UCLA Student Tasered by Police in Library

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 14 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

Holy. Freaking. Crap. This is sick!

From www.boingboing.net:

UCLA cops tasered a student who refused to show ID in Powell Library. They threatened nearby students with tasering if they interfered. A student captured video of the assault with a cameraphone. I hope the campus cops go to jail over this.

View the raw footage on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g7zlJx9u2E

Watching and hearing that video seriously makes me want to go Sam Fisher on those officers asses.

From dailybruin.com:

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

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

Here’s the reallyFrom dailybruin.com:

During the altercation between Tabatabainejad and the officers, bystanders can be heard in the video repeatedly asking the officers to stop and requesting their names and identification numbers. The video showed one officer responding to a student by threatening that the student would “get Tased too.” At this point, the officer was still holding a Taser.

Such a threat of the use of force by a law enforcement officer in response to a request for a badge number is an “illegal assault,” Eliasberg said.

“It is absolutely illegal to threaten anyone who asks for a badge … that’s assault,” he said.

WHAT THE FUCK! No, really! This is unbelievable and completely unacceptable. Not only should the persons involved in this incidicent be fired, but they should also be prosecuted criminally.

Also, based on what has happened in the United States in the last half-decade or so, I’m beginning to fear what other rights I may end up loosing. Currently, there are only a very few select times when you must present ID (Quick trivia: despite what you might think, the airport is NOT one of those times). Will laws be passed that force me to show ID to any officer no matter what? What about the legalities of taping? For the most part, I can record just about anything or anyone in public places. Will that change to “protect” the government? Can the Constitution really stand much more raping before it is just a piece of meaningless paper?

[tags]UCLA, Taser, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, Tabatabainejad[/tags]


16 thoughts on “UCLA Student Tasered by Police in Library”

  1. Officers have the right to ask for id and to escort students out of public buildings for refusing. He was asked repeatedly and responded to the officers with “f you” to the officers. when the officers decided to carry escort him out he went limp on the floor and when officers tried to grab his arms he hit their hands away. At this point the student had comited a felony assault on a peace officer. The taser was used. Students who were crowding the officers were interfering with the arrest and officers have a right to protect both the suspect, themselves, and fellow officers. Besides felony assault, I hope the district attorney also charges him with refusing to comply with the orders of an officer and resisting arrest and he is found guilty with the maximum punishment. They should also charge the students who were crowding the officers with obstruction of justice. The people who complain and are quik to cry police brutality and call officers “pigs” quikly change their attitudes when they need the police and one saves their life.

  2. if you refuse to show your identification you give up all special rights as a police officer..no civilian should have to assume that you’re really an officer, and if an officer tases someone and refuses to show ID, the tased victim is well within his rights to use force against the officer.

    how ironic would it be if they went after the student for not having ID when they had forgotten theirs?

  3. It would be absurd to request a police officer’s ID and badge number while arresting and securing a prisoner. No court would recognize any civilian’s right to that information until the prisoner was secured. Upon the securing of the prisoner (police vehicle or temporary holding facility, you may then request that information.

    Don’t make the mistake of demanding information and approaching an officer until that prisoner is secured. If you do, you are obstructing the arrest and can be subject to arrest too. A police officer will try to warn you once about interfering, but other than that, there is no requirement that you must be warned prior to arrest.

    When it comes to the use of a Taser, it depends on what we call a Use Of Force Matrix. Our department use to authorize the use of a Taser if the subject to be arrested was utilizing Passive or Active Resistance. Which means if you ran away from me, sat on your hands, or refused to move or get up, you could be tasered. Because of media pressure in my area, the Taser was moved up a level, which now means we can only use it if the subject is posing a physical threat to me or others. It should be noted that not ALL police departments have the same Use Of Force Matrix. What does UCLA authorize? They may have been justified to taser the male when he refused to comply with their verbal requests. If thier Use Of Force Matrix is like my department, then that male would have to display actions of a physical threat in order for me to tase him. The next question is, can you Taser a person in handcuffs? Yes and No! Once again, in my police department, you can’t Taser a person for mere non-violent resistance to an arrest, but you may be able to Taser someone under our old Use of Force Matrix if UCLA has something similar. However, another scenario where I would be able to Taser someone in handcuffs, is if the threat of violence continued when the subject was handcuffed. Or what if the subject was a 300 lb giant and the officer was 5’4″ in height and 150lbs in weight, and the GIANT refused to comply with any of your requests and you had no assistance from anyone?

    Police work is all about articulation. If something a police officer does is not the norm concerning policy, then an officer better be able to explain why they did what they did. A court will always recognize that an officer has a right to take someone into custody for an arrest if there is probable cause.

    The media and the uninformed would have you believe that the police officers arrested the male for not showing ID. That is a misrepresentation of all the facts. If the school has a policy that you must have ID on you at all times to utilize any of the facilities at anytime, then you are responsible for proving that your a STUDENT of the facilities upon request. If you can’t provide a required ID to be on the property you are now TRESPASSING since you can’t prove that your an authorized student. If your requested to leave the property by proper authority and you refuse to leave, you have now shown criminal intent of Trespassing. Now that you are trespassing and you begin to yell, shout vulgarities, “shock the sense of morales” of the people witnessing them in a semi-public or public use place, your are now creating a disturbance, which in my area is known as Disorderly Conduct, an arrestable offense.

