitled to my opinions stated above, but not entitled to my own set of facts.

    Report this

    By Lance, November 19, 2006 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    To paraphrase Tip O’Neill, “All torture is local.”

    How ironic that this was happening as our chief law officer, the US Attorney General, was assuring us that the “War on Terror” has not impinged on civil liberties at home. 

    What a load of shit.

    For those of you who shrug your shoulders and search for justification for this particular instance of police brutality, play this little mind game…close your eyes, and when you open them watch the video again and pretend that you’re not looking at American rent-a-cops speaking English.  Pretend they’re brown-shirted Germans dragging a cuffed Jew out of a cafe, beating him as he’s dragged.  And imagine too that when a bystanding citizen demands that the officers identify themselves, he’s threatened with the same treatment. 

    Still think this is OK?

    If you do, move to another country.  Uzbekistan might be perfect for you.  There they boil political dissidents and send the meat back to their relatives.  One of our “coalition of the willing, ” by the way, so I’m sure you’ll feel very safe there.

    Report this

    By Tony, November 18, 2006 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    First, Jerry said you don’t understand racial profiling unless you’re a person of color.

    Its the reverse, you don’t understand all the political discrimination against you if you are white and male. People are so scared to say anything to anyone who is not the same race and gender as them because they may get sued for racism or sexism.

    Any time anyone says or does something impolite to a person different from them by skin color, gender or sexual orientation.. Profiling or an ism is questioned as the motive. If these cops had stopped a white frat boy that they didn’t know, and he didn’t listen and they tasered him, this wouldn’t be national news.

    If you want to drop all the isms from the world, then fine, that’s great, I hope it can be done, isms are pure BS but you have got to stop pushing the ism alert everytime something like this happens and accept it at colorless face value.

    By the way, as a gag with friends, I’ve been tasered by police quality tasers. And guess what? I can get up right afterwards, 50,000 volts? That’s nothing. 200,000 is nothing, it feels like a prolonged static-electric shock.

    I seriously doubt these cops were trying to be racist of anytime.. its too risky, they know if they arrest or act without just cause, they lose their jobs.

    Report this

    By TheEnd, November 18, 2006 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Vigilante,

    The issue here isn’t the merit of asking for ID.  That would have been the only issue on the table had not the situation escalated into abuse.  In fact, Mr. Tabatabainejad was on his way out the door in compliance with early requests by Campus Police Officers (CPO) who profiled him, but not before the UCPD, a different group of officers, made a big stink of it all.  Sure, maybe all of this could have been avoided if Tabatabainejad didn’t get upset about being singled out amongst a group of Caucasian students. On the other hand, why should any of us submit to such treatment?

    The real issue here is why a couple big and burly cops couldn’t escort a guy that wasn’t fighting them, was unarmed, and on his way out the door when they picked a fight.  If they had just dragged him down the stairs and out the door, put him in a squad car, and dropped him off at the station or at home, there would be no story here.  But no, these Pinkertons were trigger happy/loose cannon types on a power trip.  They went over the top.  They used a hammer to kill a fly and there will be justifiable blowback.

    Report this

    By Vigilante, November 18, 2006 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Since when is it reasonable not to comply to a reasonable request to present identification? I wannabe on this jury when this case comes to trial.

    Report this

    By RS Janes, November 18, 2006 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    To comments 38584 to 38590:

    The campus was not insecure when the campus cops asked him for his ID and he wasn’t doing anything wrong at the time. What was the purpose of carding him in the library?

    According to witnesses, Tabatabainejad wondered aloud to the campus police why he was the only person at the table (the others were European-caucasian) who was asked for an ID. That was when things started getting nasty, apparently, and that is also a sign that it was, indeed, racial profiling, as he looks Middle Eastern.

    Tabatabainejad was trying to leave the library when an officer detained him by grabbing his arm. Other cops gathered around and he went limp, hoping then they wouldn’t beat him claiming he was resisting them.

    Other students trying to help Tabatabainejad were threatened with tasering—why would the campus cops do this if Tabatabainejad were the only one misbehaving?

    Finally, look they’re campus police—rent-a-cops who usually don’t have the training real police officers do, and sometimes find these kind of jobs because they can’t pass the test to get into the real LAPD. (Imagine how low these guys scored for that to happen!) They frequently have problems with impulse control and violence issues.

