Friday, November 17, 2006

Painful Video

I don' t know how much play this is getting, so I'm jumping on. Regardless of what the Police thought their responsibilities were in this instance, this is so totally unacceptable that they must be held accountable for poor judgement here. When the authorities are the source of our nightmares, it's time to relieve them of power:


Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a student at UCLA's Westwood campus of Iranian descent, was working in the computer lab of the Powell Library when UCLA campus police (a sub-section of the LAPD) conducted a routine ID check to ensure everyone still in the building after 11pm was a student or otherwise authorised person. Tabatabainejad either refused to show his ID or had forgotten it and was therefore asked to leave. According to witnesses, the officers then left and returned to escort him out, but he was already walking towards the exit of the building with his backpack on his shoulder.

One of the officers then grabbed his arm and Tabatabainejad indignantly demanded he let go, repeatedly shouting "get off me". This is the point at which a witness's video phone began taping. Inaudible words were exchanged between him and the officers and it seems he had for some reason fallen to the ground, they demanded he get up and when he did not they shot him with a taser:

This report in the LA Times does suggest the student was passive-agressively resisting (going limp when the police tried to escort him), but judging by the reactions of the other students, these officers still made a horrible decision here. I can't watch this without getting furious at them.


Anonymous ml said...

Olbermann covered it last night on Countdown. The limpness may not have been passive-aggressive: the voltage can result in loss of control over limbs. It is supposed to incapacitate the victim.

For such a "mellow" place, the police in LA are very often abusive.

11/17/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention that it was implied on Olbermann that the student had been tasered before the video began and thus was limp.

11/17/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

thanks ML.

regardless of whether he was a total jerk, these police crossed the line.

11/17/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

totally agree, dont know if i can trust to police anymore

11/17/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Student said...

You have been linked by :

11/17/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Even when I just cross the border to go see some art the police make it very arrogant.

Could you US people slow down your customs?

We're your friendly canadian neighbours for christ's sake.



11/17/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous cnonymous said...


Be glad we aren't building a barbed wire fence across the Canadian border!!!

11/17/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

WTF, one word, lawsuit.

This is out of control, he gets shocked because he did not have his ID?

He was leaving, and they used a taser on him? It's designed to make you imobile, are these guys idiots or what.

I hope he gets a good lawer and sues the police and the university for millions.

11/17/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

One more thing that I find disturbing,
the cops start to threating them with getting tassed to.

I don't know what the hell is going on here but these cops are out of control and this is a sign of how abusive the power structure has become under 6 years of the Bush regime, we ahve learned to except this kind of crap.

11/17/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This video reminds me of the early 1960s -- the beginning of the civil rights movement, and then the women's liberation movement and the gay liberation movement. Things in the United States have become bleak and oppressive. An unpopular war, global warming, a pending energy crisis, economic instability, and the worship of technology and consumerism. I have a feeling we're in for another period of civil unrest in the not-too-distant future. I wonder what form it will take.

11/18/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger hlowe said...

It's important to steer away from drama when these atrocities occur.

A math student at UCLA says it best: "Edouard Tchertchian, a third-year mathematics student, said he was concerned that the student was not offered any other means of showing that he was a UCLA student."--Daily Bruin
Yeah, how about look up his name? Get a class schedule?
Ask a librarian or student?
No imagination...

11/18/2006 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger painterdog said...

They will wish they did.
He has retained a high powered lawyer and I think UCLA will be seriously looking into changing the way their cops interact with students.

11/18/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

The story line now is that the student did in fact go limp before the tasering. When you are limp, you are not threatening. The police here in LA overreact with alarming regularity.

11/18/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger AngelaFerreira said...

I am sorry to say but this is total Schizophrenia behavior, such paranoia against the enemy is self-destructive and causing great harm to other nations!

11/18/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, these are campus police, which may very well be a "sub-section of the LAPD" but are probably poorly trained, low-morale losers who wouldn't be allowed to be real police officers. I don't know, of course. But I remember the campus police when I was in college, and they were petty, unpleasant people most of the time, mainly because we students did everything we could to make their jobs as difficult as possible. And it's not like being posted on campus is a plum position all the best jockey for.

I want to like the police, by and large, because I think most of them are okay and work very hard and do their best. I do get alarmed, though, at how many stupid laws they're made to enforce; and how happily they sometimes enforce them; and I worry about the militarization of our police force. So many street cops now wear baseball caps and keep their trousers bloused, it's hard to tell them from mercenaries.

I just want to add a note of balance to the discussion. Think of how many officers of the LAPD were called to, for example, domestic disturbances on that same night, none of which were on the news because they were all handled properly. I'm not saying we should ignore bad incidents; I'm just saying we shouldn't, let's say, riot over them.

11/18/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Bad Cop, No Donut! radio show at:

It's slow to load, even with a high-speed connection. Be patient!

11/18/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

The kid did act like a fool, that's a given. No excuse to do what they did.
Personaly after reading different accounts and watching the video, I think he has a bit of mental disorder and on some level was trying to provoke a responce.

I don't think he bargained for what happened. You give cops weapons like tasers and they will use them.

Given all that the cops acted like assholes, and it will all end up in the courts and UCLA will settle out of court to avoid the embarssment of a jury trial.

Chris your right the campus guards at my school had issues, but they never did anything like this.

11/18/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it looks like the cops really didn't need to pull out the taser gun on someone who wasn't fighting back. But the 'victim' also seemed like an overreacting fool. And now it appears you can't criticize, arrest, or ask 'check the id' of anyone that is islamic anymore without them pulling the race card either. Why can't everyone grow up?

