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YouTube - UCLA Police Taser Student in Powell
Cop with a history of violence tasers an Iranian-American four times. The guy did not have his ID and was asked to leave, and he didn't. He could have had a weapon on him, but he didn't.
Edit: Okay, I have done some decent looking and this is the story that I have gathered.
The man in question was up late in the library. At UCLA there is a rule that unless you have UNI ID you are not allowed to be in the library after a certain time. So, to weed out potential freeloaders and homeless people, they conduct 'random' security checks of people's IDs. This night the security guards had entered the library, and upon spotting the man of obvious middle-eastern descent, made a bee-line for him, passing a dozen or so other people.
The man saw this happening and apparently having been on the wrong end of Racial Profiling before [And it was past his bedtime so he may have been a bit cranky] got annoyed at the obvious discrimination of the security guards. So on principle demanded that unless they check someone else's ID first [or similar comment, that's a bit fuzzy] he wouldn't show his. He did actually have the right ID on him, but was trying to make a point.
The security guards called the Campus Cops, who arrived and immediately attempted to arrest the man in question without asking him why he was refusing to show ID. This angered the surrounding students, causing a few who stepped forward simply asking for the cops to 'Calm down' to be threatened with being tasered if they didn't back off. The man, upon being handcuffed was told that if he didn't co-operate they would tase him, and a second later [before he could respond] he was 'dry tasered' where the taser is applied directly to the skin, in this case the spine at the small of his back.
A taser shock is designed to knock an opponent to the ground or otherwise disable him. A high enough voltage can render a person unconscious and/or kill them. And that's assuming the shock is not millimeters away from their spinal cord. So while the man was writhing on the ground in pain, unable to stand the cops were threatening to tase him further. Why? because he 'wouldn't stand up', something one may find difficult after having been tased in the spinal cord.
His comment about 'So this is your Patriot Act' and such may have been a tad over the top. BUT Consider this. You have just been singled out in a room of people because you are from a country that happens to have shady ties with terrorist factions. without being questioned you are handcuffed, pushed to the ground and tased. Twice. Three times. Lacking dignity, strength and possibly bladder control the only thing left is your will. Lying in a pool of your own excrement, being held down by two cops and tased repeatedly [while shouting out that he has a medical condition I might add] it starts to go through your head: 'Where are my rights?'. You have a choice. Sit there and take it, or fight back. Now physical violence would almost definitely land you in jail, despite the fact you're handcuffed, and near comatose form the high amp electric shocks. So you fight with words. For Americans, the thing you throw in their faces is if they are breaking constitutional law, and the bill of rights.... not that many Americans care too much for the bill of rights.
With this full story I have come to this conclusion. The man's only mistake? having pride in who he is and where he comes form to the point where he will stand up for himself. Personally, I applaud that. Good on him. If someone tried to pull the whole 'He's a shifty Aussie, let's get him' thing on me, I'd bloody well stand up for myself and my country. though most of the time they just ask me to name basic objects. Simple minds... simple minds....
Its indefencable. If members of a society even try to defend such an action, that society is in serious danger. Even the most fanatical supporter of things like the patriot act should be able to see that this is wrong and have the courage to stand up and say so and support the punishment of the police involved.
EDIT; Jesus, I've been looking around the net and theres quite a lot of people defending this!! Is it me thats insane? A taser was introduced to incapacitate, in a non-lethal way someone who is a danger, not as a threat and punishment. eg("stand up or I'll taser you") This is bullying and torture, plain and simple.
Last edited by Gallowglacht; November 22nd, 2006 at 11:12.
He should've stood up and left. It might not have been fair but then life isn't fair - get used to it.
Sorry to be so blunt
If you were stopped and hasseled by overzelous authority figures you'd show defiance. The guy obviously felt he was profiled due to his ethnicity and got defensive. Does this mean the cop should stop doing their job. No. Does it mean they have the right to beat him into submition? No way.
Sure, life isnt fair. He may well have been stopped or treated as suspicious due to his ethnicity. This isn't fair, but it is something I can accept as an inevitable, though unpleasant reality. Police officers beating and torturing someone because he resists arrest and calls them names is a whole different scale of wrong. Police are not the instrument of judgement or punishment. It was an abuse of their power. A gross abuse. If that is ignored or condoned it will be replicated by another scared/confused/frustrated police officer. Then another. Pretty soon it will become a matter of course. Just shrugging and saying "get used to it" is not the right way to deal with this. Prosecution of the officer responsable is.