    I haven’t chosen any sides in this matter. I am just hoping to have people approach this matter with an open mind.

  4. I love all the noise that surrounds the issue. “He deserved it!” “Well, he refused to comply” Blah blah blah. The simple, single issue in all of this is the question: Did the police use excessive force?

    A lot of comments, justifications, etc. that are sputtered out don’t have anything to do with that question.

    Let’s temporarily concede -so a lot of people can shut up- that the victim was wrong and resisted the police. After the first tasering and the subsequent handcuffing, was it necessary to taser the individual repeatedly? How is the person a threat after several officer have the individual in handcuffs? Can’t they carry him out? Why, really, why is is it necessary to continually inflict pain on that person? How can that be justified?

  5. You miss the point of Pain Compliance and Use of Force Matrix. If UCLA’s Use of Force Matrix allows Pain Compliance at the level of resistance the student displayed (Refusing to get up), then they didn’t do anything wrong at all.

    However; if UCLA’s Use of Force Matrix does not allow Pain Compliance at the level the student displayed, then they are wrong with the additional taserings.

    That is how you decide Excessive Force. Excessive Force means you used UNAUTHORIZED Force.

    Unless you have been Tasered before, the use of a Taser in Pain Compliance by doing a “dry stun” is not incapacitating as some will have you believe. It is much like accidentally getting shocked by an electric outlet. You don’t just freeze up and keep getting shocked, you have the ability to pull away, but it sure as hell hurt. It hurt temporarily though.

    The Court of Public Opinion will quickly judge you without understanding the science and method of a set of circumstance. It’s easy to point a finger at anyone and accuse someone of injustice. However, you quickly show how ignorant you are in doing so. Decide what was right and wrong based on what the policies are not on what your personal set of beliefs are. Your personal set of beliefs have no value in this incident if the policies allowed the UCLA officers to do what they did. If the policies do not allow the UCLA officers to do what they did, they will surely be disciplined or charged with a civil rights violation.

    That’s how it works.

  6. Once again, let’s stick to the essential question. Perhaps I should be more clear. You answered that the police technically did not use excessive force. That is not what I meant. You can be within the law and still be wrong. Take slavery, for example. Technically, at one point, it was legal, but it doesn’t mean it was right.

    Updated question: Should the UCPD have used as much force and inflict as much pain as they did? Did they normatively use excessive force?

    Mulitple officers, handcuffed victim with no weapons. Please tell me why the multiple taser shots were not only warranted, but ethical?

    Thank you and that is all.

  7. In short, if we judged simply by policies, we would never question if those policies were right to begin with. Now, you seem like an intelligent person, and I have faith that you can at least agree with that.

  8. Fortunately, if you abide by policies which are established by law, then you’re relatively within your rights to utilizing a certain level of force when met with resistance. You will be tasked by Internal Affairs Unit in articulating that you were within guidelines.

    I did not suggest that the way the incident was handled was completely justified. It is up to the elected officials and courts to decide what the acceptable policies are in your communities. You must be aware that when it comes to a Use of Force issue, the courts recognize that “minimal necessary force” is authorized. The courts do not define or list each and every possible scenario that an officer may face and what force he may use or not use. Use of Force will be judged by the Totality of the Circumstances the officer faced.

    For instance, is it allowable for an officer to shoot an unarmed subject? Believe it or not, there are many incidents in which an officer can do so and have been held as a valid Use of Force. Of course the media will have you believe in just the Bold Faced Print that the officer was involved in a great Travesty, but if you took the time to research why the officer did what he did and compare it to lawfully established policies and guidelines, the officer was completely justified to do what he did.

    You may not like how something “went down” on your first look at it, however; if your intelligent enough, you should be able research when an officer can do certain things.

    The point of my writings, is not to JUSTIFY what the officers did in this incident, but rather subject the readers to inquire what a Use Of Force Matrix or its variants are and what are the guidelines and policies for that Matrix in your communities.

    Has anyone been able to state, without error or assumption, when are UCLA Officers are allowed to use their Tasers? I remind you that the use of a Taser is authorized in many Use Of Force Matrix, in the manner that UCLA may have used it. However, I do note, that a continuous use of the Taser when the subject was placed into handcuffs may not be authorized. But do remember that the courts will first allow an officer to articulate his reason for utilizing a higher level of force than what is necessary, which can and has in the past, been acceptable to the courts. Each incident will be judged by its own facts when it comes to Use of Force.

  9. I am not asking the question from a legal standpoint. Maybe or maybe not the UCPD were within the law and their rights. I am asking the question from simple, and I repeat, simple moral standpoint that asks if all the force use was necessary. Could the situation have been handled without inflicting so much pain? If so, then what happened would be considered immoral.

    Obviously, we can look at what happended from a legal point of view and many other points of view. However, my question doesn’t concerned any of those but one of morality. Being within the law, being authorized to do certain things, do not justify, just as War Criminals are not allowed to fall back on, “I followed orders.”