    I think UCLA is about to lose a massive lawsuit just based on the video.

    Report this

    By Justme, November 18, 2006 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    See this opinion on tasers from an LAPD officer:

    http://www.policeone.com/less-lethal/articles/1188331/

    ... no questions anymore

    Report this

    By ian pepper, November 18, 2006 at 1:29 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    the fact that anyone bothers to defend these psychotic goons in the tape says it all: too many americans really have a hard on for fascism - and that is the right term:

    you cop defenders should take a really hard look at yourselves, because

    THE SADISM ON THE TAPE ONVIOUSLY TURNED YOU ON.

    I agree with the comment that is it remarkable that a group of students did not organize themselves and intervene.

    students and all citizens should get together and train themselves to respond in such bizarre situations.

    no one seems to have noticed this, but please view the tape again:

    the cops were acting like abusive zombies, mechanically and robotically repeatng the same meaningless actions over and over again.

    in such situations, what is needed is OUTSIDE INTERVENTION.

    Report this

    By Nose, November 18, 2006 at 12:39 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The fellow was on his way out of the building when they grabbed him.

    I suppose we should be lucky the campus police didn’t have guns, or else they would have shot the poor bugger repeatedly while asking him to stand up.


    For those of you backing the police on this one, you shame this country.

    Report this

    By Jose, November 17, 2006 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I agree with Jeff, if I were there I would challenge the officer with the taser to use his god given strength to apprehend, what seemed to be a young man of no more than 160 pounds.

    It was obvious how damn scary the situation was for everyone present. I watched the entire footage, the whole time with a upset feeling in my gut.

    Being a UCLA alumni, I can only say I am simply dissapointed, that three grown men, where unable to apprehend a single defiant person.

    SICKENING!

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, November 17, 2006 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    One POORLY trained police officer, confronted and threatened by a beligerent, abusive young male, MIGHT be justified in hauling out the taser to bring the situation under control.

    A GROUP of police officers have NO EXCUSE to use anything but their numbers and “manhandling” training to subdue anyone. If they can’t do it without weapons they shouldn’t possess the powers accorded by law because they ARE NOT COMPETENT.

    ALL police… even the big fat slobs who couldn’t chase down my grandmother should be REQUIRED to demonstrate CURRENT competence in a martial art. A well trained officer should be able, ON HIS OWN, to bring even an armed man down in seconds (armed, that is, with anything other than a gun or mace or some such weapon. Anyone fool enough to challenge police using a weapon is clearly committing suicide).

    The “cops” in this video simply weren’t competent to control the situation in a professional way. So they resorted to what amateur police do best… panic, yell louder, then gang up and brutalize. In the process, of course, they destroy whatever trust and respect they did have with onlookers and victim.

    To be a competent police officer these days you need the patience of Job, wisdom of Soloman and the skills of Dr. Phil combined with Bruce Lee. I wouldn’t do the job for a NY Yankee pitcher’s salary!

    The “student” in question obviously wasn’t a mature adult and should have still been in day care, not on a university campus. “When you become a man you put away your childish things (and behaviors)”... or pay the consequences.

    The police should understand that if they ask in a respectful manner for ID and GIVE A REASON FOR DOING SO, they’d have no trouble in almost all cases. If someone walks up to me and rudely DEMANDS ID or anything else, he’d better be holding a gun or other weapon if he expects compliance.

    If I wanted to live in a POLICE STATE, I’d move to one. (I may not have to… it seems the POLICE STATE is coming to me.)

    Report this

    By Spinoza, November 17, 2006 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    When I was a kid a common slogan was the best commie was a dead commie.  Left wingers where constantly harassed.  To the right wingers posting here who automatically take the side of the cops I have to say—-the best right winger is a dead right winger.

    I pray for the day that the tables will be turned.

    Report this

    By Spinoza, November 17, 2006 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    DEATH TO THE POLICE STATE

    Report this

    By Kevin Newell, November 17, 2006 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It’s a public university doesn’t everyone have access to the library at UCLA? Tasering someone who is resisting arrest as a civil disobedience statement is unacceptable. The fact that this young man is of Persian descent makes the possibility of racial profiling very likely and is reason enough to investigate.  Also very disturbing on the video is the police threatening to arrest student bystanders.

