Oh OH ...here it comes...

Bob Turner writes "Declan Mculagh sends this out to his Polytech mailing group...this video is a MUST see....
Watch it and weep...

Based on preliminary reports, this is what seems to have happened on Tuesday evening: Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was quietly studying in the campus library around 11:30pm. Campus police asked him for his ID, a usual procedure. Mostafa didn't have it with him and walked toward the exit.

While en route, one of the police officers laid a hand on Mostafa (which may well be simple battery) and he reacted by saying "Get off of me." That's when he was hit with a blast from a Taser, which can render someone unable to walk for 5 to 15 minutes.

But the cops, through malice or ignorance, kept demanding that Mostafa immediately stand up and walk to the door. He was screaming at this point and said he could not, at which point they Tased him again and again.

The cops also threatened to Taser bystanders as well if they persisted in asking for badge numbers. This, too, is on videotape and is in fact a crime. (Think that cop will go to jail? Right.)

The video is here:

Articles on this incident:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/californi a/la-me-cellcamera16nov16,1,2951795.story



Glad to hear you had a blissful childhood, truly, as I wonder how much it would have affected the world in a certain direction if you didn't, given the sympathies you have expressed against this kid. (Read Joe Stalin's biography: now his was a very unhappy childhood, and look at what he did to the world, especially after he got, one assumes, "more realistic.")

In any case, one also hopes you never over-reacted to any of your problem people and criminals, however understandably tempted you might have been, when you were in the police.

As I said in other posts, I've seen and witnessed close-up some very bad police, and I heard terrible stories of bad ones from family members in the police. Bad police don't get winnowed out, they merely join another department. Unless they manage to get jailed.

However, you misrepresent the facts again: this kid was not only tasered - not a very blissful experience, unlike your chidlhood - he was tasered five times, four after he was cuffed, and four men were involved. Now perhaps from your lengthy police experience you can expertly explain why 4 highly trained and experienced cops felt compelled to direct taser charges one and four times against a scrawny kid who was cuffed and limp most of the time. If you can explain this well, then you may possibly have a good argument against me. But what would cops do in such a situation in the old, pre-taser days? I suspect pick the kid up, after cuffing him, and carry him away. They could not do that here? Why?

You said somewhere the taser is not a punitive device, it is rather used to faciliate an arrest. You can only say that about the first tasering, before he was cuffed. But given your experience, how can you claim the taser was not punitive when he was tasered four times after being cuffed? Have you ever been tasered? According to an account at Huff Post, a cocky cop volunteered to be tasered and he was completely immobile for at least 3 minutes, and he was a tough, macho guy. Other people have been reported to take longer to recover. So when this kid would not get up, they blasted him again. Not punitive, huh? Looks plenty damn punitive to me, given he was well in their custody and hand-cuffed and in a state of weakness from the first taser.

And yes, I do recall "they did not shoot him, they did not beat him, they did not kick him, nor punch him." But my reply is that *you* should remember the kid was not drunk or high and crazy, he was not harassing or bothering anybody, he wasn't ripping anybody off or invading their space or assaulting them or displaying a weapon, etc., etc. If this were the case and the cops pulled a taser more than once on him after resisting arrest, there would be no story here. All he did was utter loud objections when the police came and touched him. For this he did not deserve 5 zaps from a taser; this was an unjustified assault on him. If I tasered multiple times every person who yelled at me (oh I admit, I would have been tempted to do so against folks even more obnoxious than this kid - even uncooperative wacked-out patients) when I was a hospital cop, I'd end up in jail, and rightfully so.

I believe you when you say you don't condone police abuse, but if this accounting of the facts does turn out to be decisively true, you'll be caught defending the indefensible.


I didn't read your story (registration required) so this may be the same information.

And that is as reliable as my eyewitness account of the incident.

The LA times is not the arbiter of the causes of death. Perhaps you would like to read about excited delerium, cocaine intoxication and polypharmacy intoxication the three leading causes of death for persons on whom an electric defensive device was employed. (DOJ Study 2002)

The Taser saves lives by allowing law enforcement to employ a less than lethal force when they would have used lethal force had the Taser not been available.

