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Refuse to show ID, get Tasered by angry cops with an attitude

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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3CdNgoC0cE

Articles on this incident:
http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38958
http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38960
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-cellcamera16nov16,1,2951795.story
http://cbs2.com/local/local_story_319101652.html

Other amateur video that seems to show LAPD brutality:
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/dan_glaister/2006/11/candid_cameras.html
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cellcamera16nov16,0,4794591.story

Response from civil liberty groups (courtesy of Marc Rotenberg):
http://www.acsblog.org/
http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/call_for_probe_of_ucla_muslim_student_taser_incident/0011752

Background on police use of tasers, which has resulted in deaths:
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR511392004
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engamr510302006

Excerpt:
"They have been used against unruly schoolchildren... and people who 
argue with police or fail to comply immediately with a command. Cases 
described in this report include the stunning of a 15-year-old 
schoolgirl in Florida, following a dispute on a bus, and a 13- year-old 
girl in Arizona, who threw a book in a public library."

-Declan

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Nov 16, 2006 in category privacy


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