A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, November 19, 2006

UCLA student "stunned" at library

A student at UCLA was TASERed when he repeatedly refused to provide ID at a campus library's computer lab:
The student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, was shocked Tuesday at about 11 p.m. as police did a routine check of student IDs at the University of California, Los Angeles Powell Library computer lab.

"This is a long-standing library policy to ensure the safety of students during the late-night hours," said UCLA Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein.

She said police tried to escort Tabatabainejad, 23, out of the library after he refused to provide identification. Tabatabainejad instead encouraged others at the library to join his resistance, and when a crowd began to gather, police used the stun gun on him, Greenstein said.

Tabatabainejad was arrested for resisting and obstructing a police officer and later released on his own recognizance. He declined to comment Wednesday night.

The incident was recorded on another student's camera phone and showed Tabatabainejad screaming while on the floor of the computer lab.

Of course, people don't HAVE to provide ID-- but they can be detained if they refuse, and police have just cause. I can also see why a college campus would want to verify that its facilities are being used by actual students and not outsiders. After all, students pay outrageous tuition and fees at UCLA to be able to take advanatage of all the campus has to offer.

The ID thing is a touchy subject for me, anyway. If Ms. Cornelius was the Queen of the School, students would have to have their IDs on to be able to access any school property, including buses. That's the way it is at my husband's workplace, and most of the workplaces in our area. There have been incidents of people posing as students and invading schools and buses in the region already. Why wait for a tragedy?

I can't wait to hear the rest of this story. Anyone on the Left Coast wiling to provide some background?

10 Comments:

At 11/19/06, 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not on the left coast myself (and strange that a story like this comes from a place like UCLA), but even in the case of refusing to provide and ID, tasering someone seems harsh.

Most universities allow access to their campuses and libraries to a certain point, but usually only allow students with a valid ID late at night (my local university UT-Arlington kicks non-students out at midnight but allows public access to the library until then). And most computer labs require an ID to log on to their system though one can get 'guest' IDs at some of the facilities.

I agree that non-university shools should require ID to access the campus itself, but universities hold so many public events and allow public access to many buildings, I think ID requirements to the campus would be a bit stiff. But as far as secondary and elementary schools, I'm all for stricter ID requirements.

 
At 11/19/06, 7:14 PM, Blogger The MAN Fan Club said...

I agree with you. Why not require students to wear ID badges. Although it would be easy to pull off a fake or have identy theft with a badge. The guy could have made it easy on himself and just provided an ID.

 
At 11/20/06, 12:56 AM, Blogger Unwilling Participant said...

This guy was clearly trying to make a scene by not listening to the police and he got exactly what he wanted.

 
At 11/20/06, 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No but think about it..... to what point in the police state have we gotten to that one can be tourtured by electric shock, for not showing your papers. listen to the whole video. The police threaten other students with tasering when they ask for badge numbers and tell the cops to stop hurting him. It is completely unjust.

 
At 11/20/06, 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No but think about it..... to what point in the police state have we gotten to that one can be tourtured by electric shock, for not showing your papers. listen to the whole video. The police threaten other students with tasering when they ask for badge numbers and tell the cops to stop hurting him. It is completely unjust.

 
At 11/20/06, 7:31 AM, Anonymous oxeador said...

The guy was tasered repeated times, including when he was lying on the floor, including when he was handcuffed.

If the rule says that students need to provide ID to stay in the library (which I find a perfectly reasonable rule) and he failed to do so, the police can and should escort him out. They can even physically remove him out of the building if needed (particulary easy once he is lying in the floor handcuffed). But to continue tasering him then is not "getting what he wanted". It is unneeded brutality and it should be punished.

And yes, the officers threaten other students who were just asking for their badge numbers with tasering them, too. How can you possibly justify that?

 
At 11/20/06, 7:05 PM, Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

He says he was singled out. It seems to me that if the police were doing a routine ID check they would have been moving from one person to the next, asking for IDs, so that when they got to him it wouldn't have seemed out of place. One doesn't know what happened, of course. Maybe they were doing that and he just had a chip on his shoulder.

But I do NOT want to live in a country where I have to show my papers upon request (unless I'm driving a car.) Anybody who has read anything about living under totalitarian governments should have their hair stand on end when they read that.

If the library has clearly posted rules that say that only students with valid IDs are allowed after X time, and they must be prepared to show their IDs after that, then that's a different story and he should have been ready to show his ID. Still, tasering was ridiculous. People have died from that.

 
At 11/20/06, 7:21 PM, Blogger Wulf said...

The police threaten other students with tasering when they ask for badge numbers and tell the cops to stop hurting him.

That's not what I heard. I heard them telling students that they needed to stay back, which is a perfectly reasonable thing for the cops to demand. When the crowd began to press forward and shout things (even reasonable things), the cops absolutely have to try to diffuse that, even if it means pointing out that interference will be met with force. They simply cannot take chances by letting the crowd intervene.

On top of which, they didn't tase him for refusing to show papers. The police never asked for papers. They were called after he refused to show papers to campus security and refused to leave the library. If he had either ID'd himself or left when asked, the police never even would have been called. They tased him when he resisted their efforts to remove him from the premises, which is their job.

The main issue that I see is that the police tasered the student while he was handcuffed and prone. If he wasn't attacking them, then they were out of line. The video I've seen is very inconclusive, but it doesn't appear that he was attacking them.

Oh, and I will definitely agree that the student was causing a scene and did in fact try to escalate the situation. Especially when he was screaming at them "I SAID I WOULD LEAVE", even as he continued to refuse to get up and leave. If at any time he had complied with the police, he would not have been tased further. That doesn't justify the repeated tasings when he was cuffed, but he definitely wanted (and got) a lot of attention.

 
At 11/21/06, 8:07 AM, Blogger MommyProf said...

Students middle school age and up wear IDs in Mid-Sized City. They don't think it is a big deal. They also wear uniforms in public school.

 
At 11/22/06, 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you Google the words (Holyfield Stun Gun) you will find a story that is worth saturating living rooms with. But our Media is too cowardly to make a big deal out of a 17 year old kid being stun gunned to death for holding a Bible and saying (I want Jesus).
Mat Lauer and Kattie Curic have selective outrage. And the Sheep will follow. Outrage is brain washing, because of his religion.

 

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