My childhood was blissful but my experience as a police officer and more than a decade as a registered nurse in an big city emergency room certainly have provided me with a more realistic worldview.

I most assuredly do not condone nor encourage law enforcement, nor anyone for that matter to use any more force than is absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of themselves and innocents involved in an encounter with a criminal. Please remember they did not shoot him, they did not beat him, they did not kick him, nor punch him, they merely Tasered him. He is apparently back at home and I can assure you he had a medical examination after he was Tasered as is standard practice in any use of force.

You are calling for the heads of the police officers involved; I am content to let the investigations and criminal case run their natural course. I am certain that justice will be served. I doubt you are.

So thank you for inquiring about my wonderful childhood you brought back pleasant memories of the holiday season, Thanksgiving, and making snow angels at Como Park. I am sorry to disappoint you by noting that it was idyllic. It was life as an adult that made me pragmatic and realistic. Oh how I long for the carefree days of my youth.

Well which is it? Am I a no-nothing or a know-it-all?

So Greg, let me get this straight: in your relating to kids - if you did have kids and the nieces/nephews you do have - involves not only love but fear, maybe even more - lots more - of the latter. I think I'm beginning to perceive the nature of the kind of mindset you represent.

You don't have to worry about my kids, as I have none, as far as I know, that is, no potential mother has told about any.

Take your pick, doesn't matter to me, but bear in mind the latter is a common sarcastic expression for the literal meaning expressed in the former.

I could be wrong ...but if I'm in a relationship based upon "worse then taser fear"...wouldn't that make me a uh uh ...victim ?

Doesn't sound very healthy or attractive.

So according to the article, the reason he did not show ID, and the reason he went limp when the police officer laid a hand on him to escort him out, was because he thought he was the victim of racial profiling. So apparently non-whites don't have to follow the rules? If we expect non-whites to follow the same rules as everyone else, then we are profiling? And are we to assume that the college library *never* asks white students to show ID?

The tasered college student has a heavy duty civil rights attorney and is suing UCLA for police brutality. I hope he gets a bundle:

UCLA student stunned by Taser plans suit
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/californi a/la-me-ucla17nov17,1,4599352.story?coll=la-headli nes-pe-californialatimes.com>

Indeed. Concisely well put.

Non-whites should follow the rules, of course. But as has been the case with black friends of mine, he likely has suffered from prior bigoted actions and harassment based on his skin color or look over the course of years, and so now he's become a little over-sensitive quick on the draw. Understandable. If racism in the US went away, so would such paranoia.

Did I say it was based on that? No I didn't.

"And as far as I'm concerned he deserved at least one shot of juice just for blaming it all on the Patriot Act."

Really? You really mean this, or would you care to take it back?

Sad to say, I suspect you do mean it. What you are saying here is that you are willing to hurt someone, physically harm them, cause them pain and suffering, without due process or law, because they *merely* *said* something you disagreed with, whether it was wrong or not, and said under significant duress. For you, mere words expressing ideas you don't like truly and really and absolutely warrant swift physical punishment, without a court. I would not wish that on anybody, not even you or the loathsome Oxycontin Limbaugh or Sex Talker O'Reilly. And you work as a librarian in America?!

This statement of yours clearly reveals you as having a fascistic, perhaps even violent mindset more than anything else you have said in this and other debates. You'd do well for yourself to say you were just joking, even if you weren't. I now see more clearly why your nieces/nephews, as you said yourself, in part perceive you as a scary guy: you are. Oh, I know, they love ya too. Which reminds me: the people "loved" Joe Stalin too, but they were also very frightened of him. Love/fear: a typically response to bullies everywhere.

Sorry..my mistake someone said this:


I'd be more frightening then any taser. I do have nieces and nephews, they love me and I love them, but they also know to be more frightened of me then a taser.


I thought it was you ...I apologize...I'm easily confused. Anyways to whoever said it...this is a terrible philosophy for raising children. A tad harmfull I might add. The kids will be destined for the couch or worse.