    Frankly, if the UCPD are found within the law, of which I have no idea, I don’t care. I am concerning myself with whether the UCPD should have handled the situation the way they did.

  10. To put it consisely, I’m looking at “should have” rather than “could have.” Should, in my point of view, is always more important that could.

  11. You can’t ask if it was necessary to use what force they used without adding up all the factors in the incident, to which all have them have not been added up.


    MORALS go hand in hand with LAW.

    If no one found it morally wrong to have sex with underage children, then there wouldn’t be a law to forbid such an act.

    Is it morally wrong to taser someone 4 times while in handcuffs? Yes it can be, but there are scenarios in where it would be allowed.

    Is it morally wrong to inflict pain? Not at all. The courts have ruled that force can be used in which force is needed. PAIN is a byproduct of some techniques of force.

    It would be morally wrong to use pain compliance techniques in which there was no need for it. But as you can see, this whole debate is about was it necessary to taser the student several times? Neither you, readers, nor I can answer that without having all the facts.

    You can base your decision inappropriately on your own belief system, but thats what we call OPINION.

    Perhaps the officers should have picked up the student and carried him down the stairs or to wherever he was supposed to be brought. How many officers were there? Did they have enough physically capable officers to carry the student? Would the crowd be upset with the officers if they witnessed them “dragging” the student out of the building. What if the student began flailing his shoulders and legs, causing the officers to drop him, while they carried him down the stairs. The student gets injured and begins yelling that he was purposely dropped, which in turn may incite the crowd gathering around the officers. YOU did see how the crowd attempted to swarm around the officers because they were upset with the initial tasering? Crowds of people react strangely to things they may not understand. It’s the hazard of police work. Some of the force we use can be determined by the crowd believe it or not. Officer decisions are made in split seconds, sometimes it’s the right decision, sometimes it’s the wrong decision.

    If I were in the position those officers were in, the last thing I would want to do is pick up and carry a kicking screaming student away. Why? I got injured by someone refusing to get into the police vehicle after he was arrested. I had to pick him up and force him into the vehicle. In the process, the subject unexpectedly dropped all his weight, which hyperextended my arm, causing a tendon to snap in my arm. I could have just let the guy fall to the ground and strike his head, because he caused it, however; I was in a crowd of 30+ “thugs”, who were probably waiting for any reason to launch into a riot. I couldn’t work for six months after that. Is it morally right for the “bad guy” to injure a police officer making a lawful arrest?

    If the UCLA Use of Force Matrix allows for the handcuffed “still resisting” student to be tased if he continually refuses lawful commands, then it is morally acceptable. You really think the “fight” in someone is over when they are handcuffed? That isn’t always the case. As a result of the tasering, both the student and the officers will be able to go to work or school the next day because no one was injured.

    In the end, with the student being Tasered, it all amounts to a bunch of “What Ifs” and a bit of “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” by those who are impatient to wait for the facts or for those who accuse without doing research.

  12. I’d think students would be mored pissed to see tasing than dragging.

    And, once again, laws and courts can be wrong, like Plessy v. Ferguson. Just because the law allows it, or a court decides it, doesn’t necessary mean it’s right, And you’re right, what’s right is opinion, but there are certain, basic, universal, fundamental things we can agree are wrong, such as murder. And sure, context is everything.

    But in sum, an individual who was handcuffed and subdued by multiple officers tasered a student. Why continue to the tasing? Was he still a threat? NO. Sounded like they continued to do it for compliance. Pain to force compliance is not as easy to justify as pain to protect and subdue.

    Please answer this without any more meanderings. Is it morally right to continually inflict pain on someone who is defenseless?

  13. If you have to ask if it’s morally right to inflict pain on someone to force compliance, then you misunderstand the meaning of LAW ENFORCEMENT. I can’t change your beliefs on what you may think Law Enforcement is, I am just telling you what Law Enforcement really is from a lawful point, which is backed up in MANY court findings.

    It sounds like the only force you think is lawful, is force which is used to protect the life of someone. If that was the only force that was allowed, then this country would suffer at the hands of many people who think FREEDOM means you have the right to harass others.

    Pain Compliance was specifically designed for people who practice unthreatening non-physical resistance. (Civil Disobedience such as lying on the ground or sit-in on roads.) If it were a perfect law abiding country, you should get up when I tell you so, because your “breaking the law”, instead you choose to break the law and continue to disobey a lawful order. That is where Pain Compliance comes in, because chances are, when I put my hands on you, you won’t be going willingly will you? There are plenty of pressure points on your face and neck that I can jam my fingers and hands into you, to cause PAIN, so that you comply. And it’s AUTHORIZED. How is it that you don’t understand that force is authorized in many situations? You may not like it, but it is backed up time and time again, if used lawfully. You would be surprised to know what force is lawful.

    Is it morally right to cause pain on someone “defenseless” you say? Yes! Only if they are resisting and aren’t coming willingly.

    If you still can’t understand that, then you have no idea what Law Enforcement is, and I can’t change that. It’s up to you.

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