    Report this

    By Jon B, November 17, 2006 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hitler “racial profiling” jews to start with and we all know what happened later. Some people “racial profiling” other ethnic groups in US, what’s next?

    Lets not forge the facts that we had wiped out native americans and hawaiin natives in their entirety. In case you aren’t awared, today’s “native americans, hawaiian natives” are not the same as those 100 years ago in physical appearance. These people are gone for good because of aggression and intolerance.

    Report this

    By Michael, November 17, 2006 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jason, it would be interesting to see how quickly you can stand up when you’re being repeatedly hammered by a device designed to put you on the ground and keep you there. Wanna volunteer to demonstrate for us, buddy?

    Report this

    By Bill Krog, November 17, 2006 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The police were completely justified in asking Tabatabainejad for his ID: a number of incidents have occurred nationwide where people (almost always males) who are not students have preyed on and victimized those studying in or leaving campus libraries late at night. This led any number of colleges to adopt the policy that all students in such libraries must have on their person a valid student ID proving they have a right to be there: no exceptions. These policies are posted, printed in student manuals, etc. and are well known. Yet Mr. Tabatabainejad chose to ignore this campus policy and actively resist the police officers enforcing it, and in addition attempted to incite others at the scene. So, I have no sympathy whatever for the position that he was somehow justified in refusing to provide ID as requested. The issue of the use of excessive force seems to be a totally separate issue and an investigation into that may indeed be appropriate; however, had Mr. Tabatabainejad continued to resist the officers’ lawful and college-approved orders, they were completely justified in having him removed from the library by the least-intrusive means possible, including removing him by reasonable force if needed.
    PS: the legal right for police officers and others to require the production of IDs in certain circumstances has been upheld in multiple jurisdictions—again, whether the level of force used in this instance was excessive is a separate issue.

    Report this

    By TAO Walker, November 17, 2006 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Look out, Sheeple!  Those UCLA cops were conducting a test to see if they could brutalize and torture a student right out in public, and get away with doing it while dozens if not hundreds of you stood by and watched.  True, voices were raised, but no one dared to physically restrain these uniformed criminals as they electro-shocked a helpless person time after time.  And it doesn’t get any better than this, because as long as people will tolerate such storm-trooper tactics it will only get worse.  Another Kent State is just around the corner, if you let it.

    Report this

    By Cosmicrose, November 17, 2006 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Just doing their jobs…. how disgusting it is to hear that as if it were a legitimate excuse to do what you know is wrong? If a police officer demanded for you to get down on the ground and lick his JACK BOOTS would you do it because he was just doing his job? There are two aspects of a police officer’s job and that is to PROTECT… AND SERVE…. not simply to use force as a means to an end because they can.

    Apparently few have any real grasp of what it is like to be tasered. Perhaps before simply shooting off one’s mouth… they should try it and then relate how easy it is to stand upon demand… as stated. What you might not realize is that the boy was tasered REPEATEDLY… once prior to the beginning of the video. Are you able to decide how your body is going to respond after being inundated with massive amounts of electrical current? He decided not to be treated like a sheeple just because it was demanded of him.

    I hope he sues the hell out of these officers and wins. I know I sure would. Just out of curiosity… what made this individual a suspect of any wrong doing to begin with? SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS AMERIKA???? Why not take some responsibility in not simply handing over your freedoms just because you are told to instead? Talk about something worth being disgusted over! A world united in fear is worse than one divided by ignorance.

    Report this

    By Jeddyisright, November 17, 2006 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jeddy’s right, this guy was looking for a confrontation. Although just handcuffing the idiot and dragging him out the door probably would have sufficed. Were the police profiling, I hope so, how do the think the Israelis have avoided an El Al hijacking in the last 30 years!

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    By Don Knutsen, November 17, 2006 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The mentality of some of these other comments is amazing…to believe the taser use on this kid was justified…To believe that you should blindly heed what ever so-called authority says, even when you know its wrong, without questioning is the same lunacy that let the nazis bloom in Germany…These goons should be prosecuted for 1st degree assault. There is no possible excuse for their actions. I’m surprised they got away with it as long as they did. I’d like to think that years ago they woulda been jumped by a bunch of the on lookers…....