Fortunately this person doesn't have children....but a fearsome uncle in the background...Yikes... I
have to wonder ....upon what is this fear based? Maybe they will tell me? Who ever said it.

What could generate this kind of fear ...fear of god? ...violent repercussions ? economic sanctions ?...humiliation ? ....shame ? uh sex ?

I would like to know on what basis this could possibly be considered a good idea.


it keeps them from mouthing off at cops.

what can I say ?

you probably ought to be nominated for an Early Childhood Exemplorary Uncle Award...

we could call it the ECEUA...

good luck with that...


I don't see that the kid was tasered more than once. He may have been but the video does not reveal that. He could just be screaming each time an officer attempted to stand him up. He could have been tasered each time and been actively resisting perhaps fighting or kicking. We cannot see that on the video.

You and I both know that we cannot base an investigation on newspaper reports, heresay, or often even eyewitness testimony. I am OK with waiting for the investigations of this incident to run their course. I am certain the investigation will include the reports from the Taser devices how many times they were used (In case anyone did not know the device records much data on its use including the number of times used and shocks delivered.)

I can wait for the outcome, I can also wait to see the policies of the department on the use of the taser on noncompliant subjects, and handcuffed subjects if indeed he was either at the time he was Tasered.

I think it is wise to carry your ID with you at all times to avoid these incidents. And cooperate with authorities to the full extent at all times, too.

And further, this is just a kid, after all, probably dopey and arrogant and immature to some degree or other, like so many (though not all) to be found wandering college campuses, but for this reason, police need to allow a little bit of slack and not assume the worst, as did these arrogant and stupid *adult* police in this incident, and whom one thinks should have known better. (But then again, the kid did look like an Ay-rab, so it's ok to assume the worst, right?)

Actually, assuming this person is actually a college student he is probably better educated than the campus cops. Its not for the cops to 'allow a bit of slack', its for the student to grow up.

And as far as I'm concerned he deserved at least one shot of juice just for blaming it all on the Patriot Act.

Actually, this story was posted yesterday. There is quite a discussion going on under that posting. Also, as GregS pointed out, the student did not get up right away to leave. He didn't have an ID to show, and when he was asked to leave, he didn't. That's why the campus police were called in - by this time it was a few minutes later, and he was still in the computer lab. At least, that's what the news story from the Daily Bruin says in the link that was posted.

Just to add...

I'm not saying that the student deserved to get tasered for not leaving right away. But I can understand why the campus police would be called in, since he had already been asked to leave and didn't.

Actually, an eyewitness describes it thus:blakeross.com>
"I don’t know if he had been struggling up to this point, but when I got there he was pretty much subdued and the officers were doing the struggling (turning him over to finish cuffing him, manhandling him pretty much). He yelled a few things during this time and you can hear it all on the video. Then the officers were dragging him up from his arms and demanding that he stand up. He looked really messed up at this point, as if he had just ran a race or something. His face was kind of pinkish (probably from the shock and all the shouting) and his body was slumped. I started saying to him “get up dude, just get upâ€, and I think some other people may have been encouraging him. He wasn’t making a move and just about then they shocked him again."

GregS: how many times does it take to get you to see or acknowledge that the police did something wrong here? Or what would it take before you would admit the cops acted wrongly here? Do the cops have to murder the kid with their revolvers or machine guns blazing, in front of "official" network TV cameras, and the videotape notarized by three rich Republican conservatives, before you would admit something is amiss here? I don't think you are a stupid person, so assuming that's not the reason, what could it be? Perhaps not enough facts? Let's try further, again, though I suspect trying to convince you away from your titanium-harderned position is futility incarnate.

