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November 19, 2006

Fracas At Powell

This is what happens when our Universities' social science departments are filled with former radicals.

According to an extremely biased article in the Daily Bruin,

Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was repeatedly stunned with a Taser and then taken into custody when he did not exit the CLICC Lab in Powell Library in a timely manner. Community Service Officers had asked Tabatabainejad to leave after he failed to produce his BruinCard during a random check at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
I think the UC police didn't handle the situation the best way possible either. They should have carried the guy outside as soon as he was handcuffed and then waited for backup. Using a taser to get him to comply with their orders was not going to work, since it was clear the guy was bent on creating a scene.

But the responsibility for this whole ugly incident lies solely with Mr. Mostafa Tabatabainejad. If you don't have your ID card, go back to your room and get it. If they call the police on you, apologize politely and leave the library. Otherwise, they might just taser your idiot ass.

Plus, when students are indoctrinated by professors who are former radicals constantly reliving the glory days of the 60's in class (I went to Berkeley, remember) it's pretty hard not to view all police interactions as if we lived in Franco's Spain. But we don't.

Update: h/t to TBinSTL for this appropriate PSA, by Chris Rock.

Posted by annika, Nov. 19, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


This story immediately made me think of this bit:

Posted by: TBinSTL on Nov. 19, 2006

A perfect example of hesitating to use appropriate force leading to the use of excessive force. If they had not tried to bandy words with the fuck, and simply tackled, cuffed, and drug him away when he wouldn't comply. There would have been no tazing.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 20, 2006

Screw the taser, they should have beat the fark out of him like Rodney King.

Posted by: kyle8 on Nov. 20, 2006

Apparently the UCPD have greater latitude in using the taser against passive resisters than the LAPD or Sheriff's Office do. And they used it in "drive-stun" mode, which apparently isn't as painful or debilitating as then they shoot the barbs into you and give you the full treatment. I think people are overreacting to the connotations of "taser."

Posted by: Jim Treacher on Nov. 20, 2006

You're right Jim. He shoulda been floppin' like a fish, and trying to breath, not screaming. Still, it's hard to breath/scream with a knee in the back of your neck, and your face in the dirt.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 20, 2006

i thought the same thing Casca. i've never been tasered, obviously, but i heard you really can't move for a long time. The fact that he was able to scream like that seems to indicate that he was not immobilized as some later claim.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 20, 2006


Another example of dumb ass police or whatever these sadists are, not applying the basic rules that they were, more than likely, taught. The man posed no threat to anybody or property. His infraction was disobeying a rule about ID, not committing a crime. (I wonder if his name and picture were available on the library computer.) Nevertheless, refusing to leave to get ID, while an infraction of the rules is, without some additional evidence that he didn't belong there, or was acting erratically or was engaged in suspicious behavior, is not justification for violent eviction. If he didn't leave when asked, an officer should have stayed with him while his partner went for civilian authority to intervene or his shift commander. Since the "police" are the agents of the school and presumably have the best interest of the school and its students in mind, the school admin should have made the next decision: Send him to get his card, take him at his word or another simple, civil, appropriate action. If all else fails it is the call of the administrator to have the police remove him or not from the premises. Two officers certainly are capable of cuffing him and walking or dragging him out donít you think? As I said, no harm to property or another student or facility member had occurred or was imminent. Why use force? Patience and procedure and calm will almost always solve matters like this without violence. With what I saw and heard on the video, the school has exposure in a law suit. To say everything that happened to him, since it stemmed from his bad act, is his fault is too simplistic; nor does it excuse the possibly illegal acts that may have followed.

Annie, I wonít even address your remarks about this encounter being the result of a liberal hiring bias by the university. I hope you were kidding.

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 20, 2006

Typical, Straw: The individual has no responsibility for his actions. His actions and your ridiculously moronic response above are also typical of the Left's total lack of respect for authority or institutions. What if everybody decided, as this jack*ss did, that rules don't matter? What if everybody decided it was OK to incite violence against law enforcement? (For now on, if I don't like a rule or a law, f*ck it, I'm breaking that rule/law. I've got rights, ya know!!!!! Man, I wish I was a minority so I could yell discrimination when the authorities decided that I need to abide by the law.)

