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Students Put UCLA Taser Video On YouTube 1583

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the police-buddhism-studies dept.
dircha writes "As widely reported, an incident in which Iranian-American student Mostafa Tabatabainejad was tasered up to five times by UCLA police on Friday, has been captured by a fellow student using a video enabled cell phone and published to YouTube. From the Daily Bruin: 'At around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Tabatabainejad, a fourth-year Middle Eastern and North African studies and philosophy student, was asked to leave the library for failing to present his BruinCard during a random check. The 23-year-old student was hit with a Taser five times when he did not leave quickly and cooperatively upon being asked to do so.' In a story which has raised concerns of racial profiling, police brutality and the health risks of taser use, the ubiquity of video cell phone technology has given us a first hand record of an incident which might otherwise have been a he-said, she-said affair. While the publishing of the video to YouTube has given the issue compelling popular exposure beyond the immediate campus community."
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Students Put UCLA Taser Video On YouTube

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  • by DragonPup (302885) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:38AM (#16925716)
    ...if after watching this video, you see what the LAPD(and by extension, the UCLA PD) are willing to do on camera, and in front of dozens of witnesses, what do they do without people watching?

    And am I the only one that upon hearing, Police burtality" and "Caught of tape" are completely unsurprised the LAPD are somehow involved?

  • Sick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twifosp (532320) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:41AM (#16925738)
    This was pretty sick. If you get hit by a tazer it's pretty impossible to stand up for at least a few minutes. That's the entire point of a tazer. They could have just handcuffed him and carried him out. I hope these "officers" go to jail.
  • by Loopy (41728) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:46AM (#16925776) Journal
    ...between him and the police at the very end where it's "time to go" is supposed to prove what, again? Context, people. Context.
  • by Trekologer (86619) <adb AT trekologer DOT net> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:47AM (#16925786) Homepage
    The officers in this video are either the dumbest cops in the world, to repediately brutalize that young man not only on video but with literally dozens of witnesses. Or they think that because of the uniform they wear, that they are above the law. It doesn't matter which one it is, those animals should be out of a job and in jail. The video did not show everything but there is at least one part where the man is clearly on the floor and is tazed again, sending his body upward in a horiffic spasm.
  • by SRA8 (859587) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:47AM (#16925788)
    I keep hearing people complaining "if he had just listened" or "all he had to do was get up." But seriously, think about it -- should he really have been tased repeatedly or simply arrested?
    1. After being shocked repeatedly, could he even have been ABLE to "just" stand up?
    2. After being shocked repeatedly, would be have been in a mental state to understand the cops' commands?
    3. He was on the floor. An irritating act, but something deserving electrocution?
    4. What if someone asks for a warrant, should they also get electrocuted. After all "all he had to do was let them search."

    Put simply, this was WRONG. The kid deserves to be arrested, NOT electrocuted. To those of you who say "tasing is non-lethal," well, i dare you to do it to yourself. Post a video on YouTube to prove it.
  • Re:Hahh!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scum-e-bag (211846) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:48AM (#16925796) Homepage Journal
    This is why google bought youtube... they bought it for the power of its media distribution...

  • by m0nkyman (7101) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:48AM (#16925806) Homepage Journal
    Nice to see that the introduction of street corner cameras is being matched by our ability to watch them.
  • Re:Say it's a fake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doomstalk (629173) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:49AM (#16925810)
    A) You don't need "beyond reasonable doubt" in a civil suit. B) There were a couple dozen witnesses on the scene, most of whom appeared angry enough to testify in court. C) You get clear views of several of the officers' faces. D) The officers' voices can probably be identified.

    On a side note, it'll be interesting to see how the officers justify their refusal to give their badge numbers (which was reportedly followed up with a threat to the person who asked). It makes it appear that they knew what they did was an excessive use of force, and were trying to hide their identities. That will look EXTREMELY bad to a judge and/or jury.
  • by tempest69 (572798) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:54AM (#16925852) Journal
    Sure the kid got some attention, and may have been a bit of a jerk in the process. I could care less. The problem lies with the fact that with four officers around, and a non-violent suspect of a non-violent offense decided that tazering the guy would be the appropriate measure. One officer could have easily placed the "suspect" under arrest with simple handcuffs without a wrestling match, as the "suspect" was simply going limp. But in their wisdom they decided that getting him to comply via shock was the correct procedure.

    Four Officers... one kid come on.. They could have talked this kid into the handcuffs, while he was a jerk he wasnt exactly a threat.

    Sorry the police are here to serve and protect, their actions are the actions of thugs who enjoy weilding power. So while I might not be deeply sorry for the kid, I am deeply ashamed of the actions of the law enforcement officials.

    Storm

  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:56AM (#16925872) Homepage
    I like to find the most difficult solutions to the simplest of problems.

    This might've been taken out of context from the web page, but I actually agree with this since the most difficult solution provides the most opportunity to learn something new for the most simplest problem. Too often too many college students take the easiest way out instead of busting their ass to find alternative solutions. Sometimes that hurts.
  • by kfg (145172) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:56AM (#16925878)
    The officers in this video are either the dumbest cops in the world. . .

    Let us stipulate for the moment, just for the sake of argument, that the first Tasing was justified.

    Their insistence that he get on his feet or they would tase him again is all the proof we need that they were not the brightest bulbs in the pack. The function of a Taser shock is to disable by disrupting nerve and muscle function.

    If you could stand up after being Tased they wouldn't be using them in the first place.

    KFG
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:57AM (#16925888) Homepage Journal
    I will say about this what I said about Rodney King: there is nothing that could have happened before the camera started rolling that could justify what those cops did. I don't care if this guy was Hannibal Lecter; once a suspect is incapacitated, further use of this kind of force is torture, not restraint.

    Now there will no doubt be a flood of whining along the lines of, "Oh cops have such a tough job, and they deal with scumbags all day, and you just don't understaaaand!" Whatever. About, oh, fifteen years ago it was my job to render medical care to a group of people who had quite actively been trying to kill me a little while before, and who would have kept trying if they'd had the chance. And I did it, no tasers or billy clubs or attack dogs or waterboarding required. Which is why, whether it's happening halfway around the world at Abu Ghraib or right here at home in America, I have no trouble saying: fuck this shit. The people who do such things to prisoners aren't cops, or soldiers, or any kind of public servant. They're criminals, and because of their abuse of power, should be treated even more harshly than we treat serial killers, pedophiles, and other such scum.
  • by The Only Druid (587299) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:57AM (#16925894)
    When I first watched the video (over a week ago, when the rest of the aggregator sites caught it), listening to the guy I couldn't fathom how it wasn't his fault. The entire video is him asking to be tazed more. No doubt, there was probably no need to repeatedly shock him, but the first one seems pretty merited. The real problem here is that everyone assumes it's a "police brutality" thing, including many onlookers, because they felt/feel justified in making judgments without enough information.
  • by Slipgrid (938571) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:58AM (#16925904) Homepage Journal
    There was 60+ students standing around. If you ever see something like this happening, and you don't help, then you are just as bad as the police were in this case.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:02AM (#16925940) Homepage Journal
    It is a cop's job to deal professionally (which includes not using excessive force) with people who are causing trouble. If they can't do it without going apeshit on the guy, they shouldn't be cops.

    A civilian who reacted like this to somebody taunting him, arguing with him, whatever, would be headed to prison for aggravated assault. Cops, because of their position of power, should face even harsher penalties for such behavior.
  • by raju1kabir (251972) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:03AM (#16925954) Homepage
    The widespread and almost casual use of "non-lethals" in these situations clearly goes beyond their intended purpose.

    Nonlethals have just become a substitute for good police work.

    The number one test of a good officer is how well he (or she) can solve a problem without resorting to the use of force. If he can look someone in the eye, figure out what is going through that person's head, and assert the authority or voice the reasoning necessary to get compliance with a lawful request, he has done his job properly. Resorting to force to compel behavior is already a kind of failure. Of course there are some people out there who are just hell-bent on harming others - that's why the option of force exists - but clearly that's not what Tabatabainejad was about.

    And resorting to force to compel behavior when the person in question is not being violent and is causing no harm to anyone, well, that's beyond failure as an officer, that's failure as a human being.

    The officers who did this are a far greater threat to safety on the UCLA campus than that student would ever be. I do hope the university administration recognizes this and responds accordingly. If they do not, then we must seriously question the administration's commitment to protecting their students.

  • To be expected. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kadin2048 (468275) <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:06AM (#16925982) Homepage Journal
    And this surprises you ... why?

    I've seen cops and bar bouncers smack around people on various occasions, some of them deserving, some of them probably not, and in each case there were people standing around and watching. I've never seen anyone who wasn't directly connected in some way to the person getting the beating involve themselves unnecessarily.

    Most people will happily stand back and watch Bad Things Happening To Other People Who Probably Deserve It Somehow. It's probably humanity's oldest form of entertainment.

    To most of the people in that library, the whole thing was just like watching COPS, but in the ultra-ultra high definition sometimes known as Reality(TM).
  • by ad0gg (594412) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:07AM (#16925996)
    Not standing up isn't physically resisting. Thats like saying a comatose paitent was resisting arrest because it refused they refused to standup. Tasers should be used for somone actually physically resisting which results in threat, if i let my body go limp, i'm not resisting. Resisting actually requires you to actively do something, like trying to prevent the officer from hand cuffing you. A limp body allows the cop to safely handcuff you. Its all comes down to threat. Some going limp isn't a threat and taser should not have applied. So the cops have to work extra and carry the guy. Oh noes.

    Taser should never be used to make you do something. It should be used to stop you from doing something. IE struggling with an officer, refusing to lay down on the ground, locking your arms so you can be hand cuffed. Using a taser to force you do something is borderline torture.

  • by HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:08AM (#16926008)
    That's an interesting opinion ... I saw an idiot (possibly an asshole) refusing to leave when he wasn't following known rules and physically resisting and fighting. Someone who was given plenty of notice he was going to be tased yet continued to resist and then getting tased again.
    If I give you plenty of notice that you are going to be shot in the head with my revolver, does the warning justify my use of force? If you don't comply with my command to get up, is my continued shooting into your head justified?
  • A victim? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by HexRei (515117) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:08AM (#16926012)
    a few points:

    a) The student chose to seat himself upon the floor when the officers were trying to escort him out (per his own lawyer's account to an LA Times reporter). Near the beginning of the video you can hear the student asking the officer to take his hand off his shoulder, then the officers asking him please stand up. All before the student starts screaming (which may have been when he was tasered).

    b) He was defying a standing policy of requesting proof of ID in the campus library after 11PM. It is undoubtedly in place to prevent late-night attacks, muggings, and rapes. He chose to not leave after being asked for ID multiple times and then asked to leave if he could not show ID. The reasons for this policy are very real, ignoring it could be be dangerous for students in the building late at night. Why protest enforcement of such a policy, on private grounds?

    c) From the point where he voluntarily hits the ground, the police are mostly just asking him to get up. This is because they were still ina libarary, with a man who refused to show ID and refused to leave, for a period of time long enough for campus staff to hound him repeatedly before calling campus security, who then called police.

    It's hard for me to speculate about whether that was wrong or out of the ordinary, since the one time I got caught in the computer lab without my pass, I just left and came back with it later. But I think he was given plenty of chances and was mostly just spoiling for an argument and bit off more than he could chew.
  • Re:old news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Surt (22457) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:11AM (#16926046) Homepage Journal
    Much like Kuroshin before it, the sign of the end for Digg is when they start begging slashdot's community to come over for fresher news.

