Thursday, November 16, 2006

UCLA Police Use Stun Gun on Student (Horrific Video)

--Anyone want to aid Mostafa with his law suit?--

University of California Police Department officers shot Mostafa Tabatabainejad (a UCLA student residing in L.A.) several times with a Taser inside the Powell Library CLICC computer lab Tuesday night before taking him into custody. 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."

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Nancy Greenstein of the University of California Police Department said: "All use of force incidents require an administrative review, which is currently under way. The entire incident is under investigation, and a case will be presented to the City Attorney."

There is no phone listing for Tabatabainejad and neither he nor his attorney could be located for comment, accordingt to one news source.

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.

Statement from UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams About Incident at Powell Library:

University police are investigating an incident late last night in which police took a student into custody at Powell Library. Investigators are reviewing the incident and the officers' actions, and I can assure you that these reviews will be thorough, vigorous and fair.

The safety of our campus community is of paramount importance to me. Routinely checking student identification after 11 p.m. at the campus library, which is open 24 hours, is a policy posted in the library that was enacted for the protection of our students. Compliance is critical for the safety and well-being of everyone

Sources: http://www.nbc4.tv/news/10325914/detail.html ; http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38958%20 ; http://www.ucpd.ucla.edu/ucpd/zippdf/2006/Taser%2011-15-06.pdf

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