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UCLA campus police torture student, in the library

  1. Nov 16, 2006 #1
    This is an unbelivably disturbing story; some seriously depraved "police" attacked and repeatedly tasered an immoblized student on the floor of the UCLA library, while a large crowd watched. The unarmed Muslim student allegedly became confrontational after been refused entrance (he forgot his campus ID card); he is then seen on video been tasered repeatedly on the ground, screaming in agony.

    http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38960 [Broken]
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/16021566.htm [Broken]

    The torture was captured on a cameraphone (warning: extremely graphic):

    very disturbing stuff

    (All this via http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/11/welcome_to_an_american_institu.php [Broken] blog).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2006 #2
    (I wasn't sure if which subforum this discussion belonged in, I put it in GD rather than PWA because it's not really politics and more of a general outrage issue. Mods, feel free to move it around as needed.)
  4. Nov 16, 2006 #3
    UCLA administration releases a truly spineless and insensitive press release (in my view):

    http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=7513 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. Nov 16, 2006 #4
    Another article, from the LA Times:

  6. Nov 16, 2006 #5
  7. Nov 16, 2006 #6


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    Any particular reason he refused to show I.D.? Sounds like this would have all been avoided if he produced I.D. for the security guards in the first place.
  8. Nov 16, 2006 #7
    How can you possibly care? :grumpy:

    Read the link. He was a student, he'd left his ID behind, became confrontational. Then he was *&$@ing tortured on the floor of a public library for six whole minutes.
  9. Nov 16, 2006 #8


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    Well, to be honest, he -was- resisting, and he -was- trying to incite others. Both of these behaviors are exactly what drive police officers nuts, and exactly the opposite of what you should do when you disagree with an officer's actions. Futhermore, it doesn't look like the student was actually Tasered -- the Taser shoots darts from a distance and has the sole purpose of completely immobilizing a person by knocking them out cold. The police were actually using a stun gun, apparently set to a pretty low setting, since the student obviously never came close to losing consciousness.

    So... my conclusions:

    1) The student was being a bit of a jackass for not just complying with the rule in the first place, and going back to his room to get his ID. You have to keep in mind that it's not really in the police's job description to decide to whom their rules should apply. If there's an unknown person in the library, that person must be made to leave, one way or another, even if it ends up taking six officers and stun guns to do it. The police would not have been doing their job if they had let this situation end in any other way besides physically removing this person.

    2) The cops were initially doing what they were trained to do in order to stop a subject from resisting them.

    3) The cops were NOT doing what they were trained to do by expecting the student to be physically able to get up and walk out unassisted after being stunned thirty seconds earlier. This is perhaps the ONLY part of the action that really seemed beyond protocol.

    4) The other students, who tried to interfere, get badge numbers, etc. were acting pretty inappropriately. A police officer involved in a physical confrontation is not going to stop and start writing things down. The officer viewed the other students as attempting to interfere with a legitimate arrest in response to a security rule being legitimately broken by an unknown person.

    5) The cops escalated their assault as the student continued to raise their hackles by yelling and screaming and trying to incite other students, rather than just complying and letting himself be escorted out.

    6) The cops probably all deserve to be fired for their behavior as I noted in (3), though I don't personally see any of this as entirely their "fault." The student really should have just walked out peacefully in the first place. You can hear clearly that he was told multiple times to leave, and was probably asked many more times before this cameraphone footage even began. He began the screaming and fighting -- the DON'T TOUCH ME nonsense -- not the cops. Not a whit of it was necessary.

    - Warren
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  10. Nov 16, 2006 #9


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    So sorry you want to look down on anyone who wants ALL of the facts before passing judgement on the police officers :uhh:

    I CARE because if he had no I.D. and no way to prove he is allowed to be there, while refusing to leave, the police have the responsibility to remove him.

    Perhaps they were a little trigger happy with the tazers, but this isn't a one-way street and police officers are trained to gain control of a situation using force.
  11. Nov 16, 2006 #10
    Wha.....??? There were multiple police officers, some standing around and watching the crowd. They were legally OBLIGATED to give their badge numbers, and could be fired for that refusal alone.
  12. Nov 16, 2006 #11
    You think repeated electric shocks on an immobilized student constitues necessary force? :uhh:
  13. Nov 16, 2006 #12


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    Perhaps you subscribe to a different set of personal laws than those actually used in the United States, but there's no obligation for an officer involved in any sort of confrontation or crowd-control activity to just stop in the middle of it and start writing down badge numbers as soon as someone asks for them. An officer's first priority is to protect himself and his fellow officers, and anyone in that mob in the library could have become a physical threat at any time -- and, judging by language and body language, a few of those students were threatening the officers.

    As I've said, the only blame I can place on the officers is on their repeated use of the stun gun, rather than just handcuffing the guy and dragging him out. That's enough, as I've said, to warrant dismissal -- but that's the only fault I assign to them.

    - Warren
  14. Nov 16, 2006 #13
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  15. Nov 16, 2006 #14


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    I have no sympathy for the jackass kid. If he had anything remotely resembling a brain, he'd had left quietly. What a moron. Hopefully this incident will get him expelled.