    Slashdot is a discussion forum. The power here is not timeliness, it's the audience.
  • by _iris (92554) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:13AM (#16926060) Homepage
    That matters not, my friend. Police are trained, for good reason, to detain someone with the least force necessary. Anything beyond is police brutality. Part of being a police officer is being able to withstand taunting (and much worse) without losing your composure and being able to follow the official protocols for detaining someone. I could not be a police officer. If I was a police officer and I had to witness some of the things they have to, I would probably punish the suspects outside the system, to put it gently. Police are professionals precisely because we need enforcers who can deal with precisely these situations without brutalizing anyone, even if the suspect wants to be brutalized.
  • by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:14AM (#16926064)
    Next time try reading the ENTIRE story. You'll find out why he was shocked repeatedly. If he hadn't been such a jackass in the first place the cops would have never even been involved. You idiots seem to think that cops go around randomly tazoring foreign-looking people.

    Maybe he was in the wrong. Maybe he was looking for an excuse to feel persecuted. Maybe he was looking for a fight. But the last thing the police should be looking to do is to give him that fight.

    The job of police is to maintain order and diffuse tense situations, force is something that should be used as a last resort and not something to be applied at the earliest opportunity.

    p.s. The reaction of the crowd told me that not only did none of them consider him a threat but that the police actions were only serving to increase the risk of violence by driving the crowd of students to physically intervene to stop the police.
  • by milamber3 (173273) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:14AM (#16926074)
    First, there was no fighting back. Not even the cops said he fought. Everyone has said he went limp when they tried to STOP HIM FROM LEAVING! Please explain the point of tasing someone who is limp on the ground. This is akin to them beating him with a club while on the ground, unless you really believe the taser is meant to be used as a motivation device. Second, even if we accepted your comment, how do explain the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th tasing? Do you justify tasering someone because they can't get up after you already tased them? They ended up dragging him out, if that was an option why did they spend time shocking him? Maybe laziness is an excuse for using a taser now? Lastly, since when does asking a cop for his badge number and telling him to stop hurting someone warrant a threat to be tased as well?

    Any explanation you could give for some small part of this atrocity would always leave the rest shown to be completely unnecessary.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:15AM (#16926086)
    The problem with that video is that we enter midway through the true story, where he is down and been tazered once already. But why are there four cops around? What exactly was he doing that made them ask him to leave in the first place? It would seem that in order to be asked to leave from a library you would have to have done more than be speaking loudly or bring in a sandwitch.

    That combined with how he was screaming about the "patriot act" made me more than a little suspicious that the victim went in with the goal of mixing it up with some law enforcement people, angry at The Man to start.

    That video raises more questions than it answers, about both sides of the conflict. Next time, if anyone else is in the same situation can't you stand on a chair please!
  • by metlin (258108) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:19AM (#16926116) Journal
    You know, being "brown", I so very often get treated differently that it stopped being funny a long, long time ago. And the attitude of the so-called public servants to folks that look "ethnic" is sometimes disgusting. You'd have to be one to understand, I guess.

    Immaterial of the ethnicity, what the cops did was wrong -- you are in a position of power. If the kid was being a jerk, use more people to restrain him. Tazing someone should be reserved when the victim presents a threat (i.e. having a weapon).

    This was brutality, plain and simple. The folks who did this should be in prison for life.
  • by SilverJets (131916) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:23AM (#16926146) Homepage
    There are two sides to EVERY story.

    And on what side of the story is the fact that the officer tasered him while he was handcuffed? Its right before they walk out the door. The camera is shooting over a counter, and they are telling him to stand up. One officer on either side and by the angle of his arms, his hands are cuffed or restrained behind his back. Tasering him in restraints is nothing less than unjustified use of force.
  • Re:Bystanders (Score:3, Insightful)

    by macrom (537566) <macrom75@hotmail.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:23AM (#16926152) Homepage
    Laws that allow a crowd to intervene, maybe? I dunno about you, but I wouldn't want to go to jail for assaulting an officer. And whether or not you think it would be justified doesn't matter. AFAIK citizens aren't allowed to directly intervene in the affairs of a police officer. That's what the courts are for.
  • by creysoft (856713) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:25AM (#16926158)
    I dunno. Maybe arrest him, bring him to the station, charge him with disorderly conduct, and tell him that if he causes trouble like that again, he's gonna spend a few days in jail? I know, it's a little bit "out there," but I really think this strategy could work.
  • Re:Sick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:31AM (#16926208)

    Every once in awhile they taser somebody two or three times and he doesn't go down.
    People react differently to things, shock!

    The guy was clearly looking for trouble - is it so surprising he found it?
    She clearly asking for it by dressing revealingly - is it so surprising she got raped? I don't think anyone should get prosecuted or charged for this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:37AM (#16926256)
    The description of the incident does not indicate how cooperative that the Iranian was. In fact, his refusal to show a student ID card suggests that he was very uncooperative and is sufficient for the police to take action.

    If he did show his ID card and the police still fired the taser, then he has a case against the police. However, in this case, he refused to show a card.

    In my opinion, the police acted properly. As a former university student, I do not want strangers or uncooperative weirdos floating around campus.

  • by TrappedByMyself (861094) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:39AM (#16926278)
    There was 60+ students standing around. If you ever see something like this happening, and you don't help, then you are just as bad as the police were in this case.

    It was non-lethal force. If someone were to "help", then that allows the cops to use lethal force to protect themselves. Bad idea.
    The students did the best thing by watching and videoing the thing. We need to keep civility and let law enforcement do their job. If you disagree, then the courtroom and legislation are your tools to try and fix the problem.

    Now...if the cops were causing permanent harm to the guy AND the guy posed no danger to anyone, then helping is justified and should be expected.
  • by nexeruza (954362) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:40AM (#16926286)
    I read a post above that claimed the student involved loved to make trouble. And what I saw from the video would lead me to believe that is likely true. However it shows just how primitive the police force at the scene was. They were led into "abusing" the student and took it hook line and sinker. You could classify the person as mentally ill by definition he obviously was making bad choices that would only further his situation. Yet the tough pigs thought force would fix the problem. I blame both sides, a disruptive irrational person got the best of the police force. There was no need to injure him; a professional team would have kept him subdued and safe from escalating the situation and waited for time to let him calm down until he could quietly leave the area. Instead they strutted their big balls and made the situation worse. If they don't have training in this then I really do wonder if the next time I'm upset and the cops show up I'll take a few slugs for behaving badly. What makes me blame the police is their unprofessional handling of the situation. They're supposed to be "peace officers" but obviously they chose to turn this into an aggressive situation in which the hammer won. From the moment they arrived, many of them, they had physical superiority, there was no weapon, there was a person that wouldn't stand up. God forbid they seek other options instead of harming the individual to cement their power over them.

    For those that don't know, this is very far from unordinary. I've hung with "bad" people and the police act like this all the time. They have the gun, they have the badge, in court they are a credible witness. Go up against them and you WILL LOSE without proof. Even with proof you are unlikely to win unless they kick the shit out of you while you stay absolutely motionless, even then you better hope your arm didn't move more than 2 inches cuz if it did you were attempting to violently assault an officer. I am exxagerating a bit but if you think this is uncharacterstic of police behavior you are ignorant (meaning that you just don't know).

    Officers obviously need more training on how to handle a non dangerous situation. This comes up every time Joe Blow Black man with a rake is capped. They need to understand that having a gun, having control, does not mean using it to expedite the situation. If they have to spend 2 hours trying to calm the man down so be it. That's what they are payed to do, to keep everyone safe. Force should only be applied when NECCESSARY, and that is the downfall of this whole situation.
  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:41AM (#16926298)
    Their insistence that he get on his feet or they would tase him again is all the proof we need that they were not the brightest bulbs in the pack. The function of a Taser shock is to disable by disrupting nerve and muscle function.

    If you could stand up after being Tased they wouldn't be using them in the first place.
    I don't know about the campus police, but part of the taser training for full police officers is to take a taser shot themselves, just like with mace (which is much more painful and longer lasting).

    The current taser models override the voluntary muscle nerve impulses and cause the body to tense for the duration it's firing. Once it's off you're back to normal within a few seconds, with the exception of the adrenaline rush.

    Almost everyone is able to get right back up if they choose to do so, especially if people are trying to pull them up from under the arms as it appears those officers were trying to do at one point in the video.

    However, tasers are intended as a means of subduing a suspect without causing serious harm, not convince them to move.

    So to respond to your original post, he could have gotten up when they told him to, the taser shot won't stop that. He chose not to. That's non-violent resistance, and I wouldn't begrudge anyone that. They needed to suck it up, get a few guys and carry him out if that's what needed to be done.
  • Re:A taser (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jtorkbob (885054) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:43AM (#16926308) Homepage
    :: Insted its ment to be used to defend yourself from a target that will cause harm to you, thus paralyzing them for your own safty.There were 5 policemen and one student, i really dont think any of those police were in danger.::

    Ever try to restrain a person who's resisting with all his might? It takes a lot to wrestle a guy into handcuffs when he's kicking and flailing. Not to mention, it was not '5 policemen and one student'; it was 5 policemen and some unknown number of students forming what could loosely be described as a mob. The police have to pay attention to the bystanders to make sure the sitation doesn't get out of hand. If they're wrestling the person to the ground, they cannot maintain control of the situation around them, and a person whose intent is worse than civil disobidience might steal a sidearm and cause a real problem.

    I can understand, in today's tense world, how this young man might have felt that he was being targeted. Heck, maybe he was. The fact is that if you resist the police, you deserve whatever comes to you, becuase the police in the US are easy to get along with.

    "Hold up, you must be a white man," you say. That's true, but it's all about respect. If you treat the police with respect, they will treat you with respect, and we have a system where conflicts - even with the police - can be solved peacefully if you can keep your emotions in check. It doesn't matter the disposition of your DNA.
  • by Surt (22457) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:44AM (#16926318) Homepage Journal
    I have max karma. It's just true. I said the same thing back when the fading star was b4 and Kuroshin was trying to be the up and comer. Now Kuroshin is pretty much forgotten and digg wants the good readers. For whatever reason, the most desireable posters (and lets be fair: the least desireable too) stay with slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:54AM (#16926416)
    I suppose the cops should have just backed down and left the library, when confronted with the force of spoiled adolescent anger.


    If you're a cop, and a crowd of ordinary and uninvolved citizens who just happen to be in the area all seem to think you are abusing your power and hurting someone, then that should really cause you to pause and rethink your actions. If push comes to shove, your actions will be judged by a similarly constructed jury.
  • bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scudsucker (17617) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:57AM (#16926466) Homepage Journal
    First, we're not catching anything before the video, which firsthand accounts make it seem like the guy should be tasered.

    Based on what.

    Second, they repeatedly warned him before tasing him each time.

    Irrelevant. They had no business tasering a handcuffed suspect for being uncooperative.

    Third, according to firsthand accounts and the story, he was provoking the crowd.

    Watch the video. He wasn't doing anything more than screaming "here's your Patriot Act, here's your fucking abuse of power."

    Sure, it looks like the cops overreacted, but not to the extent that you're saying.

    Yes, they did, and they belong in jail for assault.
  • by rkcallaghan (858110) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:00AM (#16926482)
    ad0ggwrote:
    Using a taser to force you do something is borderline torture.
    Let's not start the doublespeak here on Slashdot. Using [electric shocks] to force someone to do something is torture.

    Fixed that for ya. So when the police are torturing people in the middle of a school in front of everyone; are we a police state yet? Was it some other kind of "worse" that "other countries have" that everyone meant when they blew off those that have said so before?

