"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Monday, November 20, 2006

Security accused of Assault

Daily Bruin
“It is a real mistake to treat a Taser as some benign thing that painlessly brings people under control,” said Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.

“The Taser can be incredibly violent and result in death,” Eliasberg said.
According to an ACLU report, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.

During the altercation between Tabatabainejad and the officers, bystanders can be heard in the video repeatedly asking the officers to stop and requesting their names and identification numbers. The video showed one officer responding to a student by threatening that the student would “get Tased too.” At this point, the officer was still holding a Taser.

Such a threat of the use of force by a law enforcement officer in response to a request for a badge number is an “illegal assault,” Eliasberg said.

“It is absolutely illegal to threaten anyone who asks for a badge [number],” that’s assault,” he said.

OK, so after watching the video, this is my assesment.

An individual of Middle Eastern descent was sitting at a work station in the computer lounge at UCLA when for some unknown reason he attracts the attention of the campus security. When asked for his student ID, he becomes defiant and refuses to cooperate with the security officer. The officer then calls for additional assistance, and attempts to remove the individual from the building. The individual becomes increasingly combative and as a result is tased. Still unwilling to comply with campus security's request to stand up and exit the building, he is tased again repeatedly. Students who were also in the building become agitated begin to interfere with the officers during arrest and are told to back up or will also be tased and arrested. Seeing the quantity of students vs. the quantity of security officers, I'd say it was an uneasy position for the officers given the immediate circumstances, and their actions were completely justified.