Saturday, November 18, 2006

Iranian-American Student Abused By UCLA UCPD With Taser Gun

[BREAKING NEWS]: Student shot with Taser by UCPD officers
Incident occured around 11:30 p.m. in the Powell Library CLICC computer lab
From The Daily Bruin

UCPD officers shot a student several times with a Taser inside the Powell Library CLICC computer lab late Tuesday night before taking him into custody.

No university police officers were available to comment further about the incident as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, and no Community Service Officers who were on duty at the time could be reached.

At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.

The student began to yell "get off me," repeating himself several times.

It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition.

UCPD officers confirmed that the man involved in the incident was a student, but did not give a name or any additional information about his identity.

Video shot from a student's camera phone captured the student yelling, "Here's your Patriot Act, here's your fucking abuse of power," while he struggled with the officers.

As the student was screaming, UCPD officers repeatedly told him to stand up and said "stop fighting us." The student did not stand up as the officers requested and they shot him with the Taser at least once more.

"It was the most disgusting and vile act I had ever seen in my life," said David Remesnitsky, a 2006 UCLA alumnus who witnessed the incident.

As the student and the officers were struggling, bystanders repeatedly asked the police officers to stop, and at one point officers told the gathered crowd to stand back and threatened to use a Taser on anyone who got too close.

Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number.

Gordy was visibly upset by the incident and said other students were also disturbed.

"It's a shock that something like this can happen at UCLA," she said. "It was unnecessary what they did."

Immediately after the incident, several students began to contact local news outlets, informing them of the incident, and Remesnitsky wrote an e-mail to Interim Chancellor Norman Abrams.

With reports from Lisa Connolly, Derek Lipkin and Saba Riazati, Bruin senior staff.

Now compare that with the Associated Press report and see why those who don't know any better think the student probably deserved the treatment he received:

UCLA to review Taser use on student

By ANDREW GLAZER, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 58 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES - An attorney who was part of a review of excessive force complaints following the Rodney King beating will investigate a UCLA police officer's use of a Taser on an Iranian-American student, the school said Friday.

The move came in response to student demands voiced earlier Friday at a news conference and subsequent rally, where speakers said the shocking of Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, sent a chill across the campus.

"As students we feel our safety is endangered, and we do not feel safe on campus," said Sabiha Ameen, president of the Muslim Students Association.

Tabatabainejad, 23, was shocked Tuesday night after arguing with a campus police officer who was conducting a routine check of student IDs at the University of California, Los Angeles, Powell Library computer lab.

Campus police say he refused to show his student ID and refused to leave the building when asked.

A few hours after the rally, acting Chancellor Norman Abrams announced he had chosen Merrick Bobb, the founder of a local nonprofit dedicated to police reform, to lead an independent investigation.

Bobb served as staff attorney for the Christopher Commission, which was formed to examine allegations of excessive force in the Los Angeles Police Department after the King beating in the early '90s.

"I have complete respect for, and confidence in, (campus police)," Abrams said. "But there are times when it is helpful to turn to an outside review as well."

University Police Chief Karl Ross said he had recommended the independent probe.

"While I am confident of our ability to perform a fair and thorough investigation, I am also cognizant of the need for a transparent review," Ross said.

Police said they shocked Tabatabainejad after he urged others to join his resistance and a crowd began to gather. Footage from another student's camera phone showed Tabatabainejad screaming on the floor of the computer lab.

Students at the news conference said there was no sign Tabatabainejad was targeted because of his ethnicity. But his lawyer disagreed.

Civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman announced separately that he plans to file a lawsuit charging that the American-born Tabatabainejad was singled out because of his Middle Eastern appearance.

Abrams cautioned the public against jumping to conclusions before an investigation is completed.

"It would be best if everyone, within and without the university, would withhold judgment pending review of the matter," Abrams said in an earlier news release.

You be the judge by viewing the video. While everything can't be seen, everything the student says can be heard. Someone point out to me where he refuses to leave and is then tasered. I hear him objecting to being grabbed by the security. He is then tasered and tasered several more times after being ordered to stand up. Stand up after just being tasered? WTF! Spread this video any news everywhere so incidents like this can't be swept away because the corporate media looses interest of paints a false picture.

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