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    By Jeff, November 17, 2006 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    That just pisses me right the [expletive deleted] off. I can’t believe that at least one person in the crowd didn’t run up and intercede on that terrorist activity being perpetrated by those fck’n cops.

    I’d have been leading the riot squad myself if I’d been there.

    No reason for that to have occurred ANYWHERE in America.

    Oh, and you two asswipes at the top of this thread - you try standing up after being tasered multiple times.

    Fucking retarded redneck neo-nazis.

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    By Julie, November 17, 2006 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yes, if the cops ask for ID give it, but refusing to give it did not warrant using a Taser on him. If he drops to the floor pick him up and carry him out, handcuff him if you want, but you don’t Taser someone for that.

    If those things were around in the 60’s you’d have had a lot of wounded kids on college campuses and way more riots than sit-ins.

    And you people that think it’s just fine? I have one thing to say to you…..

    “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression…. There is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we must be most aware of change in the air—however slight—lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
    —William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice from 1939-1975

    Keep the light on…...

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    By nekosensei, November 17, 2006 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    On the one hand, I agree that the student should have been arrested for refusing to leave the library as asked.  I’ll give the first two commentors on this site credit for that one. 

    On the other hand, the police offers are guilty of excessive use of force.  The student didn’t appear to be violent.  He wasn’t threatening them.  He just wasn’t cooperating.  Why did they have to tase him?  I was under the understanding that the taser is only meant to be used in self defense.  I counted at least four police offers there who could have easily picked him up and carried him out the door. 

    And what’s even worse, they shot him with the taser five times!!  You can kill somebody that way!  And the crazy part of it was, they would shoot him with a taser—which is meant to immobilize someone—and expect him to be able to stand up.  And when he wasn’t able to comply, they tased him again.  I’m sorry, but that isn’t justice.  It’s *torture*! 

    And I’m so sick and tired of the people who defend those officer’s actions.  It’s cruel and unusual punishment…period.  I really hope the jackasses who thought it was a good idea to tase him get sued personally…

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    By mrscake, November 17, 2006 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Actually, it’s possible that the guy *couldn’t* stand up immediately after being tased, especially since they apparently shocked him for a few seconds.

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    By Tom Coleman, November 17, 2006 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Looks like “Jason” and “Tony” are wannabe Doug Neidermeyers and would be Dean Wormers.  To them, the tasered student deserved WHATEVER abuse he got by hesitating in “cooperating fully” with the authorities, no matter how arbitrary and abusive the “security” they impose and inflict.  Looks to me that the students who actually witnessed the event called it right by calling OFF the “Taser Award” winning Bruin campus gendarmes.

    And we know what eventually happened to Neidermeyer and Wormer, don’t we?

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    By Stace, November 17, 2006 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The main point of all of this is excessive force!
    If you notice the campus police ended up carrying him out of the building, so instead of a brutal tasering where as physical and mental damage possibly being done, why not just pick him up and carry him out with out hurting him. I don’t think that the rest of the students would have been as upset and angry had the campus police handled this situation with a little tact, instead of being barbarians who feel that they have the right to hurt someone who peacefully objects to their demands. Put yourself in that young man’s shoes, would you without saying a word back let these men do to you what they did to him? We all have rights!!

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    By harald hardrada, November 17, 2006 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    americans are sheep—they fail to see that the campus cops picked out this student & harassed him owing to his ethnicity—to sheep, everybody must bow to authority even when authority has its head up a dark place

    american sheep resent it when anybody they see as being Other has the gall to question authority—it frightens sheep to think that some folks have cojones

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    By Stephen Smoliar, November 17, 2006 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    About ten years ago there was a case in Northern California involving environmental protesters getting pepper-sprayed by the police.  My wife decided to give the students in her class the project of trying to interview as many of the parties involved in this incident as they could.  Sure enough:  BOTH SIDES explained the motives for their actions clearly and sympathetically.  What did the kids learn?  BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN THE MEDIA TRY TO GET YOU TAKE SIDES WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW ALL THE FACTS!  Ten years ago this kind of dispute could have been settled by a good impartial judge.  Today I’m not so sure ...