In an excellent blog posting, the blogger repeats an eyewitness's account here: http://www.blakeross.com/2006/11/17/on-the-ucla-ta sering/blakeross.com>. Check it out, it's at the last 1/4 or so of the whole page. He mentions that the police handcuffed the student, yet continued zapping him with the taser. Witness: "I hadn't seen what led to the first shock, but I did see the time in between and the second shock was completely unjustifiable. He was definitely not being violent, he wasn't moving, at all. A few of us were shouting as they led him down the stairway and shocked him right there going down and he fell pretty hard on the tiles of the steps (I think you can see him flying up on the video)." An LA Times article supports this:

"It was beyond grotesque," said UCLA graduate David Remesnitsky of Los Angeles, who witnessed the incident. "By the end they took him over the stairs, lifted him up and Tasered him on his rear end. It seemed like it was inappropriately placed. The Tasering was so unnecessary and they just kept doing it." Campus police confirmed that Tabatabainejad was stunned "multiple" times. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/californi a/la-me-cellcamera16nov16,1,2951795.story?ctrack=1 &cset=truelatimes.com>

The blogger's observations on this are astute: "A slight student surrounded by at least four policemen was tasered at least three additional times after being handcuffed. If the cops believed Mostafa was consciously refusing to leave, they had more than enough manpower to lift him up and carry him out the nearby exit without risk of personal injury - which appears to be what they ultimately did anyway. The UCPD's official account [pdf] neglects to acknowledge that Mostafa was restrained and also omits the number of times the Taser was actually used on him."

In addition to all of this, when one particular policeman was asked for his badge number, he responded by pointing the taser device at him - more than once - and threatening to use it on him. This is illegal - a police officer cannot threaten to assault someone who asks for his badge number and name.

Now in the light of this, if you still cannot admit there is something way wrong with police conduct here, then I'll likely be compelled to consider the possibility that you are indeed stupid, at least on this issue.

I've 'acknowledged' a number of times now that the police did something wrong. When are you going to 'acknowledge' that the student did something wrong?

Whatever the kid did wrong, it was minor, minisicule, microscopic in the the size of its "wrongness" and hence, hardly worth mentioning. Above all, the kid did nothing "bad" enough to deserve to be tasered. And *that* is the most significant element of the police misconduct here you refuse to acknowledge. Wherever you do mention or allude to something that does show a dim awareness - at best - of police misconduct, it is very soft-pedalled and extremely mildly stated. Your outrage is reserved for the kid, however tiny his "crime," not the police, whose wrong actions far outpace the kid's. I mean , what the hell is the point of having and enforcing "laws" in society if the law and its enforcement are much worse than the crime it is used against?

And further, this is just a kid, after all, probably dopey and arrogant and immature to some degree or other, like so many (though not all) to be found wandering college campuses, but for this reason, police need to allow a little bit of slack and not assume the worst, as did these arrogant and stupid *adult* police in this incident, and whom one thinks should have known better. (But then again, the kid did look like an Ay-rab, so it's ok to assume the worst, right?)

In light of this, why is it you conservatives alwasy knee-jerk jump to the defense of the strongest and well-funded in society against the weakest and most vulnerable?

He didn't get Tasered because he refused to leave. The Taser is not some type of extrajudicial punishment. He was tasered because he actively resisted police and it is quite preferable to a brawl where the arrestee, the officers and bystanders can be hurt.

Your rhetoric is tiresome. I only read to the part where you mentioned police revolvers or machine guns. Insofar as the officers had neither revolvers nor machine guns I drew the conclusion that you have no desire to discuss facts but simply wish to spout nonsense.

What pray tell were you arrested for that you insist you did not do? That is the only reason I can fathom for your uninformed venom.

Oh but you omit some important facts - he was tasered multiple times after being handcuffed by four men. I guess four grown men with lots of physical experience with bad boys could not handle what one report said was a slightly built student, so they tasered him. They did the professional thing, I guess, or perhaps the police were much smaller than the student, and built like munchkins or something. A taser would surely have been in order in such a case. And you omit the fact the student was heading out for the door and was tasered only after objecting to being touched.

Based on preliminary reports, this is what seems to have happened on Tuesday evening: Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was quietly studying in the campus library around 11:30pm. Campus police asked him for his ID, a usual procedure. Mostafa didn't have it with him and walked toward the exit.