Any sane, civilization-loving, fair-minded person who saw or heard about this incident understands that it was totally and absolutely brought on by that moron. To argue any differently is simply more proof of a lack of seriousness and a lack of respect for our culture.

Posted by: blu on Nov. 20, 2006


He absolutly has responsibility and he did instigate the event by not having his required ID card but and I know this is a hard concept for you to grasp, the ends do not justify the means. We are a civilized society, or at least tell the rest of the world we are. The students in Tienemen Sq. were in violation of rules and brought the violence upon themselves, right Blu. Or is it different when a totaltarian govt. engages in violence against its constitutients difffernt than a "free" society doing the same? You wept for the chinese, why not this guy? He did not willfully break a rule, remember that word Blu, because he did not break the law, he then refused( I have not read an account of his first response or the police's first response, have you?) it seems, to comply with an order.

He may be disrespectful of authority and may not like taking responsibility for his behavior, but the police are not in the business of administering moral and ethical lessons, just enforcing the rules which they could have done in any number of ways that would not have resulted in bodily harm, mayhem, and a complete upset to all those who were in the vicinity. If you had been working late on a paper that night which way would you have liked for this event to have gone? A cop standing with the guy, talking to him about the consequences of his actions while more authority arrived and possibly walking him out or the school waiving the ID card rule to preserve order, or with adaquite force firmly escorting him out the door.

Do not make judgements about my philosophy of life or distane for your precious rules, just judge me by what would have ben the outcome if my strategy had been employed. What WORKS is what is important, not the sophists complaint of "what if everybody........ergo the end of civilization"
Only those with no faith in humankind and the strength of the values they hold dear worry about such nonsence.

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 20, 2006

Nice try, Straw....but I've seen the video. Have you?

He was given so many opportunities to get up and leave and do what he was told it is nearly impossible to count. He purposely refused, obviously hoping to start an altercation. In a beter world, the students would have supported the police and ignored him. Your cute little scenario where the cops talk to him and tell him about possible consequenes all happened. He refused to comply for several minutes. Fuck him.

And what sort of a morally and ethically challenged person would ever compare the childish antics of a pampered, America-hating leftist moron to the heroes of Tienemen Sq?

Posted by: blu on Nov. 20, 2006


Lawbreakers are law breakers Blu. Nicht Wahr? Not hero's unless you are willing to allow that from time to time one may break laws they don't like asserting their higher moral or ethical authority and of course threaten the government with anarchy and worse. Sort of like the standards we held the German people to after the war.

Herr Muller: Yes, I saw them dragging the Jew down the hall and repeatedly applying electrical shocks to his body.

DA: Had you seen or heard the offense committed by the Jew?

Herr Muller: Yes, he did not haff his papers with him.

DA: Do you know the Jew later died from heart failure, Herr Muller?

Herr Muller: Got sie dank!! That is terrible.

DA: Did you, Herr Muller, when you saw the police dragging and torturing this man consider that you might come to his assistance?

Herr Muller: Nein, never! Herr Prosecutor, I was ordered to stand at a distance and remember, Herr Prosecutor, he did not haff his papers! Our country is based on the rule of law and we cannot tolerate those who would abuse and mock it. Nein, it will mean the end of us if we don't act with strength against these people. They wish to tear our society down, these agents of Stalin.

DA: Herr Muller, if this man had been your son or wife would you have tried to protect them from the Gestapo?

Herr Muller: Oh, ya, certainly I would have tried. Of course, thatís' another story, I would not let my son endure torture & brutality just for not haffing his papers. This would not be richtig; he is not a Jew, not a communist, Her Prosecutor he luffs Germany.

In a better time in our country, Blu, the students would have overpowered the police and held them accountable for their needless brutality. Just as any passerbyís might have done the same on behalf of Rodney King

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 20, 2006

Did you really just compare that pathetic, spoiled brat to a Jew in the Halocaust? Really?

That's stunning. Beyond contemptible. I'll let somebody else address that sickening, vile post.