    ~Rebecca
  • Re:Bull shit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Scudsucker (17617) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:00AM (#16926486) Homepage Journal
    A civilian using a taser on someone in an argument has nothing to do with a cop using a taser to deal with people resisting arrest

    You're right - the cops are held to a much higher standard.

    Tazers were developed so that cops wouldn't have to resort to violence

    Using a tazer is violence.
  • by brett880 (970445) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:00AM (#16926488)
    How is that any different? What if the police had demanded to search him right there, or risk being tasered, and he had simply stayed on the floor? You're telling me that going limp on the floor or not moving is considered "suspicious?" The combination of not producing ID, refusing to leave a public building when asked and going limp instead of leaving is VERY suspicous! They can tase me if, for some reason, I can't move or it hurts to move? Man, dead people must be TERRIBLE for the police. They scream at them to get up, and you tase them, and they STILL don't get up.That makes absolutely no sense and has on bearing on the point. Do some research on what a taser does to muscles after electrical impulse. Amazing he was able to clearly get out his political rants.....


    Not providing an ID when asked by authority sounds like he didn't provide ANY ID. He just didn't have his campus ID. Why didn't they ask him for a driver's license or some other form of identification? If he was leaving anyway, as the article said he was, why did they need to grab his arm at all?They were following procedure to have him removed without ID. That wasn't what made him so suspicious...see above reply.


    The police are not supposed to be the ones inititalizing a physical confrontation. It's different if the criminal does, or shows intent to (having a weapon). Remember, these people are serving YOU (and everyone around you), you're not serving THEM.Wow what rediculous statements. A criminal showing intent to or having a weapon is NOT the only reason for initiating (not initializing) physical confrontation with a possible criminal. You really need to do some research on taser devices and law.

  • by nuklearfusion (748554) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:03AM (#16926516)
    I suppose the cops should have just backed down and left the library, when confronted with the force of spoiled adolescent anger. Boo hoo, the cops won't let the college kids riot. Here's a really scary thought: some day this group of "oppressed" kids are going to be applying for jobs at major corporations.

    where was the kid a danger to anyone? after he is on the ground, the worst that can be said of the guy is that he used passive resistance and abusive language when tased. this hardly justifies the use of a taser. I am not (and i dont think that anyone in the board is either) suggesting that the cops leave, i am suggesting that they should act like civilized people. escort the man out, and let him yell. there is no harm in someone yelling things. once the guy in is on the floor, there is definitely no need for further use of the taser. simply drag him out.
  • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:21AM (#16926678) Journal
    Again and again, the police apologists come out in droves saying "Oh, but you don't know how HARD it is being a cop!" and "The guy was definitely asking for it!" I'm just going to say what I said last time this came up (original post: http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=192848&cid =15830849 [slashdot.org]) Full text:

    The perfect reply to this argument (which comes up every time someone mentions that most cops are assholes) is this: a McDonald's employee has more accountability than a cop does. As a 16 year old burger-flipper, if a customer acts like a complete asshole--even going so far as to yelling and cussing you out--you are NOT allowed to verbally abuse the customer in return in any way, shape or form. At most you can ask him/her to leave the building, that's it.

    Years ago, I worked at McDonald's for four months and a very good friend of mine was punched in the face. Through a plate glass window. A woman tried to order at the pickup window, was told she needed to drive around again, so she punched through the drive-through window, hitting my friend in the face. If she (my friend) had hit her back, there's not a doubt in my mind that she would have lost her job. Instead, she walked away calmly and called her supervisor and the police.

    Now, I'm not implying that the police shouldn't use force when necessary. I'm also not denying that they're human too, that it's a nasty, dirty job and I'm sure it's really rough on them. But you know what? Working at McDonald's is in many was rougher (if you doubt this, I could tell you some more horror stories... absolutely the worst 4 months of my life, period.), and yet their workers are held to a much higher standard than the police. Why is that? Why do so many of us make allowances for the police to exercise HUGE leaps of personal discretion, to bend the law whenever it suits them? It's a tough job, but they chose it and we shouldn't let them bend the rules (or ignore them) whenever they feel like it. I saw a TON of asshole customers at McDonalds, yet I didn't say a foul word to any of them. I didn't spit in their food either (no one did--they would've been fired on the spot.) I did my job as professionally as I could, regardless of how shitty I was treated.

    And I was a fucking fry cook!

    Please please please please PLEASE tell me we can hold our police officers up to the same standards as our burger flippers.
  • by creysoft (856713) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:22AM (#16926692)
    I agree with you that the guy was most likely being a jackass, and should have been forcefully removed by the premises. I was just pointing out, as you have, that there are far more civilized ways to go about it.

    A lot of people are making the point that, "He was just begging for an ass kicking." Quite possibly true. However, it is not law enforcement's role to provide him one. The only, and I mean _ONLY_ time law enforcement is justified in physically attacking (as opposed to restraining) someone is when they pose a danger to themselves or those around them. Then they are to use the minimum amount of force necessary to subdue and restrain the person. Tasers are not tools of expediency.
  • by milamber3 (173273) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:23AM (#16926708)
    Once again I must suggest you read the article and watch the video. He was NOT resisting. He WAS trying to leave until they stopped him. They ended up carrying him out so why couldn't they do that in the first place? What did tasering him accomplish since he was never fighting them?

    You essentially made my point for me though, about the tasering being akin (this means "similar", not "same" as you wrote it) to beating him. The taser is supposed to be used instead of a club in situations that require force to subdue someone, it should not be used in a situation that could not also warrant the use of a club if no taser was available. That is the point you, and most undertrained cops, fail to understand. Someone who is lying MOTIONLESS on the ground does not need to be subdued, period! Narrow minded people like yourself need to remember that a taser can be much more harmful or even deadly than a club to someone with specific medical conditions (some of which may be unknown even to the person being tased).
  • by TellarHK (159748) <tellarhk@nosPAm.hotmail.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:34AM (#16926810) Homepage Journal
    You are correct - to a point.

    If you are given lawful instructions by a police officer, you are a damn fool not to listen to them.

    However, if you are ordered to do something that you feel violates your civil rights by someone that you feel is racially profiling or discriminating against you based on the color of your skin, and surrounded by people that can back you up (with testimony, video or photo evidence) you're a fool not to employ non-violent resistance in protest.

    It looks to me like this situation straddles the line. Lawful orders given by officers that may have acted on prejudice, and followed it up with excessive force. Ugly for -everyone- involved, but far, far worse for the officers. There were three officers, and I'm sure the situation could have been handled a hell of a lot better.

    And as to tasers and the lingering effect, that differs depending on the individual. Some people can get up and walk, some people can't move extremities with any serious control, and I've seen some people that could -barely- talk when they were hit. It's perfectly reasonable to say this guy might not have been able to control his limbs well enough to give the officers what they wanted (even if he was so inclined).

    This was neither a case of a completely innocent person being tasered, nor was it a case of officers being abusive dicks for the fun of it. It straddled the line. But in any case where you have the line being straddled like this, the people with the authority, the guns, the tasers and the nightsticks are the ones most at fault. They were entrusted with authority to uphold and represent the law, and they misused it. Do I think they should be fired? Not sure - but an investigation should definitely be conducted.

    As to the scenario you point out at the end of your post, I have to say that on the -surface- of it, that's a completely bullshit charge against the officers. I just read an article on that particular incident, so I know the specifics of what you're referring to, and I have to say I completely agree that it sounds like a justifiable shoot.

    But this tasering isn't nearly the same sort of situation. The officers were not (from what I saw/heard) being threatened with harm, nor was anyone else. The officers made unrealistic demands once he -was- tasered, and were treating him like a violent suspect which was not the case from what I was able to make out on that video.
  • by porkface (562081) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:52AM (#16926964) Journal
    It sounds like this guy got a highly effective lesson in the fact that Americans are not prone to martyrdom.

    In all of these taser threads, I see a lot of people assuming they're not safe, but I have yet to see one single supported claim that they are inherently unsafe. I can imagine if a person has a pacemaker it's unsafe, but at this point I'm not seeing any evidence it's unsafe.

    That said, I can't imagine why 5 police officers were unable to move a handcuffed victim safely to a squad car. And then for them to use a disabling device as a means of getting the guy to move is something I'm sure was at least wrong on their part. Maybe not criminal, but definitely poor tool selection at the least.

    The video does demonstrate audibly that there were at least a handful of vocal students yelling at the police to stop using the taser after the first one. The impression I got was that it was an unpleasant and somewhat inhumane sight to see.

    At this point I just want to hear the police justification for this painful and botched attempt to remove the guy. I can't imagine how it will go well because the guy appears to offer no physical threat or significant deterrant to simply picking him up and hauling him away.
  • by NoTheory (580275) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:16AM (#16927204)
    Fine, then i hope you understand when i taser every white kid with a crew cut who driving a pickup truck, cause you never know which of 'em is gonna be the next Timothy McVey.

    Racial Profiling is stupid, ineffective, and an unjustifiable abuse of statistical reasoning.
  • by identity0 (77976) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:16AM (#16927208) Journal
    Sorry, but I think the term "Philosophy student" in the summary says it all.

    Keep in mind, that "I like to find the most difficult solutions to the simplest of problems" and "he's the kind of guy that loves to make trouble" are not the same thing as being a violent person. In fact, this is exactly the kind of mindset you'd expect from a philosophy major with an interest in the philosophy of non-violent resistance and individual rights.

    A real criminal doesn't refuse to show ID and stand his ground with the cops, they would get the hell out of there before it escalates. Making a scene like that is exactly the kind of thing a libertarian with an attitude or a leftie into protest politics does. Remember that guy who went to the Supreme Court over not showing cops his drivers licence? I bet this guy also had his ID in his pocket, he just wanted to make a point about requiring it.

    That "he urged others to join his resistance and a crowd began to gather" (from the ABC story) sounds like he was trying to make a political point. That he knew to "fall limp to the floor" also seems to indicate he was at least aware of non-violent protest tactics. His middle eastern ethnicity and Bahai faith probably make him extra-sensitive to issues of profiling and discrimination, too.

    That he was being a self-righteous asshole is just another indication that he's not a criminal and is instead an intellectual who was expecting an argument or debate - instead, he got some muscle-bound cop who thought insolence and disobedience had to be met by force.

    So congratulations, Campus Cops - you found the least dangerous, most-likely-to-sue-over-civil-rights student in the library and tasered him in front of a crowd with cameras. Great job.
  • by Walt Dismal (534799) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:16AM (#16927218)
    It is conceivable that the student could have been so shaken, fearful, and angry he literally could not stand up, that he would prefer to just sit there and try to recover. I've seen Taser demonstrations where people could not get up after even a short 1-2 second burst (a TV newswoman for example). Further, had the student had any sort of pre-existing medical condition such as a heart condition or weakness caused by (legal) medications, he certainly would have justified in not responding to the 'get up' demands. Finally, by the third time he'd been Tasered, he is likely to have been quite weak and shaky regardless. Judging by the level of his repeated screams, I'd estimate that his heart rate accelerated a lot and he was weak with systemic shock. Long ago, when I was chased and shot at the first few times, I trembled from the adrenal rush and got weak and shaky too. This kid went through a combat experience, in effect.

    Failure to show a piece of paper is no justification for the brutality shown. There was utterly no justifiable reason for the patrolmen to not have handled this in a more humane way. The school deserves whatever financial justice the UCLA alumni choose to visit upon them for hiring dumb thugs to 'protect' the students. Do not donate when solicited by UCLA. Make them hurt.

