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Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006, 10:38 am

This story has been everywhere but I don't think the video has circulated quite so much.

A UCLA student is in the library, three UCLA "cops" (correct me if I'm wrong but aren't university police just a bunch of glorified rent-a-cops?) approach him and ask for his ID. He says he's leaving (presumably misunderstanding why they wanted it) and they tazer the living bejeezus out of him and threaten the nearby students with a damned fine tazering themselves if they don't quit asking pesky questions like "What is your badge number?", "are you really cops?" and "What the hell are you doing that for?".

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
evilrobotshane

Although the ones on my campus had only one chance to make a first impression on me and that was that they're the most droolsome retards ever to carry a gun, they are indeed real actual police. They get called in to assist the local Sheriff's guys at times when there's something serious going down in the locality. The complicated jurisdiction system in the U.S. means their jurisdiction is only on-campus, but that can be a pretty big place in some colleges.

I'm a bit taken aback by the reaction of the other students. What the hell do you have to do to start a riot these days?

Nice library building though.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

Sounds a little like say, the garda reserve force over here now - they have powers but they're very limited in comparison to the "real" thing

"I'm a bit taken aback by the reaction of the other students. What the hell do you have to do to start a riot these days?"

Yeah, I was going to touch on that but I couldn't phrase it properly. I found it amazing that given how many students were there that the cops weren't forced back somehow, *especially* given that they weren't particularly well armed - Mace and tazers are shockingly painful but not nearly as dangerous as guns, which from the sound of things, they didn't have.

From what I've read though, the cynic in me thinks he knows the answer - the bloke's name was apparantly Mustafa, most likely making him of norteastern african or middle eastern heritage so obviously he might have been a terrist and that made people reluctant to actually step in and help, in case he had a backpack of explosives or some damned thing. Didn't stop them getting close enough for some rubbernecking though.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane

For what it's worth, I'd be pretty surprised if they didn't have guns - the guys here in a hamlet that makes Castlebar look like an expansive metropolis are all packing heat, and those chaps are based in Los Angeles.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane

Oh yeah, it reminds me of a conversation I had with a mate of mine a little while ago. I've found that in general the Garda Siochana are a reasonably affable bunch considering, which may well be due to the height restriction to get in. No such restriction exists here, and apparently the type of person who typically becomes a cop is people who get picked on and have large chips on their shoulders. Then they have a gun and a taser and a nightstick and legal authority and a large chip on the shoulder. I've heard far more stories here of police throwing their weight around and being assholes just because they can than ever I did in Ireland. I bet the guy who first tasered the student just snapped at people not obeying him and decided he'd show them what they get. The rest were then in an unreversible situation with the impression that what was going on was normal and okay - the situation has escalated! Tasers for all! Man, watching that has really set off some primal disrespect for authority thing in me. If I'd been there I'd probably have got tasered too, unless my responsible tourism Prime Directive thing won out and I managed to restrain myself to just observing.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

Yep, I'm just *waiting* for the reserve gardai thing to blow up in our collective faces for exactly the same reasons. I get the distinct impression though that psychological evaluation here is a much bigger deal than it is in the US and thats how these situations arise.

Now if the gardai brass would put the same bloody emphasis on training gardai for stressful situations we'd be laughing.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
ulaire_daidoji

reserve police forces have by all accounts been a resounding success in the UK. The Sunday times (an admittedly right-wing publication "POWER to the people brother! Up TROTSKY!" ) ran an interesting article on their use in Manchester. They tend to be deployed to assist traffic cops during rush hours and during 10pm-2am in city centres to tell people to be quiet and stop being a drunken nuisance.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous)

Mostafa Tabatabainejad :)

To be fair and even about this, the start of the video is very confusing and if a cop put his hand on my arm (probably to stop me running away because I had been previously acting suspiciously without ID in a country where highschool shootings happen about once a week) I wouldn't start being aggressive shouting "Get off me, motherfucker here's your abuse of power, here's your patriot act" and then effectively resist arrest and scream my head off. I've seen enough people being asked to leave a premises by a copper in the past to recognise someone looking for a fight when I see one. Oh and it also sounds to me like that video has been doctored considerably in the sound file...

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

The sound did ... sound a little suspicious to me alright but the reporting and witness statements back it up so it does seem accurate that the first thing heard was "ARRRRRGH" and then a few minutes later the whole patriot act thing. By every single account, they hit him first as it were.

He wasn't smart, I'll admit that but thats why cops are trained to restrain someone, not blast them with a bajillion volts when a suspect doesn't do exactly as he's told and certainly not hit them three or four more times because he "refuses" (ie his muscles aren't working because they got a bajillion volts through them) to cooperate - you just *can't* get up after a blast like that. Speaking as someone who was electrocuted once, it would be some kind of superhuman miracle if he was capable of standing after even the first one, never mind feeling anything but pain and rage.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
specky_ie

It's pretty easy to jump to conclusions on these things.

