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UCLA Cops Repeatedly Taser Iranian-American Dude

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Deeper_Background, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    Community responds to Taser use in Powell

    By Sara Taylor

    An incident late Tuesday night in which a UCLA student was stunned at least four times with a Taser has left the UCLA community questioning whether the university police officers' use of force was an appropriate response to the situation.

    Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was repeatedly stunned with a Taser and then taken into custody when he did not exit the CLICC Lab in Powell Library in a timely manner. Community Service Officers had asked Tabatabainejad to leave after he failed to produce his BruinCard during a random check at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said the checks are a standard procedure in the library after 11 p.m.

    "Because of the safety of the students we limit the use after 11 to just students, staff and faculty," Young said.

    Young said the CSOs on duty in the library at the time went to get UCPD officers when Tabatabainejad did not immediately leave, and UCPD officers resorted to use of the Taser when Tabatabainejad did not do as he was told.

    A six-minute video showed Tabatabainejad audibly screaming in pain as he was stunned several times with a Taser, each time for three to five seconds. He was told repeatedly to stand up and stop fighting, and was told that if he did not do so he would "get Tased again."

    Tabatabainejad was also stunned with the Taser when he was already handcuffed, said Carlos Zaragoza, a third-year English and history student who witnessed the incident.

    "(He was) no possible danger to any of the police," Zaragoza said. "(He was) getting shocked and Tasered as he was handcuffed."

    But Young said at the time the police likely had no way of knowing whether the individual was armed or that he was a student.

    As Tabatabainejad was being dragged through the room by two officers, he repeated in a strained scream, "I'm not fighting you" and "I said I would leave."

    The officers used the "drive stun" setting in the Taser, which delivers a shock to a specific part of the body with the front of the Taser, Young said.

    A Taser delivers volts of low-amperage energy to the body, causing a disruption of the body's electrical energy pulses and locking the muscles, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    "It's an electrical shock. ... It causes pain," Young said, adding that the drive stun would not likely demobilize a person or cause residual pain after the shock was administered. Young also said a Taser is less forceful than a baton, for example.

    But according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001, a charge of three to five seconds can result in immobilization for five to 15 minutes, which would mean that Tabatabainejad could have been physically unable to stand when the officers demanded that he do so.

    "It is a real mistake to treat a Taser as some benign thing that painlessly brings people under control," said Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.

    "The Taser can be incredibly violent and result in death," Eliasberg said.

    According to an ACLU report, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.

    Tabatabainejad was released from custody after being given a citation for obstruction/delay of a peace officer in the performance of duty.

    Neither Tabatabainejad nor his family were giving interviews Wednesday.

    Police officers said they determined the use of Tasers was necessary when Tabatabainejad did not do as they asked.

    According to a UCPD press release, Tabatabainejad went limp and refused to exit as the officers attempted to escort him out. The release also stated Tabatabainejad "encouraged library patrons to join his resistance." At this point, the officers "deemed it necessary to use the Taser in a "drive stun' capacity."

    "He wasn't cooperative; he wouldn't identify himself. He resisted the officers," Young said.

    Neither the video footage nor eyewitness accounts of the events confirmed that Tabatabainejad encouraged resistance, and he repeatedly told the officers he was not fighting and would leave.

    Tabatabainejad was walking with his backpack toward the door when he was approached by two UCPD officers, one of whom grabbed the student's arm. In response, Tabatabainejad yelled at the officers to "get off me." Following this demand, Tabatabainejad was stunned with a Taser.

    UCPD and the UCLA administration would not comment on the specifics of the incident as it is still under investigation.

    In a statement released Wednesday, Interim Chancellor Norman Abrams said investigators were reviewing the situation and the officers' actions.

    "I can assure you that these reviews will be thorough, vigorous and fair," Abrams said.

    The incident, which Zaragoza described as an example of "police brutality," left many students disturbed.

    Edouard Tchertchian, a third-year mathematics student, said he was concerned that the student was not offered any other means of showing that he was a UCLA student.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    With a name like that, he had to look Muslim.

    Campus cops can't be too careful these days.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    It says he went limp. What, two policemen couldn't drag his limp ass out the door? I guess Tasering was the more efficient way to go about this. Then they still had to drag his limp ass out the door.
  4. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    That shit was hard to watch. The Barney Fife UCLA rent-a-cops barely avoided a student riot there!
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    At the 3:08 mark of the video, you can clearly see he's handcuffed and two officers are holding him up by his arms/eblows (one on each side) and they STILL taser him AGAIN!

    Also, at the beginning, he's warning them of a "medical condition" and then later students are practically begging for the tasering to end.

    Disturbing, indeed.
  6. Hi, I'm the new owner of UCLA.
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    get 51 more Iranians and stun them every day for 444 days.
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    We have police officers in the library I work. Not 15 minutes ago, one of them had to put a girl in an armlock and lead her to the front of the library so he could deal with her. While typing this, I just saw her walking back through the library with someone who was probably her mother or grandmother. I don't know all the details of what she did to get approached in the first place, but I know she has been a habitual troublemaker in here and when asked to follow our rules simply would not. Looked like more of the same today, and I think she was being kicked out when she started dropping F bombs on the officer.

    It's a fine line these officers walk. We need them in our library. They take a lot of crap from people, as does the library staff. Mostly these people are kids. Sometimes these kids (and even adults on occasion) simply have no respect for any authority and will begin mouthing off or swearing when asked to change their behavior. They try to make a scene. When something like this happens on the streets, it's pretty simple -- you get arrested. And if you're resisting, the officers will use force on you. But that's not the best course of action when something like this occurs in the library.

    Just last week one of our officers, the most mild-mannered of them all, asked a girl (not sure of her age, either late high school or just out) to follow one of our rules for something, and she immediately launched into a tirade. He was stunned. She continued to yell at him and I don't know what it would have escalated into. Fortunately some other man came up and intervened and talked to the girl and told her to calm down and that she was wrong for acting like that. Our officer smartly walked away while the man was talking to her. And that's as far as it went. She stormed out, but she didn't put up a scene on the way out and she wasn't kicked out.

    People who aren't police think that the officers should be evaulating situations like this and be able to decide on what level of force they need to use. But that's not how they are used to dealing with things. These police were summoned and came in with the idea that there was a threat they needed to handle. Things escalated, and it looks like the police got caught up in the situation.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, those UCLA students are well known for flouting the authority of the librarians and yelling and cursing when they are asked to follow the rules.
  10. Matt Foley

    Matt Foley Member

    As a recent UCLA grad, this situation makes me very sad, and for anyone who was doubting the authenticity of the video, I can personally verify that it is indeed the Powell Library at UCLA. As far as my views on the situation, I think that both parties could obviously have handled the situation better. The cops clearly didn't need to continue tazing the guy, and the dude was definitely being a massive douche and refusing to comply.
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I didn't know Poindexter and hondo were UCLA Rent-A-Cops.
  12. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    A. Bleep you, prick.
    B. That was inhuman if they were doing it to Satan himself.
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