    The video was the sickest thing I've witnessed recently, unless you count watching parts of the movie "Saw".

  • by vertical_98 (463483) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:28AM (#16927304) Homepage
    You are correct. The police officers in this case should have either removed the man by force (ala Rodney King) or just given up and gone home. "Oh, we couldn't do anything. He said 'no'."

    Thats the stupidest f**king thing I have ever heard. Granted I haven't been in college since 87, but I KNOW that 5 officers can pick up and carry a 200lb man. (he didn't look that big, but police say he is, so maybe) The first shock may have been righteous (don't know, don't care). Once the handcuffs where on, the man could be laying on the ground shouting 'I f**ked you daughter', and you still don't get to taser him again. Thats when it crosses the line. What they should have done was defused the situation by leaving him on the ground passive and shouting like a fool and asking the students to back up. Then those 5 cops I counted in the video could have carried his ass out the nearest exit. It doesn't matter if he was an asshole or a jerk or a retard shouting 'I want Jesus', he was passive not combative.
  • Re:A taser (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Random Data (538955) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:28AM (#16927306)

    The fact is that if you resist the police, you deserve whatever comes to you, becuase the police in the US are easy to get along with.

    "Hold up, you must be a white man," you say. That's true, but it's all about respect. If you treat the police with respect, they will treat you with respect, and we have a system where conflicts - even with the police - can be solved peacefully if you can keep your emotions in check.

    Bullshit. I've met cops in the US and Australia (where I live) who were basically jerks. The majority of those I've had interactions with are great people, doing a shit job I wouldn't wish on anyone, but there are arseholes as well.

    If you were minding your own business and a few cops made a beeline for you and strated asking for ID although everyone else was being ignored, would you feel hassled? If you asked why you were targeted and were told to shut up, would you be annoyed? If you were asked to leave, would you get vocal? What if it was a regular event?

    It's the job of a law enforcement officer to be as polite and restrained as possible while getting their job done. They don't threaten force if it's not required, they don't go for a taser when there are other options, and they deinfitely don't repeatedly shock someone for exhibiting behaviour that's reasonably typical of being shocked.

  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dam.capsule.org (183256) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:29AM (#16927314) Homepage
    Wow... Every time someone mentions here something about ID cards, everybody is raising the Holly Privacy Bible. Today, A guy which has done nothing but wanting to keep his privacy is beaten by the police and you say it's a good thing ?

    Terrorism is, you know, about, uh, terror I think. It seems its working with you. By saying you are happy that this guy got tasered, you are entering their game. You acknowledge that you are afraid of them. And beside, now they can tell: "See, Americans are not respecting the rights they are promoting".

  • Re:A victim? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:30AM (#16927324)
    Sure that's all true, but for which of those points would he deserved to be shocked the fuck out of five times?
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:52AM (#16927490)
    Fine, call it racial profiling, but when I see an Iranian without a student ID, acting belligerent, carrying a backpack into a crowded place, I hope the police take whatever action is necessary to get him the hell out of there.

    Idiotic. If he did happen to be a suicide bomber, as you imply, he would detonate himself the moment the guards approached him. And actually he was American born, and no doubt rather pissed at being anal probed at every opportunity. Have you ever been in a university library? Half the patrons are scruffy, bearded, belligerant and with backpacks.

  • by Ziest (143204) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:07AM (#16927596) Homepage
    He was also being a smart-ass (something you don't do around police),



    So, he got tazed 5 times because he was being a smart-ass? Talking back is now a crime? In your world the only thing that is allowed is silent obedience? You will make a nice sheep. See you at the death camp, fool.



    Baaahhhh

  • Re:old news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mike89 (1006497) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:09AM (#16927604)
    Slashdot is a discussion forum. The power here is not timeliness, it's the audience.
    This is completely true. A lot of the reason I visit Slashdot daily is to get some insight onto whatever the news is (even if it's not 'Breaking News').

    I used to read Digg quite a lot, but I was a Slashdot reader first. Digg has basically become somewhat "mob rule" - regardless of how well-planned or well-argued a point is, if everyone on Digg doesnt agree is "dugg" into oblivion. Then, in every thread, you also have to guy spouting "Digg me down!", who, of course, has close to 100 "diggs" up.

    Diggs threading is also a joke. Threads end up extremely long with people doing followups to followups.. but since it only supports a 'depth' of 1, it's just a giant mess.

    So, Mr Digg User, you enjoy Digg while we enjoy Slashdot. I'm suprised you even have time to troll over here, considering how up to date and fast news reaches you guys!

  • by indierockcafe (1030062) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:09AM (#16927606) Homepage Journal
    You can't argue with the video and audio evidence in the tazer incident, just as you can't with the Michael Richard's racial rant (both events were captured on cell phones). It is outrageous behavior, and a sad commentary on where we are nowadays in America. It proves there is still a lot of mending and healing that needs to be done. The alternative is very bleak.

    Thankfully, web sites like Slashdot allow people to debate these issues and overall that is a great thing for democracy and for reinforcing the American Value that racism in any form will not be tolerated. We need to be one big team regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, whatever.
  • civil rights (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zeromorph (1009305) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:10AM (#16927618)
    The UCPD is a separate law enforcement agency with the same powers as CHP officers run by the University of California.

    Can anyone explain to me what run by the University of California means in relation to a law enforcement agency?

    I'm not an US citizen and more than a little bit confused about what I have read/seen, and think if the whole issue is half as bad as I understand it, you guys should better start to worry.

  • by Sage Gaspar (688563) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:10AM (#16927620)
    The other board all seemed to think the same thing, so why's this groupthink and not that? :P

    This is a complicated issue, and anyone coming down fully on one side or the other probably hasn't thought about it long enough. The cops were facing a noncompliant student of decent size. He may or may not have been actively resisting to leave. Some people say there was a disconnect between what he was yelling and what he was doing. He was certainly trying to rile up a crowd of students, most of whom are probably looking for some kind of cause to get behind. Tasing the guy might've seemed like the best way to disable him.

    On the other hand, the cops threatened onlookers. Bringing out a taser in front of a mob is a bad idea if you don't absolutely have to. It's hard to imagine what five taser stuns will do that one or two will not. After the second, and even the first, did not have the intended effect, they should've probably switched to another tact.

    Personally, I think the officer threatening the student asking for the badge number and the repeated tasings are misconduct, and should be dealt with appropriately. It seems this kid might've been looking to start trouble, but it still doesn't justify the response. I don't think this is a widespread issue of civil liberties, it's cops in a very tense situation that made a couple poor decisions.
  • by MicrosoftRepresentit (1002310) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:13AM (#16927652)
    If you watch the video, you'll notice that security ask the guy to get up about a hundred times before stunning him. Then they ask another hundred or so times, and he still doesn't move, so they stun him again. Really, the guy got what he deserved, the security where incredibly patient with someone who was blatantly trolling for abuse. It should have been obvious to them that he was just going to keep provoking them until they did something, at which point he would pull the racism/police brutality card...but in those circumstances, what can the police do?
  • by pakar (813627) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:35AM (#16927808)
    Well, after getting stunned do you really think you got good control of your legs? If they wanted they could have just carried him out of the building without having to zap him even once, but what's the fun in that.
  • Re:To be expected. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:45AM (#16927872) Homepage Journal
    Taking a picture/video to report to the proper authorities, like this student, is probably the best course of action.

    You can hardly report anything if you have your brain splashed all over the floor.

    First they would assault you, then to prove themselves they would call you communist/terrorist/whatever anathema-of-a-day you have over there in U.S. And then it would already impossible to argue against the law enforcement: he is Iranian, amongst his friends most likely there people who might be condemned for working for radical Iranian gov't. And so on and so forth. Check up the list of books he was reading: Math? Chemistry? Physics? - "he was making a bomb", Literature? Philosophy? - "we was brainwashing his friends". That what the law enforcement would say.

    Similar things happen all the time in Russia. Bush moves U.S. steadily in the direction. In one aspect the U.S. and Russia are similar: they have abolished slavery in mid-19th century, only one and half centuries ago. Value of human life isn't really yet caught up over there.

    In the end, witch hunts are never changing, really. Who plays the role of scapegoats are changed many times - communists, jews, terrorists - but importance of the entertainment for mob remains.

  • by Yusaku Godai (546058) <hyuga@@@guardian-hyuga...net> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:47AM (#16927890) Homepage
    Exactly. While my university's library does not have a random ID check policy, I can certainly see it now. Sitting in the library late at night struggling to finish an important paper--definitely scruffy, bearded, and belligerant. Some idiot cop who could not possibly comprehend the gravity and brilliance of my work (I'm being facetious here, nor am I anti-police in general; this is just what I might think to myself in such a frustrating situation) comes along and interrupts my train of thought and tells me I have to pack up and leave immediately.

    No way in hell I'd move. I'd at least stay around to finish up that last thought, if possible, and then I'd leave. Which is apparently more or less how it happened. They told him to leave, but he did not right away. By the time they came back to haul him off, he had already finished packing his stuff and was on his way out when they stopped him. At such I point, I would no longer be in the mood to fuck around. I think maybe screaming about it was uncalled for, and he might have been able to handle it better. But if the whole thing went down anything like I described, and it seems likely, I can certainly relate to his plight.
  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:00AM (#16927954) Journal
    The alternative was shooting? Shooting an unarmed, handcuffed person lying on the ground? Are you nuts?

  • by DJCacophony (832334) <{moc.t0gym} {ta} {akd0v}> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:01AM (#16927962) Homepage
    Non-violently how?

    Libary Staff: Good evening sir, may we see your ID, to confirm that you are a student at this university and not a trespassing criminal?
    Student: No.
    Libary Staff: Well then I'm afraid we'll have to ask you to leave. Library regulations state we need an ID if you are to stay.
    Student: No. I refuse to show my ID and I refuse to leave.

    At this point the student is guilty of criminal trespassing, something that can't be waved away if he were to leave now. He has been ordered off the premises and blatantly refused the order.

    Library Staff: Then we'll have to have you removed. Calls the Police, who arrive momentarily.
    Police: Alright sir, please come with us.
    Student: No.
    Police: Fine then. The Police officers take him by the arm to escort him out.
    Student: AAAAAGH! HELP! HELP! DON'T TOUCH ME! DOOOOOOOOOON'T TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUCH MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE The student begins to make a scene with his screaming. He jerks out of the policeman's hand and starts flailing wildly, and generally acting in a violent, unpredictable manner. Now what? How would you defuse the situation? You have an unidentified criminal, trespassing on government property, acting violent in the vicinity of young students, resisting arrest, moving in a violent manner. What would you propose, other than using force?
  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:05AM (#16927980) Journal
    If you use a broad definition then maybe it is torture but tasers do have valid uses in police work and are far more humane than the alternatives


    Tasers might have valid uses, but the case at hand isn't one of them; and, yes, using a taser on an unarmed, handcuffed person on the ground IS torture. They shock him to get him to do what they want. Causing physical pain to someone intentionally IS torture. It's not a "broad definition" it IS the definition.

    The alternative to tasers in this case is not guns or batons; it's to not do anything harmful as it was obviously not necessary.

  • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:26AM (#16928110)
    Twat.

    Or, instead of shooting him they could have acted like:

    1. Adults with a functioning sense of empathy
    2. People employed as government servants to protect the people
    3. Agents of the government of a functioning democracy
    4. A group of half-a-dozen people trying to get one, smaller, nonviolent person to move

    And just left him there or carried him out peacefully.

    At what point does repeatedly tasing an unarmed civilian, already on the floor, constitute "reasonable force"?

