December 9th, 2006
|jimbojones||11:24 am - "Here's your fucking Patriot Act, right here!"|
In mid-November, in a display reminiscent of - but frankly considerably worse than - the Rodney King incident, UCLA police multiply tasered a student in a campus library after cuffing him, while he was motionless on the floor. The reason? He was lying there - cuffed - and not getting up under his own power. (After being tasered.) There were no less than FOUR policemen there, which is certainly more than enough manpower to muscle a cuffed-and-not-struggling college student (who appears to weigh all of a buck thirty soaking wet) out the door.
What is perhaps even more disturbing is the slant that the major media is putting on the story. Compare the AP story, reprinted by CNN here, with the footage shot on-scene by another student here and the eyewitness account here.
It can be a scary and dangerous thing to be a police officer. I actually had some sympathy for the cops in the Rodney King beating because, you know, the jackass did have a knife in his pocket and he kept fucking reaching for it. Where those cops were out of line was that they had more than sufficient manpower on the scene to simply "swarm" and cuff Rodney (a textbook police maneuver where one officer gets each arm and just faceplants the perp and cuffs his hands behind his back) rather than continually smacking him with the nightstick and waiting to see if he'd try it again.
What THESE officers did was considerably worse. They already HAD their "perp" - a slightly built college kid - cuffed and lying motionless on the ground, and they shot him with a Taser over and fucking OVER again for not getting up. They were in ABSOLUTELY no danger at that point. Further, nobody including the police has suggested that the student in question either directly assaulted an officer OR made a move to stick his hands in his pockets. The accounts given state that he initially raised his hands, and subsequently lay - cuffed - on the floor motionlessly.
If you can't figure out, with four officers on scene, how to get a motionless and cuffed (AND scrawny) college kid into a cruiser, you don't belong on the police force. PERIOD.
And yes, this IS our fucking Patriot Act. Right here. And I don't like it.
Current Mood: angry
Current Music: Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade
Still 20 or 30 years ago a person would never think of shooting a cop..
I dunno about that Devvie. Actually I was thinking it was a little more towards the opposite - 30 years ago was the Woodstock era; if a couple of campus cops had pulled this kind of shit in the 60's or 70's the crowd of students would have rioted and beat the living shit out of them.
Which, frankly, would have been well-deserved. This kind of thing called
for a student riot, if you ask me. There's only so much you should have to put up with.
Okay, I watched the video and read up on the event...and since you brought this to my attention, I'm gonna put in my two cents worth.
First off, yes, what they did was wrong. It was excessive force, and they tasered him too many times. I agree with Blake Ross, with the four officers there, they had more than enough manpower to escort the suspect out, there was no need to use that much force.
However, while this is true, there are a few things that need to be said.
Before I get into it...I know a lot of cops...my dad worked for the Lexington County Sheriff's Office for 10 years, taught at the Academy for 4 years, and he's now a DEA agent. Plus I worked at Wright-Johnston Uniforms, which outfits most of the police departments in South Carolina...so while I'm not a police officer, I do have a bit more insight into their mindset than some folks.
- Police work is incredibly dangerous. You wake up every morning knowing that there are people out there who want to kill you just because you wear that badge, and when you go to sleep at night, you're thankful that you didn't run into any of those people today. Also, cops aren't some kind of law enforcement robots, they're human, like you or me.
- First off, you're wrong...this has absolutely nothing to do with the Patriot Act. Nothing at all. This is a matter of police and university policy.
- The video leaves a lot to be desired. It's very low-quality, and it's very difficult to see what's going on due to the angle that it's shot at.
I never heard the officer threaten the guy in the white shirt with being tasered, but the audio is horrible, so that's not suprising.
- About the aformentioned threat: I can understand the officer making the threat while in the library, because at that time the four officers were outnumbered by quite a few students with attitudes bordering on openly hosilte. From the LA Times: "The officers decided to use the Taser to incapacitate Tabatabainejad after he went limp while they were escorting him out and after he urged other library patrons to join his resistance, according to the university's account."
And here's the "threatened student's" own account.
"We continued complaining as the student was being dragged out, but he was badly obscured at this point by several officers and security guards. Then another officer approached me directly and told me to back up, to which I replied with some witty remark about the limits of his authority in the situation. He told me again to back up, and I said something like “I just want your badge numbers” and he told me again to back up right now and that if I didn’t move back I would be tased too. I didn’t move and looked at him directly , at which point he raised his taser gun and pointed it at me (I saw the red light glow right in the center of it) and said “try me”. I turned around and lifted my hands.
Notice how he doesn't seem to recall the "witty remark" he used? Chances are, it was probably insulting. Plus, when a police officer asks you to back up, YOU BACK UP. When you start to screw with a police officer who's already in the middle of a volatile situation, he's probably not going to be polite.
As I said before what they did was very wrong. They could have escorted him out of the library without resorting to the taser at any point, much less multiple times. There is no excuse for their actions.
I just wanted to offer forth some views from the other side, though...like I said, cops are human, just like you and me. It's a really tough job.
I already alluded to the dangerous nature of what cops do. I even expressed some sympathy for the cops who beat the shit out of Rodney King, and god knows they fucked up.
There is. No. Excuse. For the behavior of the cops in this incident. None. If you're too much of a weak sister to muscle a handcuffed - and LIMP, for christ's sake - teenager into a cruiser with three other officers available, without needing to resort to repeatedly tasing the kid in question, you have no fucking business on the force. If you are too much of a weak sister to stand up to all of 20 or so college kids - none of whom so much as makes a threatening gesture at you - with three other officers present, you have no fucking business on the force.
You aren't the only one who knows - or has worked with - police. I mean, jesus christ, if you want to play the "the poor officers got scared" card on THIS one, how would you expect the same officers to react in a REALLY tense situation - say, responding to a barroom brawl? Or, god forbid, a really nasty domestic?
And like I said, I agree with you. There is no excuse for their actions. The four of them should have been able to move him without the taser, if he was willing or not.
Universtiy cops are an odd breed. They deal with a different set of problems than "normal" cops, and they're typically not in a great deal of danger, so that may have contributed to their reactions...they had no idea how to react...and if that's the case, then that's not right either, because they SHOULD be trained to deal with it.
And it looks like the real problem here is the officer who decided to use the taser in the first place. Apparently that guy has a less than stellar record when it comes to determining the level of force needed to deal with a given situation....Article About The Officer
After reading that particular story, it seems to me that this guy shouldn't be on any police force, period.