I admit, after events like this, many arguements spin off into hyperbole and conspiracy about police states and Fascism. I will make no such claim based on one incident. This is no knee jerk, left wing polemic. However this is a clear case of police brutality. Arguements based on "what he should have done", or "he was stupid to say such and such" are woefully inadequite to excouse Tasering a defenceless human being 4 times.
I don't care what the situation is, nothing can justify this kind of treatment, it is clearly torture through the application of high voltage (a well known form of torture). The fact that it was because someone forgot their Student ID make it completely indefensible. Would the reaction have been the same if he hadn't been of Arabic appearance? I doubt it, instead he would have just been handcuffed and dragged out. I wonder, would that action be classified as a terrorist action? It did scare and upset a fairly large group of people, which is part of the definition of a terrorist action.
Yes, he probably should have followed the directions of the campus police, but I thought that people had rights in America. Was he the only person in the Library to be asked to provide ID? Did he have a valid reason for being in the Library (working on a thesis)? Did they even care to ask if anyone else could vouch for him before they sent 50,000 volts running through his nervous system?
The "War" on "Terror" has lead the world into a dark a scary place where those "in charge" no longer need to justify their actions, especially against civilians. I'm just waiting to see if this is going to be the Rodney King incident of the 2000's, because if damn well should be. I fear that it won't be; because he "could have been a terrorist", it has instantly become an acceptable response to any kind of disobedience. Would you even dare to jay-walk these days if this is the result of not carrying the right ID?
Mysterious Member of the ANZAC Clan
Absolutly disgusting but not suprising. When I was in New York I really got the impression the Police were complete nutters.
"Land of the free...whoever told you that is your enemy."
I hope that cop gets made an example of.
I doubt that every student carries their ID on them at all times and if UCLA want such a strict ID polict then do what the LSE does and have barriers in front of the Library where you need to scan your ID through to gain access.
Last edited by Visitor Q; November 22nd, 2006 at 13:15.
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One has to wonder how often this happens. Especially as unconstitutional laws and executive orders continue to be enforced in the name of homeland security.
Four times?! And four officers couldn't just pick him up and move him after the first time? They had to hit him four times before they could move him out? Indefensible.
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014
I think 4 times is over the top, but the first shot is wholy justified. The thing is nowadays in most countries the cops have a very difficult job. They are supposed to stop crime but they have more and more restraints on how they can enforce the law. In this case a lot of people were against the police after the first shot which I belive was justified, I wonder how those people would feel if that same person was just left by the cops unchecked, walked around the corner and pulled out a weapon. For the cops its a case of, you're damned if you do and you are damned if you don't.
However, he is now handcuffed and out numbered. Surely at this stage there is no arguement that he can pull a gun and kill an innocent, making the next 3 shocks nothing more than brutality and torture. Basically I think I'm asking for elaboration on "over the top". Should the police (in your opinion) be let off, have a stern talking to, internally investigated, or prosecuted? Were they over-exuberant or criminal?
Just to clarify, I dont want anyone to think I'm an anti-police/ anti-American or anything (hense I dont want to make an issue of the first shot for example). While shocked and upset by the video, I dont want to let my emotions cloud my judgement on this. Others can determine if I have been successfull. I support respect for the police (my cousin is a Guarda and my little brother is appling) however I think in this case they have criminally tortured an innocent. To me your post has a hint of vagueness (my fault in not seeing your intent I'm sure). What is your opinion on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th shot?
Do you need a taser to check someone for weapons?I wonder how those people would feel if that same person was just left by the cops unchecked, walked around the corner and pulled out a weapon.
The cops abused their power they could have easily handcuffed or checked the man and even carried him off without having to use a taser. A taser should be used only in extreme situations such as if the assailent is going to attack someone. It is a non lethal gun for police. If there weren't any tasers would it be justifiable for the cop to say "stand up or I'll shoot you in the leg" seeing as it's not lethal? (It could be lethal but then again so could a taser)
Tasers are meant to incapacitate people so it would be hard for him to stand up. Using a taser as a torture device and to force people to do what you say through threats and pain ("stand up or I'll taser you") is what the police are supposed to prevent.
"DICE FOR THE DICE GOD!"
And the almighty Dice God said to his followers "Thou shalt not speak ye words "anything but a one" For thou whoever'st speaketh this blasphemy will be cursed with thy rolls being of one".