    The key message here wasn't "we want you out of the library" - if that was the case they would have carried him - it was "you will submit and do what we say, or we will continue to cause you pain until you do".

    And that, my friend, is torture.
  • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:36AM (#16928172)
    "If you use a broad definition then maybe it is torture"

    Stop right there. Let's look at the definition of torture [answers.com], shall we?

    Oh look - first definition: "Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion"

    Severe physical pain? Check.
    Punishment for not voluntarily moving? Check.
    Coercion to move? Check?

    It is torture. Don't mince words and don't try to apologise. A foreign student was repeatedly tortured in front of a crowd of students by the police.

    Ok? Now, moving on:

    "but tasers do have valid uses in police work and are far more humane than the alternatives."

    The only sane "alternatives" in this case were to leave him there or carry him out.

    How is tazing someone "more humane" than these alternatives? Did you think about what you were saying at all before you posted?

    "If I'm wrong then feel free to tell me how a 120lb policewoman is going to stop a 250lb male mental patient from bashing her senseless simply because she looks like his mother."

    Sorry, again... where was the 250lb mental patient? All I saw was a gang of cops standing over a smaller, prone, single student, repeatedly giving him painful and debilitating electric shocks.

    Your post makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

    Nobody's saying tazers aren't more humane than shooting someone. Nobody's saying there aren't situations where police (or whoever) should be allowed to defend themselves. Where did you hallucinate these arguments from.

    All people are doing is expressing outrage that a groups of cops should stand over a single, smaller student and repeatedly torture him until he obeys their (questionable) instructions.

    What about this strikes you as a good thing? Then why are you introducing irrelevant straw-man apologies for it?
  • by Kijori (897770) <ward.jake@ g m a il.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:43AM (#16928208)

    You should watch the video, it's pretty clear from that that he didn't deserve to be tased, or at least didn't deserve to be tased over and over again.

    Background (not in the video): After 11 you have to have a Bruincard. He didn't have his and was told to leave by a CSO. When he didn't leave immediately, they called campus police.

    From what you can see/hear, the first contact with the security comes when they grab his arm - according to other students, he was leaving, having been told by a CSO that he had to - and he tells them to "get off". At this point they tase him to the ground. When he's finished screaming in pain, you can't see what's happening, but it sounds like they've dragged him to the door. There are a couple of security guards there at this point. They tell him to get up. He doesn't, instead trying to explain that he was trying to leave, and begging them not to tase him again. It's been pointed out that due to the effects of the taser he may not physically have been able to stand at this stage. They tase him again. He still doesn't stand. They tase him again. After a while, they seem to realise that this isn't getting him on his feet. At this stage, several students have asked for their names and badge numbers. One of them was told he would be tased if he didn't shut up. The officer was holding a taser when he said this. The others were simply ignored.

    Now that the student is no longer deemed to be a threat to the (at least) 3 armed police standing over him, he is handcuffed. Before being dragged out of the room, he is tased one last time.

    I couldn't watch the whole video in one go, so I'm not sure where the fifth use of the taser comes in.

    I'm disgusted by what I saw in the video. Seriously. The taser was their first resort against a student who was - according to the other students - cooperating. Even after using the taser to knock him down, they didn't search him for weapons, they didn't handcuff him. They just kept on tasering. Once the guy's already on the floor and surrounded, I don't understand why you would keep using weapons to hurt him.

    According to the article, the taser is used by officers when there is "a potential for injury to the officer(s) or others" or a "potential risk of serious injury to the individual being controlled." He was on the floor, shouting that he was trying to leave. He was clearly no threat to anyone, least of all himself. And the officers obviously knew that they were in the wrong, since they threatened witnesses with violence to try to buy their silence.

    To me it's obvious what should happen. Every one of these officers should be immediately fired while a criminal case is prepared for torturing a helpless young man. They should go to jail under federal anti-torture law, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.

  • by niktemadur (793971) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:54AM (#16928278)
    Right on. I mean, what was the guy supposed to do? Drop everything, stand up straight, give a military salute and march on out? When ordinary students... no, make that citizens, have to instantaneously react and obey like corporals at the drop of a police hat, y'all are heading straight into a police state.

    Incidents like this become even more disturbing when you think that police officers are also prone to PTSD and itchy trigger fingers, and a considerable percentage of Iraq veterans with much worse cases of either/both will probably find their way into some sort of police force after their tour (or tours) of duty.
  • by Blaaguuu (886777) <blaaguuu@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:55AM (#16928284)
    Ive seen a lot of people commenting that the Cops in the video are idiots, and a few saying that the student was an idiot.

    I move that all involved parties are atleast a little retarded.

    The student was stupid for refusing to leave when asked politely, then complaining and screaming when told by police officers to leave. Then more idiotic yet for not cooperating after being tased, and told he would be tased more - something he obviously knew he wouldn't enjoy. The whole time screaming about how our justice system is working. Yes, my good sir... the police officers are in place to enforce rules set in place by society - rules you certainly knew you were being violated by yourself, even after being told to stop.

    The cops are idiots because they continued to tase the student when he obviously was set on not cooperating, after being tased multiple times. theres a point when you have to go old-school and just haul his out kicking and screaming.

    But in the end, ive really gotta side with the cops in the situation... Tasers are a nice piece of equipment. they definately made too liberal of use with theirs, but i think calling "police brutality" in the situation is too much. People who intentionally violate laws need to understand that being arrested wont be a pleasant experience if you resist.
  • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @06:29AM (#16928490)
    The awful truth is that in the 60's students knew that intervening would be a bit of a beating and a night in the cells. In todays climate, intervening in police business would put you on a track that would pretty much finish any chance you have of a life/career/future.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @07:14AM (#16928790)
    The guy did not show his student card! This is not a severe crime!
    And that's not what he'll go to jail for. A librarian asked him to leave - he refused - that's trespass. He also apparently threatened her - make that aggravated trespass and assault. Seems to me the idiot went looking for trouble and he's crying foul because he found it. Boo fucking hoo.
  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @07:49AM (#16929036)
    The Iranian bigot deserved what he got.

    You honestly believe that being tasered 5 times is the appropriate reaction for not producing your papers on demand? Once wouldn't me enough? 6 times is too much? I'm hazy on your logic here... 5 times for not producing papers...what's appropriate for looking at an officer oddly? Or saying something politically incorrect?

    I could see the officers escorting him out of the library... I could even see them hauling him down to the police station until they could positively identify him... But getting tasered 5 times for not producing ID? And you think this is appropriate?

    What this does is create fear of our authority figures. You better do exactly what they say, when they say it, or you'll get tasered repeatedly. You better not do anything questionable because they can taser you if they feel like it. You know what it's called when you use fear as a tool to achieve your goals? Terrorism.
  • by finkployd (12902) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @07:53AM (#16929054) Homepage
    Actually, according to multiple reports, they also threatened a girl with a tazing who asked for their badge numbers.

    Not a single one of these men is fit to be a police officer, I daresay not a single one of them is fit to be a free man walking the streets. Clearly their abuse of power and violent attitude toward others is a danger to society. All of the "cops" involved deserve prison time.

    Finkployd
  • by purduephotog (218304) <hirsch AT inorbit DOT com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @07:54AM (#16929068) Homepage Journal
    I don't see police brutatlity- and I've watched the video 5x, including some other clips.

    I see someone that may or may not have been a student refusing to cooperate with police and screaming obscenities. The first time I watched I was more afraid for the cops thinking "Shit, is he on drugs?".

    The tasers were used in 'drive stun' capacity. That means they the electrodes were put next to each other- still incapacitating but not nearly as a body shot. I can't locate the link ATM but there's a comparison of 4 guys trying to fight thru 2 different stun/Taser models- and in each case they stood up directly after getting hit. So I don't want to hear how it wasn't possible.

    Lastly, those officers were in a hostile situation with a mob closing in around them. They've a job to do and that was to remove someone purporting to be a student who had refused to exit the premise (that's called trespass (an unlawful act causing injury to the person, property, or rights of another, committed with force or violence, actual or implied.)) The mob then surrounds and distracts the officers during the performance of their duties. You want to have a discussion? Fine. Do it after the suspect has been subdued- not while they're wondering whether or not the guy is going to run, shoot, attack, berserk, maim, or do something else irresponsible and dangerous.

    Those 'citizens' could simply look up the police report from the incident and get badge numbers- how freaking stupid is that "I WANT YOUR BADGE NUMBER" (well, read it dumbass). Protect a total stranger who has refused to show ID and refused to leave and then SHOUTS "HERE"S YOUR FUCKING PATRIOR ACT" HERES YOUR POLICE BRUTALITY"... well, all I've got to say is "You're lucky". Before tasers it would have been a knockdown or a pulled weapon.

    And to answer the obvious retorts: Yes, I've been shocked- I was knocked thru a wall by a high capacitance discharge. I stayed stunned for about 15 seconds, then got up, but most certainly could have walked if I had had support. No, I've never been Tased. Yes, I have been stun-gunned (Stupid drunk tricks) and was able to function after getting it on the leg/hip.

  • Re:A victim? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Keeper (56691) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:09AM (#16929212)
    It's a misdemeanor. Right up there with jaywalking.

    The police are permitted to use force, however they aren't permitted to use an arbitrary amount of force. They can't shoot the guy. They can't beat him to a bloody pulp. The police required to use the least amount of force necessary to accomplish their goal (which is to eliminate the trespass) -- in this case, they should have just dragged the guy out. Shooting a guy sitting on the ground with a taser 5 times (which prevents the subject from moving) accomplishes nothing.
  • Re:Hahh!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gerrysteele (927030) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:14AM (#16929246)
    Can the last one out of the free world please turn off the lights?
  • by epine (68316) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:15AM (#16929254)
    Actually, in democratic society, guilt is determined by a court of law. By the second instance that the word criminal trips lovingly off your tongue, he's just an alleged miscreant who has directly harmed no person or property, who's sin against society is perhaps 50% greater than anyone who leaves a public restroom without washing their hands. On the other side of the coin, police on campus are permanently outnumbered by an I-think-I'm-clever hormone-fueled demongraphic just itching to stick it to authority. In the heat of the moment, sometimes the culturally engrained "show no sign of weakness" is carried an order of magnitude too far. Either way, the parent post displays no greater glee than making a bad situation worse, which is where the escalation begins in the first place.
  • by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:20AM (#16929302)
    So, he got tazed 5 times because he was being a smart-ass?
    Yes, he did.

    Talking back is now a crime?
    No, it isn't. Anybody who has been around police officers know that even that best are very serious when they are on the job, and if you make them feel like they aren't in control of the situation, they will react. There are two times when you don't "talk back". The first is around the arresting officers, and the second is around the judge.

    In your world the only thing that is allowed is silent obedience? You will make a nice sheep. See you at the death camp, fool.
    Actually, I'm just a bit wiser than the student in the video. I don't believe in silent obedience, but I do believe in picking the time and place for the battle. Now, if this student was out to prove that the police are out of control, he will probably be successful, and he just endured what was necessary to make his point. Otherwise, he was just being an idiot. What rationale would he have for refusing the leave the first time he was asked (before the police came)? What was he out to prove? What did he hope to achieve by shouting some nonsense about the patriot act? This kind of stuff happened long before the patriot act, except that victims were beat within an inch of their life by the police. All he achieved by shouting that nonsense to was to prove that either he didn't know what the patriot act was all about, or that he is a political dissident and should be watched closely for the rest of his life (and he most likely will). Probably none of this is true, but that is exactly how it would have come across.
  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alienw (585907) <alienw.slashdot@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:23AM (#16929334)
    First, he didn't get beaten, he got tasered. That's quite different. You can't injure someone in normal health with a taser. It's SUPPOSED to be used on people resisting arrest, which is exactly how it was used. It is far safer than manhandling the suspect, or using batons.