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    By John C. Bonser, November 17, 2006 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It saddens me to see that these are so many who are so quick to pass judgment on a fellow citizen.

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    By Steve Smith, November 17, 2006 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This is ridiculous, the fool refused to cooperate, security asked him countless times to stand up and yet he made it as difficult as possible. Why does the race card get played everytime a perceived wrongdoing occurs. What if that guy was in there to detonate a dirty bomb? Would people still be complaining that they used excessive force??!

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    By Jerry, November 17, 2006 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    You don’t understand how racial profiling is unless your a person of color.  It’s not a great feeling.

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    By Kevin J-M, November 17, 2006 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The student was tasered while on the ground and then commanded to stand up. Anyone who has researched (or, worse, experienced) the effects of a taser knows that someone who’s been hit is unable to stand for three to five minutes.

    Accounts of the incident vary in stating how many times the student was tasered, but estimates range from four to seven shocks. This is over perhaps a seven- to ten-minute period. Tasers have a cumulative effect when applied that frequently.

    My opinion based on what I’ve read is that he was never capable of standing up once he was tasered, and the university cops were perhaps poorly trained if they shocked him then expected him to rise.

    This is, of course, no excuse.

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    By Mario, November 17, 2006 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    How could one standup after being tasered when being tasered causes muscle contraction which lasts 15 minutes. Mostafa did not decide to be tasered the 4th time while he was in handcuffs. Police brutality is not a new occurance, and it should not be rulled out. There is good evidence that the police knew that he was affiliated to UCLA. You can not access computers at the CLICC library if you don’t have a valid bruin online account.  The police used too much force, ask any witness, they’ll let you know.

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    By Adam, November 17, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jason, you try to stand up IMMEDIATELY after having 50,000 volts shot through your body.  Doesn’t that strike you as slightly unreasonable?  Police don’t have the right or authority to make a ridiculous request and back that up with the use of force.

    And no one makes the decision to be tasered, please.  That’s like saying Rodney King made the decision to be beaten brutally.

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    By Mario, November 17, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    How could one standup after being tasered when being tasered causes muscle contraction which lasts 15 minutes. Mostafa did not decide to be tasered the 4th time while he was in handcuffs. Police brutality is not a new occurance, and it should not be rulled out. There is good evidence that the police knew that he was affiliated to UCLA. You can not access computers at the CLICC library if you don’t have a valid bruin online account.  The police used too much force, ask any eyewitness, they’ll let you know.

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    By Brendan, November 17, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    There are several questions to be considered here:
    First, when someone asks for your ID do you have to show them?

    Second, mostly out of personal curiosity, can the police touch you without your permission?  I would have thouhgt that you would have to be doing something actually dangerous for them to be allowed to touch you.  I honestly do not know though. 

    Third, as you can see in the video the police had the kid handcuffed after the first tasering, were subsequent taserings necessary?  You may not know that one of the effects of tasering is loss of muscle control.

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    By philly, November 17, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Racial profiling my ass, enough with these kind of whiners.  He deserved to get tasered what a moron.

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    By Bob Dobbs, November 17, 2006 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Kid clearly provoked the situation and got what he deserved.

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    By Jason, November 17, 2006 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    If the police, of any kind, ask you to stand up…THEN STAND UP!  How many times does the police have to ask.  Listening to the UCLA students yell at the police makes me disgusted.  The guy made the DECISION to be tasered when the police asked him to stand up or be tasered and he refused.  Take some personal responsibility!

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    By Tony, November 17, 2006 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Racial Profiling? Campus security was securing the campus—their job. They saw someone of suspect, who refused to cooperate. They used force when he refused to cooperate. Nothing worse.

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    By huey charlatan, November 17, 2006 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Abuse of power is a crime. Malpractice with professional privileges should result in revoking such privileges and a criminal inquiry into its abuse.
    No excuses for these officers to use Taser on this kid, for refusing to show his ID!
    This is a nation where liberty and the pursuit of happiness are considered sacred pillars of our society, this is not some barbaric totalitarian state!
    (or, so I still believe)

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