    I don't know what the campus police procedures are, but handcuffing and dragging him out might have worked, or it might have caused injuries to both the student and the police.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  16. Nov 16, 2006 #15
    This wasn't that far out of line. Did anyone else notice the student was much more concerned (initially) about making a scene than about actually leaving? Towards the beginning of the video (0:30?) he says he had already agreed to leave before he first got shocked. Why was he still there if he had already agreed to leave? But then, at about 2:30, he says, "OK, I'll leave", agreeing again to leave. Obviously, the first time he agreed to to leave he wasn't all that serious. Otherwise he wouldn't have been around for the second shock. Also note that the video begins with him (not the police) shouting. What he is saying, is "Don't you touch me!" The officers were not the ones determined to make a scene. The guy may or may not have already been shcoked before that, so we might have to cut him a little slack. I would tend to doubt they shocked him first. They probably nailed him only after he started shouting.

    And note how quickly he comes out with the "here's you F_ing Patriot Act".

    The police also said several times, "Stop fighting us," to which the student replied (quite forcefully) "I'm not fighting you!" He didn't sound exactly cooperative when he said it. You can form your own opinion, but he never once seemed to express any interest in actually doing anything he was told to do, he just wanted to say he was cooperating without actually cooperating.

    Here's a question I bet not one person here considered yet: did the police even realize he was a Moslem? He spoke completely unaccented English, and the video doesn't ever show him very clearly. I didn't see anything obvious like a turban, though. Merely being swarthy in California usually means you are Hispanic, not Moslem.

    The real lesson is very simple: if you are determined to yell at police officers, you are cutting into their tolerance. If you then refuse to do as they tell you, they will back it up with force. This isn't something you should have to learn in college. Most people know this well before they get there.
  17. Nov 16, 2006 #16
    That's my take on it. But their insistance he stand up reminded me of some weird run-ins I've had with police on campus as well.

    Often, the police are operating under very specific rules in a place like a campus, where weird behavior is the norm, and things are liekly to be other than they seem.

    There may very well have been a rule that if the student can walk out under his own power, you don't book him, and that students are to be removed forcibly only under very particular circumstances. Those rules may have been written assuming no one would be stupid enough to try passive resistance (refusing to leave) after getting tasered.

    Not once did the police sound like they were out of control. They certainly aounded annoyed, but not out of control.
  18. Nov 16, 2006 #17
    thats crazy... what the hack does all of this has to do with security..
    anyway, the guy wasnt a saint either, no one normal would react to shocking by saying "abuse of power"... he was trying to heat up the scene.

    but its not clear to me what happend, the camera didnt catch much of it..
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  19. Nov 16, 2006 #18


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    I'm with warren and Evo, with the exception of Warren's #3 - the YouTube clip shows pretty clearly that he was resisting the officers and that did justify zapping him again. He may have said 'I was leaving', but seconds later, when the cops order him to get up, he tells them to f-off. He was preaching to his choir, inciting them. What a great crop of hippies they are growing at that school. :rolleyes:
  20. Nov 16, 2006 #19
    Evo, chroot, and twisting_edge, I'm quite astonished by your opinions, I'm not arguing about the stupidity of this kid, but the extreme brutality shown by the police was uncalled for (which is why some might see it as a race crime), lets not forget that this was in a library of one of the most prestigious Univ in the world not in a bar or on the street, it seems to me that the police could clearly identify that the kid wasn't armed or extremely dangerous, and unless this kid was the only wise-ass who ever got into trouble with campus security and since I've never heard of this sort of cruel punishment before, I'd say that there was a motive behind the act of the police-men, maybe not a racist motive maybe it's just he thinks he's better than us envy.
  21. Nov 16, 2006 #20


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    Let's not bring race into this. It isn't necessary to explain the police's actions.

    The police have a duty to uphold all applicable rules and laws. One of the rules was that anyone in the library after 11 pm needed to have a university ID, or they must leave. This student didn't have an ID, and was not willing to leave peacefully. The officers really do not have a choice as to what must be done -- they are obligated to remove the person, by whatever means are necessary. They did not have the option of saying "ah, well, he's not armed, and well, he's probably a student, so we should let him stay even without his ID." This was not about his armament, or demeanor, or race, or anything else. This was about his lack of an ID, and their professional duty to uphold the university's rules. As I have said before, the police would not have been doing their job if this situation had ended in any other way except this person's physical removal. This person decided to resist to the point where it took several officers and a stun gun to remove him. So be it. He asked for it, and it could not have ended any other way. His race is absolutely unrelated to his treatment, and, unless you can prove otherwise, you should not be bringing up the topic of race.

    Besides, I really don't agree that this is some kind of extreme brutality. The stun gun was obviously set to one of its lowest settings (higher settings literally knock the victim instantly unconcious), and, while stun guns hurt, they are far from torturous. It's not as if they beat the kid with their nightsticks, pulled a gun, or even struck him with their fists -- all of which would have been far, far worse.

    - Warren
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