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Eyewitness account of the UCLA tasering incident

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:46 AM
Original message
Eyewitness account of the UCLA tasering incident


http://www.blakeross.com/2006/11/17/on-the-ucla-taserin...

Account from eyewitness UCLA student Mher (last name withheld):
The first thing I noticed was the student shout dont touch me the very first time when he was still as his desk (a little earlier than when the camera began to roll I believe. I was about 30 feet away from him.) I hadnt noticed the policemen come in. I looked over and I saw the student standing up, his hands were in the air in a very get your hands off me manner. One of the police officers did in fact have his hands on him and was grabbing one of his right arms, or maybe more but I didnt pay too much attention to it right away (I was doing work on the computer). I returned to typing as it seemed that he was just going to escorted out. I thought the incident was over then and went back to my paper. A very short time later (maybe Id estimate 30 secondsish) I heard him again, but this time farther down by the exit of the computer lab, shouting dont touch me and soon after the shock.

I was stunned and I think most other people were stunned as well. One girl started trotting over from where I was and said you cant do that. I got up soon after and walked over. I didnt see what happened before the first shock, but I soon approached and saw him held on the ground by the officers and in the midst of being cuffed. I dont 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 up, and I think some other people may have been encouraging him. He wasnt making a move and just about then they shocked him again.

At this point a couple of other students and I started shouting back at the cops. I hadnt 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 wasnt 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). They dragged him down to the entrance foyer and there I, and a couple other students became more vocal. The CSOs were trying to block us off at this point, but they were porous and few. Several students had been demanding badge numbers, but the 2 officers had obviously not responded up to that point, and never did. (The student was shocked AT LEAST two more times before he was finally dragged out of the building.)

In the foyer, there were a few other officers. One of them came to approach us. One other student and I started speaking with this officer, saying mostly 1) this student is being assaulted by these officers and you have to stop this and 2) we want the names and badge numbers of all the officers there. He told us that we would get them and that we needed to calm down. The student was pretty much motionless at this point except for the few times he was being tased. 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 didnt move back I would be tased too. I didnt 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.....

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. The students seem to have been more active than some give them credit for


I walked around and approached the other officer I had talked to earlier. I again asked for badge numbers. One of the officers (cant clearly remember which one or what number it was) responded with a single three digit number (which I am assuming was his own) and I saw the officer who had threatened me earlier walking out. I was held up for a couple seconds when the badge numbers of the two assaulting officers were given then walked out to follow the officer who had left. He was down below the stairs where there were about 5 police cars parked all facing the library. I trotted down and he immediately started approaching me. I said I want your badge number. He continued approaching me and pointed his taser gun at me again and told me to go back inside.

I walked back inside and started talking to people. I kept asking if anyone got all their badge numbers. One student assured me that he had gotten them. The whole place was buzzing at this point. People were talking, discussing, encouraging each other about doing things about it (which including calling news sources, writing to the chancellor, the regents, and the police department, etc.) It was here as I was talking to people that I first discovered that the initial violation had been that he didnt show identification. I persistently asked everyone I talked to if the officers had ever stated that they were arresting the student or if rights had been read. I even spoke to the student who was sitting near him when the officers first approached. Everyone of the students I spoke to said that they had heard no mentions of arrest or Miranda rights. We pieced the story together, bits and pieces, there among us all.

I went back and packed all my stuff and went for a coffee at the vending machines and made a call out to someone I knew from the daily bruin. When I returned another student was being kicked out of the library for an unrelated event by the two officers I had spoken to. I recognized the student and greeted him. They were very rude to both of us and continued to be as they got his information and eventually left. I went back in and finished what work I had to do and eventually went home.

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yeah I don't get the people who want the students to assault officers
Edited on Tue Nov-21-06 01:57 AM by Kagemusha
Prosecutors show no mercy when going after people who assault police officers.

Now, at any rate, I've read that the UCLA police have a policy of tasering people for non-compliance with officer commands. The officers in this case obeyed that policy to the brutal letter. Perhaps that's what amounts to normality with police to some but, I see it as a clearcut civil lawsuit.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. k&r thanks for posting this
Edited on Tue Nov-21-06 01:56 AM by uppityperson
check out the pdf police report linked on that page. 1 page thing, very sketchy.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thanks, I will
Appreciate the K & R too.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. Wow. I'd heard about this guy.
But I never knew he'd uttered the words "try me".

I think, at that point, the cop knew (or should have known) that there was some trouble brewin'.
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Joanie Baloney Donating Member (801 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Unintentional levity break
..."there was some trouble brewin'."



Brewin'...heh, heh. UCLA Bruin...heh, heh.

(sorry - can't help mahself)







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Crim_n al Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. It was the cop who said, "try me." Read it again and you'll see..
He was talking to another student, who was asking for badge numbers,
threatening to taser the student if he/she didn't "back off."

There is no suggestion that Mustapha ever said anything unco-operative or inflamatory.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. Ooops, guess I misread that.
Thanks.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. k&r. thank you for this important information, Nikki Stone1! eom
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. You're welcome
I wish I could find out why this thread has so many double postings...
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
7. All it would have taken is 2 or 3 students to lead the charge - sounds like the rest would
have followed suit. If a few students would have subdued and performed a citizens arrest on those cops, they would have had full support from the other students. The cops should have then been handcuffed by the students and had the proper authorities (Police & ACLU) called to the scene.
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Alexander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. If it's so easy, why don't YOU try it?
Because the cops would kick the shit out of you, you'd get thrown in jail and lawyers and judges would throw the book at you in court, that's why.