None of the reports say that, the closest is from the LATimes:

When Tabatabainejad, 23, refused to provide his ID to the community service officer, the officer told him he would have to show it or leave the library, the report said.

After repeated requests, the officer left and returned with campus police, who asked Tabatabainejad to leave "multiple times," according to a statement by the UCLA Police Department.

"He continued to refuse," the statement said. "As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building."

Witnesses disputed that account, saying that when campus police arrived, Tabatabainejad had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack. When an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, the witnesses said, Tabatabainejad told the officer to let go, yelling "Get off me" several times.

In other words he was only willing to follow direction once it was clear he was outnumbered. Too little too late.

And since when does someone's personal email qualify as a news source?

After a cop has to get back-up you don't get to run away. You have to explain your actions. And his 'objecting to being touch' was a loud yelling "Don't Touch Me!!"

I work in a college library. The general public does come in and use our facilities. We have the police in here on an almost daily basis dealing with crime. They do not know who is a student or who is a criminal or whatever until they get more information from that patron - such as asking for ID. I've seen many stories in the news about police making simple routine inquiries and stops that turn out to be much much more. They have to approach every situation with caution and if a person is giving them trouble, they need to more vigilant and may have to use back up help and tasers to ensure their safety and everyone elses. The student was behaving like an ass and the police let the situation get away from them.

I had a revolver once, a S&W Model 19. I really hated cleaning that thing. It was hard chromed and every bit of burnt powder and lead or jacket shavings would glare out at me. And then, I'd shoot .38s through it and getting that ring out of the chambers was a major pain in the ass. I'm glad I sold it.

So you're saying he should be tasered for merely yelling his objections, and 4-5 times later, for good measure? And with a device that's been proven to kill almost several hundred people so far, according to one of the LA Times articles? Isn't this kind of brutal? If you have them, I fear a little for your kids.

I's not personal e-mail ...He's a reporter.


the e-mail is his news letter...

If I had kids they'd never pull stunt a like that because, yes, I'd be more frightening then any taser. I do have nieces and nephews, they love me and I love them, but they also know to be more frightened of me then a taser.

If you have kids I feel sorry for the reality check they are in for when going out into the real world.

I've never been arrested, so your theory behind what you call my "uninformed venom" falls apart.

For certain kinds of people, seeing someone express strong objections to injustice, becuase it is simply wrong, especially when it is based on massive state power, is what is really unfathomable.

What makes people like you, I wonder, support excess violence of the strong and well-funded against the weak and vulnerable? Since you openly speculate about the possible influence of my being arrested, I feel free to openly speculate about your childhood: what happened to you as a kid to make you approve or support electrocuting a kid with a taser - a potentially deadly device, according to an LA Times article - for a minor offense? Must have been exceptionally brutal, and perhaps "the only reason I can fathom for your uninformed venom."

My rhetorical device of mentioning police with guns is obviously above your head, so I won't bother asking to read the whole post, and more carefully. If you did, you'd be hard put accusing me of being uninformed. Look in the mirror if you want to see where the venom actually originates from.

I agree: they must approach with caution, but not respond with brutality when it's a minor problem.

I did hospital police work long ago, decades ago, and I have personally helped hog tie, with 6 other guys, various people high and superhumanly strong on angel dust, numerous times in that job. I have thrown out druggies and vagrants of various sorts from the hospital in every case without touching them, and could have beat the crap out of a few without getting into trouble, but didn't, ever. I was quite prepared, however, to use violence, e.g., in a clear case of a man who was about to re-assault his girlfriend after she arrived at the hospital - I literallly stood between him and her, when she was all bloodied-up on the gurney. I guess it was my size (I'm big)- since he was a relatively small punk - that made him back off. (I wonder what all the prejudiced, no-nothing or know-it-all conservative trolls - relatives in spirit to the laptop bombardiers of the neoconservatives who send people to war from the safety of their living rooms - here think about that - about someone who did police work but who also objects to excess force.)

Violence and touching are necessary, of course, in police work. But not in this case.