I'm pretty sure I did actually hear one of the other students in the mumbled conversation say "...he had it coming...".

If someone was tazering me, probably the LAST thing I'd think of saying would be anything along the lines of "here's your patriot act, here's your fucking abuse of power". I'd also be unlikely to use the phrase "trying to leave this god forsaken place" unless I had some other issues that weren't explained in the video.

There's a bit of a difference between campus police (which these guys obviously are) and typical Irish University campus security staff, who're contracted out from local security companys (most of whom are of non-Irish extraction these days, but all of whom have at least been trained to some extent as is required by the licensing provisions of the Private Security Authority), but there's not real comparison to be made between the security staff shown in the video and those you'll encounter here for a gazzillion different reasons.

What does it take to start a riot? Good question. That was probably one of the questions the security guys were asking themselves when they threatened the crowd of students rushing towards them.

The security crew were unprepared for what they encountered and should have called for greater numbers to forcibly remove the individual from the premises when he decided not to cooperate. The most effective use of tazers is to temporarily disable people and make them compliant so you can move them around, not as a "persuader" the way they used them. It's pointless tazering someone then telling them to get up, that was silly, but they didn't have the numbers to physically pick the guy up and remove him safely. But that's an operational issue.

There was history prior to this video which has not been fully revealed.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
ulaire_daidoji

My thoughts exactly on the history thing. I mean, who is randomly recording stuff on a mobile phone and just happens to catch police brutality. The bottom line on anything like this is fairly simple: don't believe everything you see and the police aren't always fascist bully boy thugs.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 06:37 pm (UTC)
aidian

when someone is in handcuffs - with a person hooked under each arm, it's not that tough to drag someone out, unless they're grossly overweight. That's what they should've done - picked him up and carried him out.

I'm not sure where I stand on this either - the cops acted wrongly by shocking the hell out of him then being surprised when he didn't jump right up and stride out the door, then shocking him again for it. On the other hand, I don't feel bad for the kid either, cause he was being a jackass by all accounts. All it would've taken was an "here's my ID" or "i forgot my ID, sorry, my name is whatever" and/or possibly "I'll leave and come back with it". Saying "No, I will not show ID and I'm walking away now" is not actually a valid response to a police officer in the US, as far as I know - you *must* if asked present with some form of identification or otherwise identify yourself, even if you just state your name and address. If you do the latter, though, expect to stick around while they radio you in and verify. And if you add shouting like an asshole on top of it, well, surprise surprise, you get shocked. Summary: kid gets nothing except humiliation, and cops get a talking to on basic "shock, cuff and carry" technique. No big deal. Every day in every single jurisdiction, there are many, many encounters of "this person may not belong here, let's ID them" , and most of them end with an "ok, thanks/sorry to bother you" or "you need to leave now".

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
followthebird: ??

What effects does a tazer have on a person? (I tried to look this up but I just got some strange sites)

I can't see much on that video. It is hard to see who is to blame. The things the man says do seem a bit odd.

He does seem to try to struggle and run away briefly and then fall on his knees after he has already been on his knees for some time (Is that him being tazered?).

Do you drag your legs like that for that long when you have been tazered?

I am reserving my judgment for the moment.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat: Re: What the La times has to say

The video attached to the article seems clearer than the other one somehow, or maybe its the mac monitor. The clicking you can hear at 1:51 or therabouts is the taser being activated while he *appears* to be handcuffed. Then they keep threatening him with more tasering for not wanting/being able to move. At 3:14 you can see the bit where they planted the taser in his ass by the officer on the left before they drag him down the stairs. From the sound of it he might have gotten another jolt at 4:14 and 4:37 and possibly about 4:46


From the first article:
"But according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001, a charge of three to five seconds can result in immobilization for five to 15 minutes, which would mean that Tabatabainejad could have been physically unable to stand when the officers demanded that he do so. "

After the first jolt it seems likely he couldn't comply with their repeated threats and requests. Asides from anything else, if they wanted him moved, there were three officers - if they actually wanted him gone they could have dragged him. They didn't have any problems getting him down the stairs, that they couldn't get further seems odd.


furthermore, the article would seem to indicate that they were more along the lines of the garda reserve than "proper" police officers as it were. As has been pointed out elsewhere, it is entirely possible he was some pompous little wanker of a student out to make a point or who thought he didn't have to obey the rules like everyone else but if you went around treating every pompous little student wanker like that there'd be about twenty of them able to walk properly after the first week internationally.