    Second, the "privacy" argument is bullshit. If he wanted to stay anonymous for whatever reason, he should have used the library during normal public hours. Otherwise, he should comply with whatever rules they had in place. He does not have a constitutional right to be in the university library at night with no ID. This is trespassing, which is a crime.

    Third, he was a whiny, obnoxious bitch, who was trying to cause a scene and incite a crowd. THIS is the reason he got tasered -- he repeatedly refused to follow police instructions and resisted arrest by refusing to get the hell out and whining about the Patriot act. If he quietly complied, none of this would have happened. Police are not supposed to have a lot of patience for this kind of thing. If a cop tells you something and you ignore it, expect consequences.
  • Re:police POV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by finkployd (12902) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:24AM (#16929340) Homepage
    You sir, are a shining example of what police SHOULD be. I hope the vast majority are like you.

    I have talked to a few police officers I know about this incident (naturally everyone knows about and is talking about it) and while they agree with you, nobody went as far as saying the officers should be fired. I suspect there is still a little of "we protect our own, no matter what" there. One alarmingly raised the point that the proliferation of camera phones is damaging law enforcement and something needs to be done about that...

    Finkployd
  • by rspress (623984) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:25AM (#16929342) Homepage
    May cost me karma points but the truth usually does. If he did the same thing in Iran, getting tasered would be the least of his problems. Just changing for the Muslim religion to Christianity gets you the death penalty. The problem with video is that we don't know what happened before the person started recording. To me it sounds as if the guy was a real Dick. Why did he not leave and get his card and return. If you have a gun and the police tell you to drop it and you don't....well expect bad things to happen. Is it racial profiling....could be. Do you expect a black man to be a Ku Klux Klan member? Is that racial profiling. Could it be that he was just a Dick and that is what got him tasered? That is what my money is on.

    If this happened to me I would go on TV and say "I was being a big Dick and it was all my fault". Then again I believe in personal responsibility. If this view costs me karma points then so be it.
  • by finkployd (12902) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:35AM (#16929458) Homepage
    Seriously, comparing a fry cook's job to a cop's job is just silly.

    You are quite correct. A fry cook has no authority over the general population. He is not given powers and privileges far above the common citizen. A fry cook can lash out and abuse his position and the consequences for society are minimal. A law enforcement officer must be held to a much higher standard.

    There should be no second chances for a LEO abusing their power or violating the law. Given the responsibility and power we as a society give them, the consequences of them abusing that position of authority and power are severe.

    Police put their lives on the line, and for that they should be paid much more and trained much better than they are today. However, that is no excuse for bad behavior, and it should never be tolerated. Every one of the police involved in this debacle need to lose their jobs immediately, they are clearly not responsible enough to hold the position of authority they were given and are much more of a danger to society than a punk kid to wouldn't stand up when told to.

    Finkployd
  • by Progoth (98669) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:50AM (#16929618) Homepage
    2) whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others; The guy is a student who fell to the ground and did not move. He did not fight, nor raise a fist, nada!


    um, have you watched the video? listen for him yelling for the other 50 students to attack the police.
  • by Johnny5000 (451029) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:11AM (#16929848) Homepage Journal
    using the common civil disobedience protest tactic of "de-arresting" someone. You get everyone in the immediate area to put their arms around his body and don't let go, and just drag him away.

    That's a good idea, but it's hard enough to pull off with proper planning and a dedicated group of people in support. I doubt a bunch of strangers in a library could band together and pull it off spontaneously.
  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:13AM (#16929870) Journal
    Do you really think that the obviously absurd expectations and low level of training exhibited by the campus cop(s) involved is an indication of what "police" (as in, "all police") do?

    Since we could have heard about this from NY, or FL, or LA, and this particular one just happened to occur on a college campus - Yes, I'd say this does reflect the generally brutish quality of police in general.



    Have you suddenly stopped seeing the firing of cops caught doing this sort of thing?

    Better question - Have you suddenly started seeing cops fired for shit like this? Departments cover it up as much as possible, the cowards hiding even their names behind their "LEO's Bill of Rights"; When it makes the press, the chiefs talk about investigations and appropriate discipline, then give the offending cops a few weeks of paid vacation.

    Rodney King, Humboldt County (Earth First vs Pacific Lumber Co), the present example... And do cops go to prison for grossly abusing their authority? Hell no! Given one cop testifying against two dozen dirty hippies, the courts show just a wee bit of bias there...



    how we'll be treating all students that refuse to show ID in an area where you have to show ID.

    Trespassing does not negate your basic human rights, nor the responsibility of the police to act humanely and with as little force as the situation requires. Some punk taking a bit longer than they want to pack his books up does not justify tasering.



    we were talking about someone having captured video of a person (without ID) who got into a secured part of the campus and assaulted a student.

    A college campus doesn't count as a war zone. You don't have a "Green zone" where you only expect to see familiar white faces, and if you want to survive to see tomorrow you must view anyone unfamiliar as carrying a bomb. This didn't happen in Baghdad, it happened on a goddamned American college campus.

    Get a sense of scale, here! 9/11 did not change everything, regardless of how those who want an authoritarian government may spin it.



    In your imaginary, rhetorical "police state," you wouldn't be having this conversation.

    Chinese and Egyptian students keep blogging, regardless of the risk.

    But [slashdot.org]
    that [bigpharaoh.com]
    doesn't [northcountrygazette.org]
    happen [metblogs.com]
    here, [loiclemeur.com]
    right? [homelandstupidity.us]
  • by rho (6063) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:20AM (#16929954) Homepage Journal

    The ID check was common, posted policy. The proper response is, "I'm sorry, I forgot my card. I'll go back to my dorm and get it." They escort you out, you wish them a good night, and you move on.

    I was in college 15 years ago. I couldn't go anywhere or do hardly anything without my university ID. How did this kid not have his on him in this day and age? Hell, I couldn't get back into my dorm without my ID.

    Also, the way I understand it, the first people on the scene were Community Service Officers. These are basically students. This guy got mouthy with other students, not cops. The security officers came later when he refused to comply. I can't relate to his plight at all, but then I don't find acting like a twat to make a vague and irrational political point worthwhile. Hey, UCSD, this incident had nothing to do with the Patriot Act. Good job on educating him!

  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:22AM (#16929988) Homepage Journal
    The video starts well after the incident begun. There is nothing clear about the intent of anyone in this video as it only shows the aftermath.

    I read the account of a student who was there in the library that day and he said this student is a well known troublemaker and a loudmouth. That 24-hour student library had been the scene of repeated unpleasantness so the school enacted a policy requiring students to show ID after 11pm. Their presence wasn't logged - the ID was shown at the door to ensure that only students were admitted to the all-hours facility. Campus security - fellow students - asked this guy nicely to show his ID but he refused. They warned him that he would not be permitted to stay if he didn't show his ID but he still refused. They asked him to leave but he refused. Security called the campus cops who picked up where this guy's peers gave up. I don't know what happened between the cops arriving and this guy screaming at the top of his lungs, but that's where the video starts.

    Is it likely that this student would leave peaceably after all that defiance? Just because he says he was walking out, doesn't mean he really was. I'm all for freedom of anonymity but I've worked as a teacher assistant and lab monitor and I know first hand how important it is to maintain order in public (for registered students) study areas. If there were unpleasant or violent past occurrences with non-students in one of my jurisdictions I'd be pretty quick to enact some kind of students-only policy myself. Anyone who was willing to discuss the matter quietly would be welcome to do so in that area, but if they raised their voice I'd have them ejected immediately.

    In the end, a university is private property and whoever attends has the option to comply with the landlord's policies or take their business elsewhere. This kid will sue the university, sue the cops, and lose. From the data I've seen on the topic this kid appears to be a rebel without a cause.
  • by intheshelter (906917) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:39AM (#16930232)
    Your version of events does not resemble every other description I've seen. Every version I have read says that the student was leaving when the police arrived and then they would not let him leave. Second, his resistance was PASSIVE. He was handcuffed when he was tasered and he was only offering passive resistance. That is NOT an excuse to torture someone with electrical shock.

    He may have deserved to be arrested. He did not deserved to be brutalized unnecessarily after he had already been placed in custody and shackled with handcuffs.

    Are YOU noticing a trend here? 99% of the people appear to think it was unnecessary. That's because it was unnecessary. The police should be fired, put on trial for torture (yes, torture) and police brutality, and they should go to jail.

  • by _KiTA_ (241027) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:41AM (#16930266) Homepage
    No, they did the right thing by simply observing and recording.

    Simply put, if they had interjected, the Police would have had a reason and opportunity to turn this into a riot, and flush it all down the memory hole. The guys with cameras? Arrested, and the "evidence" confiscated for the "investigation" of the "riot that evil Iranian Muslim terrorist" caused.

    Instead they watched, recorded, and let the police do their bad things all on their own, and the cops will get theirs when the time comes.

    Personally, if I was the UCLA students, I'd be carrying a camera everywhere I went from now on. Because if these cops are stupid enough to do this on camera and in front of a crowd, just what do you think they'd do in front of 1 or 2 witnesses in a more questionable situation?
  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:50AM (#16930398)
    Falling to the ground and going completely limp is a threatening action? You sir, are a cum brained fuckwit.
  • by epiphani (254981) <.ten.lad. .ta. .inahpipe.> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:50AM (#16930408)
    I agree that the kid was a dipshit, and quite deserved to be arrested.

    However, I do NOT agree that tasering him five times, using it as motivation of all things, is appropriate. A taser should be used as an alternative to a club or a gun. If he was physically resisting, taser him once, get the cuffs on him, and drag his sorry ass out of the building. There is absolutely no excuse to taser someone five times because they refuse to move.

    He already had the cuffs on, and was laying on the ground.

    A taser is not a motivational tool.
  • by PriceIke (751512) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:58AM (#16930550)

    You're going to ATTACK the police? That's almost as smart as refusing to comply with police (and screaming like a baby to manufacture a scene) and getting yourself tasered. If you're "principled" at all, you'd see that the person in the wrong here was the Iranian student (?) who a) did not produce identification when asked b) did not leave when asked and c) tried to incite a racial standoff with police.

    There were some students uncomfortable enough with the situation to be asking for badge numbers. That's what you do when you see something police are doing that offends your sensibilities. Aggressively attacking the police is EXACTLY the wrong thing to do.

  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Unit3 (10444) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @10:30AM (#16931118) Homepage
    "sworn police officers acting totally appropriately."

    So you think multiple uses of a taser even after the person is handcuffed is appropriate use of force for someone forgetting their student ID? And threatening to taser bistanders who ask for the cop's badge number?

    Wow. Just wow. And you wonder why all of us outside the US look at you like you're monsters. BECAUSE YOU ARE!
  • by DorianBrytestar (1013219) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @10:38AM (#16931266)
    He wasn't tazered for not showing his papers, he was tazered for not leaving and becoming disruptive.
  • by glockenspieler (692846) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @10:49AM (#16931458)
    You are touching on an important point. Many of the comments here have suggested something to the effect that "he got what he deserved." It is a fundemental principle of our criminal justice system that the police do not mete out punishment, the courts do. The police's job is to contain a situation, detain suspects, and allow the courts to determine and administer punishment.

    The instant that you look to the police to *punish* people is the moment that you move into the realm of repression. I think that this is the fundemental point and understanding this does not require one to be sympathetic to the student or to the police.
  • by Robber Baron (112304) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @10:52AM (#16931512) Homepage
    You're going to ATTACK the police?