11/19/2006 01:32:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

well anonymous, i dont know if you are islamic or dark skin colored. but i'll tell you this, it's all media's and politics fault.
i would get offensive, if around 10 white people , polis will ask me only for my ID, or criticize. Why? Because o of I am muslim, because I am different skin colored? Or because I am wearing some t shirt with arabic text (with English translation)
The student might acted fool, I wasn't there, but polis should cross the line. And they should be responsible for their action. Also, put yourself if you'll fight for your rights and get tased by police. What your reaction would be? Identify yourself as a threat to public? terrorist? killer? etc...

11/19/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

Racism and profiling stem from the same ugly source.

It is NEVER ok for police of any rank to be abusive. Most police are in fact professionals. But LA in the past month has had 3 instances of police "over-reactions". All have been with individuals who were not white. Before camera/video cell phones, it was he said-she said situation and the police have greater credibility in courts, in investigations. With the cameras available, it is hard to deny the reality of brutality.

11/19/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

And now it appears you can't criticize, arrest, or ask 'check the id' of anyone that is islamic anymore without them pulling the race card either.

Really...every single person who's Muslim will respond this way? Do you have empirical evidence of this? OK, that's a rhetorical couldn't possibly have evidence of's merely your oersonal impression based on anecdotal evidence. Just remember the plural of anedcote is NOT data, and that perpetuating your unsubstantiated personal impressions is the foundation of racism.

11/19/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further proof, Ed, that minorities can't win against ignorance. If they take the abuse, they deserve it; if they stand up for themselves, they're playing the race card.

It's very unfortunate. Especially coming from people who were themselves victims of racism not too long ago. Over the summer I was over this guy's house and he was complaining about the Puerto Ricans who'd moved in next door. I asked him, what about your neighbors on the other side, are they happy about the Sicilians who live next to them?

My parents specifically remember being denied apartments because my mother is Italian. And that was in the Bronx, in the early 1970s.

It's just so huge, it sometimes seem impossible.

11/19/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous ml said...


Another example of this was in the 2004 elections. Ballot measures across the South were passed by massive majorities to prohibit gay marriages/civil unions/equal rights protections. In Mississippi 87% of the voters approved these restrictions on basic citizenship. That means most of the black voters also voted for the anti-gay measures. Bigotry in one sense is color-blind.

11/19/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

What's the argument here.
The guy acted like a jerk, but the cops over reacted.

I think we can all agree that the whole incident was caused by the security people not being able to handle this kind of thing without running to the campus police and the student seemed to push all the wrong buttons with these people.

I have to ask what did he say to the security people to make them go get the UCLA cops in the first place?

The question remains is why didn't they just ask the kid to go back to his dorm and get his ID.

As far as people complaing about people playing "race cards" please, if your white you need to check yourself.

I'm jewish and I have been called all sortes of names in my life, been beat up for it when I was 14 by a racist Irish kid from my neighborhood, who hated jews and african americans.
I don't hate the Irish, this kid had issues and ended up in jail after high school. The point being people are fucked up and like to use difference as a way of making themselves feel better.

By pointing out the 'other' they define themselves as what they are not.

11/20/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger jafabrit said...

Putting aside the ethnic origins of this american citizen born and raised, when is it ever acceptable for our police to use a taser on someone four or five times because they objected to being man handled as they were leaving the building as per requested.

11/20/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Darin said...

People in America are arrested for wearing anti-war t-shirts, told to get off the plane for wearing a t-shirt with "We will no be silent" printed on it, for driving while Muslim, Sikhs being discriminated (and sometimes shot) for wearing turbans. As such crimes by law enforcement abusing their power are allowed to continue by violating citizens’ 4th Amendment rights – how long before this fascism becomes routine procedure?

11/20/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Painterdog, I had to laugh at your suggestion that the student go to his dorm and get his student ID. UCLA has 36,000 students, most of whom do not live on campus. So running to the dorm is probably not an option. Even if he did live on campus, the campus is 419 acres, with 174 buildings. It takes me a good 25 minutes to hike from the Wilshire end of campus to the Sunset end. The place is like a small city unto itself.

11/20/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

well I was using this as an example, I thought about this after I wrote that, that the campus is huge. He was a student, then should there not be a computer record of him at the library?

He was in the library and used it, so he had to have an id to do so and at least be a part time student.

It just seemed to me the whole thing is out of wack, he acted up, that's a given.

The reaction of the cop(s), who I now read (LA times)has a history of over doing it when it comes the using force,was way over the line.

Chris your right:

Duren said Monday that he joined the UCLA police force after being fired from the Long Beach Police Department in the late 1980s. He said he was a probationary officer at the time and was let go because of poor report-writing skills and geographical knowledge.

In May 1990, he was accused of using his nightstick to choke someone who was hanging out on a Saturday in front of a UCLA fraternity. Kente S. Scott alleged that Duren confronted him while he was walking on the street outside the Theta Xi fraternity house.

Scott sued the university, and according to court records, UCLA officials moved to have Duren dismissed from the police force. But after an independent administrative hearing, officials overturned the dismissal, suspending him for 90 days.

There is more, this guy is a disaster waiting to happen.

11/21/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy should have gotten up. It appears to me that he shoudl have just went outside and talked to the cops. Maybe he should have just showed his ID as the others did and none of this would have happened. Stop feeling sorry for everybody who is a jerk and pays the price for it.

3/02/2007 11:51:00 AM  

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