Posted by: blu on Nov. 20, 2006

"Another example of dumb ass police or whatever these sadists are, not applying the basic rules that they were, more than likely, taught."


Posted by: Jim Treacher on Nov. 20, 2006


Did we just read the same instructions?

Once in handcuffs, what was the risk of injury to others?

What was the ugency of the matter?

How serious was the offense?

I read the instructions and see no point at which the taser should be used in situation at Powell.

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 20, 2006

"I read the instructions and see no point at which the taser should be used in situation at Powell."

Imagine that.

Posted by: Jim Treacher on Nov. 20, 2006


Were the police excessive? I don't know, but I don't think so. The video doesn't show what's going on at the beginning. You can hear them giving directions and orders, and you can hear shouts of "get your hands off me." Sounds like resisting to me.

This starts with dude Rule #1 for dealing with the police: "Don't argue." Even Chris Rock knows that. (Great PSA, BTW.) If a cop says, "Get up!" then you get the fuck up. If you think he gave you an unlawful order, then pursue your civil remedies later of face the (often physical) consequences.

The dude wasn't supposed to be there. He didn't have his ID. Someone in the school administration already made the decision to call the police. The police responded to the call and investigated, as police are supposed to do. The guy couldn't show any ID and the police acted to enforce the rule that says (apparently): "No ID, get out."

It's a minor infraction, absolutely, but the guy refused. You can hear him refusing, you can hear him shouting "get your hands off me." At that precise moment he escalated the crime from simple infraction to California Penal Code 148, resisting arrest and/or interfering with the duties of a police officer, a misdemeanor.

At that moment the police can either: Walk away (from the incident and their duty), continue to negotiate (for compliance with the directive), or make the arrest (either through negotiation or physical force). I really don't know how long they talked to the guy, so I'll grant you that a few more minutes talking might have solved the entire matter.

They moved to remove the guy. He resisted, verbally and physically (passive non-compliance counts). The fight was on.

A taser is used to avoid physical force, i.e., blunt trauma weapons, i.e., fists and batons. All things considered, it's better than the ass whupping that usually comes along. Ask Rodney King. If the taser had worked on him (it didn't), the rest of the beating might never have happened. (And no, I'm not justifying the beating, just making a point: Which do you prefer, a brief shock or broken bones?)

No, I've never been tazed. Yes, I know people who have. They're cops. They are defensive tactics instructors. Cops get tazed before they're allowed to carry and use the taser. None of them screams like this idiot. They do fall to the ground, promptly get back up, and promise never to give the trigger man an excuse to zap them again.

From what that video shows, audio and video, the cops did fine.

Posted by: bob on Nov. 20, 2006


Thank you, Bob.


Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 22, 2006

Visiting on recommendation of the Big Hominid...interesting post and great vids....
as for the argument at hand...First of all, the video is incomplete fuzzy at best and we are all missing vital information about what happened in the beginning so it's difficult to make a fair judgement about the actions of the officers. Having spent some time as a lowly security guard and as a doorman in a busy nightclub I have had experience with tasers and I have been tased. The old style tasers will give you a good shock and knock you to the ground, it all depends on the voltage of the weapon and what part of the body is tased. This guy was obviously juiced up or just got his adrenalin going enough have the taser effect him less than it might effect a more docile victim (who obviously would not need to be tased at all). He was so far out of line he probably deserved a zap or two to get his attention. The police repeatedly told him to get up right after they tased him...STUPID!!! Those things make your legs feel like jello, he likely could not get up as quickly as they wanted him to and then they kept tasing him when he wouldn't comply...duh.
I have to agree with the original post. The guy was obviouly looking for trouble and he found it. The campus cops should have physically carried him outside after they tased him rather than telling him to get up over and over again and tasing him against the protests of other students. If he was handcuffed it wouldn't have been that hard for 4 cops (i saw at least that many) to drag or carry him outside to wait for the local cops to haul him off to jail for any number of offenses from disturbing the peace or inciting a riot (which as one poster noted might have happened in a darker time)failure to comply. Too bad there isn't a law against just plain stupidity cuz they would have to lock this guy up and throw away the key.

Posted by: fencerider on Nov. 23, 2006