    Louis XVI's Versailles palace guards were attacked (and defeated).
    At some point it may become necessary to do just that...are we there yet?
    Tasering some guy because he doesn't have ID tells me we might be close.
  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Philip K Dickhead (906971) * <folderol@fancypants.org> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @10:53AM (#16931520) Journal
    Laugh while you can, white American.

    They come after you next. You can then wonder "What was I doing wrong?"

    Examples do not need causation, only opportunity.
  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dare nMc (468959) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @10:53AM (#16931530)
    First, he didn't get beaten, he got tasered. That's quite different. You can't injure someone in normal health with a taser.

    I am guessing you have never been shocked to the point of lossing controll, I don't mean touching 110/220V I mean something closer to the 5000V stun guns use.

    It is quite the opposite, you are guranteed to injure someone when you use a stun gun. They will feal the effects for days (I have) every muscle in your body will be sore and you will be tired. not so much that you can't walk, but so much you don't want to.
    I would much prefer a good beating than a Taz, just because you can't see the after effects doesn't mean they aren't bad, why do you think that is the most commenly used method of torture?
    he repeatedly refused to follow police instructions and resisted arrest by refusing to get the hell out and whining about the Patriot act.

    no doubt this guy was being a pain in the ass, and needed a lesson, that is not the police job. But I can gurantee you, quite the opposite of what you think, once you are tazed/shocked, most people just want to lay still and gather themselves, that is why it is used for the purpose of bringing people down, they don't want to get back up no-one would. Thats why it's extreamly important that people who are going to use these weapons first experience them first hand, so they know you can't use them to try and get someone to move.

  • by Jtheletter (686279) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:02AM (#16931710)
    How about YOU try to respond to a trespassing call as a police officer, while surrounded by 50 idiot college kids screaming at you with an EXTREMELY suspicious individual also screaming nonsense at you and trying to incite the stupid kids to attack you.
    So according to your account of the events an otherwise routine trespassing call had 50 kids screaming and ranting at cops BEFORE the cops had done anything? The crowd was not what provoked the situation, the guy screaming brought the crowd and the repeated tasering of him while on the ground is what got the crowd angry. Next, please find the quote in the video or other accounts wherein the suspect was inciting the crowd to attack the officers. Hint you won't find it, yelling "this is your patriot act, this is your police brutality" is NOT incitement to riot/attack police. Saying somthing like "get these fucking cops off me" or "someone do something" might be construed in that fashion, but nothing he yells is anything like those statements.

    Another hint - he WAS handcuffed
    Here's a hint for you, after the suspect is handcuffed and subdued it's excessive use of force to taser him again unless he is violently resisting. He's not violently resisting (key word 'violently') at any point, and especially after he is in cuffs. It's very straightforward in law: if the suspect is subdued, further use of force, in this case tasering, is unjustified.

    The officers did what they were supposed to do when confronted with a non-cooperative individual who is lying limply,
    Bzzzt wrong again, what they are supposed to do when someone is lying limply is subdue them and place them under arrest. Officers are taught numerous techniques for immobilizing a suspect and handcuffing them. After the first taser shock while he is on the ground it would have been trivial to handcuff him and place him under arrest which was not done. Are you seriously saying here that any time an officer encounters a limp person who doesn't cooperate they should first taser them? Yeah, that sounds completely reasonable and very legal. I challenged you to produce any police procedure, training manual, or law that indicates that is the proper course of action.

    I agree the kid was being a complete ass, and yelling at an officer is never a good way to resolve things. In fact I will go so far as to say the first use of the taser may have been justified. However, once the taser has been employed the subject needs to be subdued, the officers chose instead to give him orders and tase him when he did not follow them (nevermind the legitimate argument that because of the shock he MAY not have been physically able to comply). A taser is not designed or issued to officers as a motivational tool, or to induce subjects to comply with orders, it is for incapacitating a violent or forcefully uncooperative suspect, the next step being taking them into custody and/or handcuffing them. Police training stipulates these are non-lethal takedown devices, not motivational aids, to be used in lieu of other uses of force when required. And the law also requires that any force used be justified and PROPORTIONAL to the threat. Tasings 3, 4 and 5 in this particular case were no longer in proportion to the threat, no matter how legitimate the first two may have been.

    The force used in this video is necessary for some violent suspects, and in many other cases might have been warranted, but in THIS CASE the use of force appears to be patently gratuitous and needs to be addressed by a formal review of the officers actions and some form of punishment if found to be in violation of police procedure/the law, which it most likely is.
  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by n9hmg (548792) <n9hmg&hotmail,com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:02AM (#16931712) Homepage
    So you think multiple uses of a taser even after the person is handcuffed is appropriate use of force for someone forgetting their student ID?
    I expected to see police brutality, not a model of LEO restraint and professionalism. If the jackass had left when told, he wouldn't have forced that situation. I was astounded at the restraint the cops showed. In my opinion, once he'd taunted them and refused to walk, they should have hog-tied him and dragged him by the feet face-down out of the building. Three or four marble steps, maybe some textured concrete, and he'd be begging to be allowed to walk. And it wasn't asking for badge numbers that was getting him testy with the jerk poking him in the chest. Any appendage thrust violently at a police officer should come back as a bloody stub. I hope the video can be enhanced enough to prosecute some of that mob.

    Just because somebody screams a lot doesn't mean you have to let them have their way. Those students obviously come from backgrounds where screaming got them their way, and to them, refusal to defer to a tantrum is socially unacceptable.
    Oh, and near as I can tell, unit3 doesn't speak for most of Canada. All the ones I've met are intelligent, reasonable people with minds of their own. Their government seems an anomaly. It's almost as glaring a contrast as France. As a country, they seem almost entirely worthless, but I've never met a Frenchman I didn't respect. I'm seeing a pattern here. Probably my closest friend is a Sunni muslim Arab. Maybe it's just that the best and brightest from all the world find their way here, which gives me an unrealistically high opinion of mankind in general.
  • by Aadain2001 (684036) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:05AM (#16931768) Journal
    You know, I forgot my wallet one day last week. I never forget my wallet, it has all my most important items (ID, credit card, cash, etc). But I still forgot it one morning on my way out the door to work. If a cop had pulled me over, I would have been in a huge pile of trouble, simply for driving without my ID. Now I believe that most people are honest, decent people, which includes your average police officer. There could have been a chance that if I calmly explained that I forgot my wallet he could have let me off with just a warning. But I'm also white and dressed in casual business attire, so that could influence the way people deal with me. Now imagine that instead of being white, I was Black or Arab. Do you think I would get the same warning or would I get the ticket? I don't know, it's hard to predict peoples' behavior. But stories like this make me think that a minority would not be given much leniency by the police. Now add in someone who is late to work and maybe a bit belligerent to authority figures, and there would be a damn good chance of not only getting the ticket, but getting arrested and thrown in jail for most of the day. All because I/they forgot their wallet one time.

    My point? People can forget things, even very important items such as IDs. Not everyone has had good experiences with police/authority figures, and that clouds their interactions with them in the future. Did he deserve that first tazzing? I don't know, I wasn't there. But I and anyone who understand what a tazzer does knows that tazzing him 4 more times for not getting up after the first tazzing is just idiotic and crossed the line into police brutality. I hope those cops are fired and get slapped with both a federal crime charge and a lawsuit from the student. He could have been nicer, but they basically tortured him and should suffer the consequences of their actions.

  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by de Selby (167520) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:11AM (#16931928)
    It's SUPPOSED to be used on people resisting arrest, which is exactly how it was used. It is far safer than manhandling the suspect, or using batons.
    Obvious false dichotomy. The asshole student didn't struggle, wrestle, or resist in a threatening way. All he did was lay on the ground handcuffed. Nobody would have used any rough treatment or batons in that situation, nor should these police have used a taser. Grab him by the armpits and carry him to the squad car. Done. Charge him with resisting. If he flails around, then taser him.

    Third, he was a whiny, obnoxious bitch, who was trying to cause a scene and incite a crowd.
    True, but he would have failed completely had the police not tasered him. The crowd grew to the size it did, and the students became as hostile to the police as they were, only because the police stood around tasering a handcuffed kid lying on the ground rather than taking him in. Drag him to the car. Done. No crowd.

    [...] he repeatedly refused to follow police instructions and resisted arrest by refusing to get the hell out and whining about the Patriot act.
    Multiple witnesses say he was trying to leave when the police came, but the police wanted him to stop for questioning. It's for trying to leave despite police instructions to the contrary that he should have been arrested. And yes, that patriot act bit of his was asinine.

    If a cop tells you something and you ignore it, expect consequences.
    Yes, arrest and charges. But not a charged taser.
  • Asshat (Score:2, Insightful)

    by msaver (907214) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:24AM (#16932284)
    Sigh...

    For the sake of this argument, we'll assume your account of how this incident started is accurate -- even though he clearly had his books packed up and was reportedly walking towards the door when the police arrived. We'll also treat the first tazing as appropriate, even though it seems it wasn't necessary.

    At this point the student is guilty of criminal trespassing, something that can't be waved away if he were to leave now. He has been ordered off the premises and blatantly refused the order.

    No he is not. He is entitled to the court system to decide whether or not he is guilty.

    You have an unidentified criminal, trespassing on government property, acting violent in the vicinity of young students, resisting arrest, moving in a violent manner. What would you propose, other than using force?

    Despite your use of the word 'violence' twice in this description, you cannot honestly tell me that this student was any threat after being tazed. If he was, put handcuffs on him. These officers were clearly using the tazer as a compliance weapon. You know what? Sometimes police work isn't fun. Sometimes police have to be patient and listen to someone saying mean things about them. Tough shit -- do your job properly. Us taxpayers pay their salaries because they do a service to us. When officers break the law because they don't feel they should have to wait or carry someone out of a library, the punishment needs to be harsh. These cops are lazy at best, cowards at worst. Pussies like these have no place in law enforcement.
  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pluther (647209) <pluther.usa@net> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:45AM (#16932864) Homepage
    Oh, im sorry I zaped you 3 times already and you still won't move.

    Ooh, the irony.

    Maybe if they should have broken his kneecaps with their clubs, maybe then he'd wise up and walk away!

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:14PM (#16933684)
    The university's employees mishandled the situation from the start. Had the CSO responded to Mostafa's refusal by calmly announcing that he would check the IDs of everyone in the area:

    * The surrounding students would have been mildly irritated

    * Mostafa would have probably ended up feeling pretty silly had they unceremoniously presented their IDs, and either presented his own (if he had it) or left quickly (partly because he'd feel the angry vibe from the others who were ID'ed as well due to his complaining). By standing his ground and demanding to see ONLY Mostafa's ID, the CSO did a wonderful job of validating and reinforcing the beliefs of Mostafa and every other student on campus who thinks they're being unfairly picked on.

    * Or, alternatively, the CSO could have asked for the IDs of only the students vouching for Mostafa's status as a student.

    Either way, the policy's goal would be achieved: giving police an excuse to kick homeless people out of the library who'd otherwise sleep there overnight. Of course, braindamaged antisocial bullies for whom rulebooks are the equivalent of softcore porn will bitch... but they're kind of like diehard fundies whose own words do a better job of making them look like complete tools with stakes up their butts than anyone else's writings possibly could.

