Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Police Taser Student at UCLA (unbelievable!!!)

The incident described below caught on tape showing the repeated tasering of a UCLA student by campus police (and by the way this student happened to have a Muslim sounding name) because he did not show his ID card is another example of repeated police abuse and how the wrong headed way profiling people may lead to serious civil rights abuses. I hope this student takes these supposed enforcers of campus law to court and sues them with every charge possible. I hope they go to jail. I blame this incident and the many incidents happening like this around the country on Bush, his patriot act (which is what the student shouted out during the tasering) and frightening law and order frenzy gripping the law enforcement community affected by the 9/11 aftermath. In addition, UCLA has a lot to answer for foisting this kind of policing on the student population on the campus. I think profiling was involved in this case. Students who witnessed this incident and complained were also threatened with tasering. This is more than outrageous. UCLA needs to overhaul its security personnel and make big changes in hiring and training.

Sharon Raphael

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

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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.