Nice try, keyboard commando.
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KaptBunnyPants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. He probably didn't try it because he wasn't at the UCLA library.
Weak excuse, I know. And throw the book at you for what, preventing the lawless assualt on a university student? Cops don't have the authority to violate the law, and citizens do have the authority and duty to stop them if they try. If citizens voluntarily give up that responsibility, then our transformation to a police state will be complete.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
30. Seeing that this particular "cop"
has a history of violence, it's a GOOD THING the students were to shocked to intervene. The filmed document and his "rap sheet" will suffice in this case. The waters are clear...
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
26. Is it ever justifiable for citizens to intervene with unlawful police/security conduct?
Yes or No?

How far would the cops have had to of gone before you would stand from the sidelines and say, "Why didn't anyone stop them?"

These are some questions this incident have stirred up that we need to be addressing.

I for one think that these campus security personnel went WAY past the line. I'm not saying that what the students did that day was wrong. No, in fact, many of them verbally challenged what the campus security were doing - which was good. It may have forced the campus security guys to restrain their actions - which left unchallenged by the students could have been MUCH worse.

Capturing it on video was just a lucky side effect of technology - video cell phones. Only one video came out of that crowd, and I doubt many people their knew at the time that the incident was being caught on video. Thanks to the forsight of that ONE student, the world got to see what happened.

All I'm saying is how much further would the campus security have had to of gone before the students realized that someone may die if they didn't intervene?

Please, don't get upset over my estimation that if just a few students started to intervene that more would have followed their lead. Disagree with it, but no need to get upset.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Try it yourself and see what happens, why don't you? Carry a note saying what do do w/ your remains
Or more optimistically, just be sure to carry your lawyer's phone number. You'll need it.

And do report back to us about your experience.

Those students were very pro-active and level-headed. They did everything right, and deserve our applause.

Hekate

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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Getting the tasering of the student and the behavior of the cops on video
was far more important than trying to jump the cops, imho.

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Try it yourself and see what happens, why don't you? Carry a note saying what do do w/ your remains
Or more optimistically, just be sure to carry your lawyer's phone number. You'll need it.

And do report back to us about your experience.

Those students were very pro-active and level-headed. They did everything right, and deserve our applause.

Hekate

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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. Hekate, you misunderstand my position.
You are defending the student's actions when I never criticized them. What the students did that day was great - they VERBALLY intervened which may have forced the campus security to restrain themselves. I don't condemn the students for doing that.

All I'm saying is that if a few students took the lead and physically intervened, I believe more would have joined in to help that student. You may think I'm dead wrong (obviously) - and that's cool. But their is no reason to loose your wits about it.

The point is, police/security personnel shouldn't feel so safe in the public that they can just break the law and beat the crap out of and potentially kill citizens without them having the fear of DIRECT public reaction. Abuse of authority should have NO PLACE in our society.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. At this point, the biggest charge against a student is resisting arrest.
The cops are in the biggest trouble.

If the students would have attacked the cops, many of them would have gone to jail and been indicted on an array of felonies. We had a cop threaten a student with extreme -- though nonlethal -- force for simply asking for the badge number. What would this pig do if you attacked him? People might have died.

Nope, this was handled just fine. The students showed what the cops did not: restraint and a respect for the law.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-22-06 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. Agreed. Thanks for your post
:)
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:38 AM
Response to Original message
8. UCLA had previously tried to fire cop who tasered the student according to LA Times.
He'd been involved in a couple of violent episodes, one of which was a shooting. Before joining the UCLA PD the cop had been fired by the Long Beach PD. Excerpt from article:

In May 1990, he was accused of using his nightstick to choke someone who was hanging out on a Saturday in front of a UCLA fraternity. Kente S. Scott alleged that Duren confronted him while he was walking on the street outside the Theta Xi fraternity house.

Scott sued the university, and according to court records, UCLA officials moved to have Duren dismissed from the police force. But after an independent administrative hearing, officials overturned the dismissal, suspending him for 90 days, according to court records. Duren on Monday disputed the allegations made by Scott.

In October 2003, Duren shot and wounded a homeless man he encountered in Kerckhoff Hall. Duren chased the man into a bathroom, where they struggled and he fired two shots.

The homeless man, Willie Davis Frazier, was later convicted of assaulting an officer. Duren said Frasier had tried to grab his gun during the struggle. But Frazier's attorney, John Raphling, said his client was mentally ill and didn't do anything to provoke the shooting.

Full article here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-taser21nov21,0,...
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. This guy sounds like a really bad apple.
Hope his days in law enforcement are over.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. The officer had been fired from Long Beach PD? What was UCLA thinking?!
This situation could have been avoided by not hiring a guy with such a record.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. The officer had been fired from Long Beach PD? What was UCLA thinking?!
This situation could have been avoided by not hiring a guy with such a record.
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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
14. Did ASchwarzenegger write this?
I realize it's a serious topic but I couldn't help but be amused by this student's account.

One of the police officers did in fact have his hands on him and was grabbing one of his right arms, or maybe more but I didnt pay too much attention to it right away
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Are you wondering
which one of his right arms?

I'm guessing this guy (the one who wrote this up) was pretty shaken by this. I know I recall things vividly when I start to write about them.



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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
16. Excellent. This will cost some people their jobs.
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Fierce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
22. Were they cops? I thought they were UCLA security guards.
?
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. They were campus police, not security guards.
They were real cops.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
25. kick
:kick:
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
27. It makes me sick reading about it.
If there was one bad cop - that's bad enough - but what's with all of the other cops going along with him.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. I know.
It's amazing how things can get so out of hand so quickly. Those cops need to be tried criminally.
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DemoDemoCratCrat Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-22-06 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
34. Looks like I was wrong
Time for me to eat crow. Last week I gave the cops a lot more credit than they deserved, it seems.
After reading this, I can't think of anything to say on their behalf.
Thanks, Nikki, for posting this and thanks student Mher for writing the account.
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