    Another example of incompetence and stupidity: the first actual police officer to encounter Mostafa apparently proceeded straight to the "grab him and drag him out" strategy, as opposed to looking straight at him (while maintaining a nonthreatening, respectful distance) and calmly informing him in a "look, I really don't want to do this, but..." tone of voice that he WOULD be forcibly removed if he didn't leave voluntarily, and that if he were subject to forcible removal and resisted, he could be tased and/or subject to real, honest-to-god arrest... something that might very well have not occurred to him up to that point.

    God knows, if I were pissed and embarrassed about having been singled-out for an ID check (or believed myself to have been), threw in the towel & conceded defeat by heading towards the door, and THEN had a cop grab my arm so he could bully me some more and rub some more salt into the wounds... yeah, I'd have probably reflexively tried pushing him away and had some angry words for him too.
  • WRONG (Score:3, Insightful)

    by johnpaul191 (240105) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:23PM (#16933926) Homepage
    did you watch the video? they *randomly* grabbed the guy as he was leaving the building. they zapped him, then zapped him again when he would not stand up. the point of tasers is that they incapacitate the person for a bit of time. you are not supposed to zap somebody to get their attention. you zap them to knock them down. to then zap them again because they can't hop up and comply is crap. those cops/guards should know that. real police use them to knock somebody out of commission enough that they can cuff them or put them in a car or whatever.

    i realize we do not see what precedes the situation, but after they start zapping the guy they can not expect him to just hop up and be docile. they also had a crapload of cops around an unarmed student. they could have just as easily picked him up or something if that was a concern. they obviously were not worried about his safety by zapping him 5 times in that few minute span. there is no reason they could not restrain him some other way if they really felt it was that important.

    being a cop/guard on a college campus means you signed up to deal with potentially obnoxious students. it might be rough, but how could you not realize that was going to happen? i can't imagine a situation where some rude student that did not have his ID deserved that kind of battery.
  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kijori (897770) <ward.jake@ g m a il.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:36PM (#16934260)
    I've replied to this sort of comment with my own opinions in a couple of other places, so I'm not going to do that again here. But I found this quote from a police officer after seeing the video, and it seemed appropriate to post it as a reply to the idea of them having behaved 'professionally':

    As a police officer, I have two things to say about this:

    1) This kid sounds like an ass and I'm certain that there will be more than enough "He got what he deserved posts." I might even agree in the moral sense, but not in the ethical or legal sense, because....

    2) This cop should never work in law enforcement again. This is inappropriate use of force by any professional standard. One post is not nearly enough to recount the things he did incorrectly, but I'll hit the high points;

    General rules for any controlled encounter (one where you aren't in danger from the get go) include finding out what the issue is, telling the subject what he/she needs to do, and explaining what will happen if they do not. There is almost never a need to place your hands on anyone for any reason until you are ready to take them into custody unless you are suddenly attacked. This "officer" is grossly incompetent. Understand we deal with aggressive people that posture by yelling and swearing at us all the time - this should not disrupt the officer on bit. Keep. Your. Cool. So, screaming/swearing or not, this encounter should have been over with three sentences from the officer.

    A) "Sir, per university rules and regs, I need you to show me your valid student ID or leave the library."
    B) "I need to to show me your valid student ID or leave the library right now, or I'll have to take you into custody for trespassing and disturbing the peace."
    C) "Sir, I am placing you under arrest." Then Mirandize him and be done with it. If he does anything but exactly what you tell him ("Sir, place your hands behind your back.") then....

    Now and only now, if he/she resists (NOT if he simply fails to cooperate i.e. passive resistence), you may use force sufficient to subdue him to the point of having him cease to be a danger to the officer or bystanders. That's pretty simple stuff, folks. Basically, never be the first to use force, but when you do - do it quickly and overwhelmingly then STOP when he's restrained. You are a trained professional who owns the situation and NOT a street brawler.

    From what I can tell, he never told the subject he was under arrest until after at least five taserings, some of which occurred while he was in cuffs and all but the first while he was on the ground unable to stand under his own power. This "officer" grabbed the guy's arm while he was leaving. Bad move, even if it seems like a little thing. Physical contact constitutes use of force, and any trained officer knows this is a big line to cross. I don't care if he didn't leave immediately - in that case place him calmly in custody early on and be done with it, no argument needed. You're the cop; you NEVER need to be in an argument. You aren't asking him what he wants to do, you're telling him. Never ever let a subject think they are in control. Arguing tells the subject they have some power.

    What he did is inexcusable. If this power-tripping bully didn't have a badge what would you think of somebody tasering a defenseless person on the ground FIVE TIMES some while he was handcuffed and yelling at him to "get up." A badge doesn't free you from responsibility, it adds to to it exponentially.

    This sadistic SOB gives all true professional LEOs a bad name and is part of the reason so many distrust cops. I've had training on most of the common less-than-lethal systems (lawyers don't let us call them non-lethal) including tasers, stun guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets and even conducted some training on the same. Unless this guy was issued a system with no training, he knows damn well the individual won't be getting up immediately after one tasing, let alone five. Frankly, I hope this guy answers fo

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:02PM (#16934906) Homepage Journal
    Their presence wasn't logged - the ID was shown at the door to ensure that only students were admitted to the all-hours facility.

    So how the fuck did the student get in? He was already down, at a computer, with books. If ID is required to be shown at the door for entry, why would he be caught LEAVING the building to begin with, unless he had already shown his ID and was granted entry?
  • Re:Iranian Bigot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:14PM (#16935230) Homepage Journal
    When someone is asked by the police to leave and doesn't, what is the appropriate level of response?

    It depends on the level of resistance, which in his case was entirely passive. The appropriate response when dealing with a passively resisting subject is nonviolent.

    Tasering someone five times is violent.

    This was completely inappropriate use of force, but no one is surprised, since it's in LA.

  • Boing Boing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PWNT (985141) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:30PM (#16935664)
    Boing boing has some background on one of the kids attackers. apparently he was dismissed from the real police force for shooting an unarmed homeless man he was recommended to be dismissed from the UCLA for previously choking a student. http://www.boingboing.net/2006/11/21/ulca_tasercop _has_a_.html [boingboing.net]
  • by RexRhino (769423) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:52PM (#16936224)
    We only got to see part of the situation, because the police unions overwelming oppose all attempts to put cameras in cars, have cameras mounted on guns, or have portable shoulder mounted cameras for evidence gathering in the field (all which already exist as products right now any could be put into use at any time). If it was true that "we only see part of the picture" and we would be much more sympathetic to cops in these situations if we could see the whole picture, why not give cops shoulder mounted cameras? Then the whole picture would be on tape, and there would be no question of what happening.

    It is the cops themselves who desperatly don't want people to see the whole picture, which is why they make sure their union fights hand and tooth to make sure cops are not videotaped!
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:58PM (#16936390) Homepage
    It completely sickens and disgusts me that people think that tazing someone 5 times that's immobile on the ground for "not standing up" is somehow justified by the fact that he's a jerk and troublemaker.

  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:37PM (#16937330) Journal
    Regardless of the situation beforehand, the treatment he recieved by the arresting officers was totally unwarranted. I don't care if he just got done burning down an orphanage, its not the job of police to meet out punishment - that's for a judge and/or jury. Was the guy being tasered a douche-bag? Probably. That's no excuse for tasering him repeatedly while he is both handcuffed and on the floor, offering no active resistance. That kind of behavior has a word to describe it - torture. The officer's didn't even attempt to just talk him into leaving, which is the first responce any officer should try. The first thing they did, by all accounts, was grab him by the arm - any physical contact is an escalation to physical force, which is a line that officers usually only cross with good reason. Not so in this case, however. Then followed the taser hits. The student yelled and screamed, and thrashed as he was being tasered, but did he resist physically? No, he was either unable to move or he went limp. During the arrest process, nothing this guy did necessitated the actions the police took. Whatever the situation was before the video, and whatever the student's crime, he would have valid grounds to sue the police for brutality as well.
  • by dedeman (726830) <dedeman1&yahoo,com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @06:09PM (#16941442)
    Or, instead of taking a rather small snippet of the encounter, you could show the much longer version of the video which depicts the office being calm, courteous, and giving the suspect much more leeway then she probabaly deserved.

    Shown here http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related& v=SGaWDL7ofLQ [youtube.com]

    But you'd rather give an editorial, with little evidence that the suspect may have done something which would prompt this "idiot cop" to taze her.

    I hope you realize that law enforcement works a bit differently here then across the pond. Would an english driver give a constable this much trouble? Hopefully not.
  • by Blue Stone (582566) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @06:43PM (#16941940) Homepage Journal
    Y'know that thing that got me?

    All the people standing around doing absolutely nothing, while a fellow human was being tortured by a bunch of thugs.

    How well people have been trained to remain docile and compliant while 'authority' inflicts abuse and brutality on us.
  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sbrown123 (229895) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:05PM (#16943178) Homepage
    That's a lot of assumptions, and it's not really possible from the video to figure out all the events. But what we do know is that in two cases he is immobile. This is helped by the police yelling at him to get up. There were three cops and not a single one of them tries to physically remove him (which they can legally do) or restrain him (again, legal) in any fashion, but rather just yell at him and use a taser (illegal on the taser part since it was used against police procedure).

    You would have to assume that the officers could be highly suspicious of this possible ploy to get them in close so he could bite them since they knew he was perfectly capable of walking.

    Police are trained to restrain and move people. Try catching an episode of COPS on television. If this weren't the case, criminals could just lie on the ground and wait for the cops to leave. So your assumption there is dead wrong.
  • Re:Good job UCPD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:31PM (#16945106) Journal
    "The officers did act professionaly. the guy was just stubborn."

    Taser's are not suppose to be used when a suspect is "stubborn" [taser.com]:
    "TASER systems use proprietary technology to immediately incapacitate dangerous, combative or high-risk individuals who pose a risk to law enforcement officers, innocent citizens or themselves."

    I don't see "use Taser's on stubborn individuals" in there. Would you want to be tasered because a cop believes you're being stubborn? Because remember we're using the cop's definition of stubborn not yours, he might have had a long night and think you're being stubborn because you didn't produce your insurance card quickly enough.

    Can you imagine what they would have done to that guy if he wasn't surrounded by a mob of students moments away from rioting? Think 5 tasers would have turned into 20.

    I think all cops should have that line in the Taser FAQs memorized and if they break that rule they should be fired, we don't need cops going around tasering stubborn people because god knows that's 90% of /.
  • Re:Bullshit! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kijori (897770) <ward.jake@ g m a il.com> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @09:45AM (#16949674)

    Regardless of whether the poster was a real cop or not - I have no idea - he does raise some interesting points. I agree that the student shouldn't have screamed or refused to leave. But once you've tasered someone they aren't going to get up immediately. The exact amount of time varies from a few seconds to 15+ minutes, but there's a real chance that he was unable to obey orders because of the police and so was tasered. Would this still be reasonable if they had handcuffed him and then tasered him for not raising his hands? And using a taser on someone for not standing up is an unreasonable amount of force when he's only surrounded by armed officers, let alone once he's handcuffed.

    This guy is an 18-year veteran following policy.

    Could you post proof that UCPD policy is to taser handcuffed suspects? I suspect that it isn't. And the '18 year veteran' has repeated complaints for excessive force against him in the past, and was the officer that shot dead a homeless man - coincidentally managing to escort him out of the room with CCTV beforehand - causing the adoption of tasers. (Source: Dailybruin)

    How many times does a police officer have to ask someone to follow a lawful order before using force? 1,000?

    There are lots of degrees of force, not all of them equal. Handcuffing and carrying him out would have been a use of force. So would beating him to death. I don't believe they chose the right level. And they didn't either - why else would they threaten the witnesses?

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