Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Taser use at UCLA library provokes firestorm

If you haven't seen the video of the student being tasered, you can check it out here. This took place at the undergrad library at UCLA in the computer lab.

I think the University has the right to exclude patrons who won't show an ID, but the use of force was ridiculous. A simple wrist-lock would have been sufficient. I think the taser is the lazy man's way of evicting someone.

The use of a taser against a non-violent offender is not be permitted on most campuses at the University of California.

Police at six of the 10 UC campuses carry Taser guns. Most are restricted to only using the guns against violent suspects, according to interviews with top UC law enforcement officials.

UCLA's police rules, however, allow officers to use Tasers on passive resisters as "a pain compliance technique," Assistant Chief Jeff Young said last week.

Officers can use the weapons after considering the potential injury to police and to the suspect, as well as the level of the suspect's resistance and the need for prompt resolution, he said.

Taser use was put into the spotlight after UCLA senior Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, was repeatedly stunned Nov. 14 when he refused to show his student ID to officers doing a late night check at Powell Library, according to authorities. Tabatabainejad said through his lawyer he didn't want to produce his ID because he thought he was being singled out because of his Middle Eastern appearance.

Video footage of the incident posted on the Internet showed Tabatabainejad screaming and writhing on the computer lab floor. |Mercury News|

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