Note: this is not safe for work or kids, people's language choices seem to veer sharply toward the objectionable when getting tasered.
The Register (UK)
CBS 2, KTAL, Los Angeles
In summary, the rules of the computer lab are that to remain in the lab after 11pm, you have to show a university ID. Apparently, the checks of ID are random, and the 23 year-old student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, refused to show his ID to the Community Service Officer, who serves as a guard in the library. He also refused a request to leave if he didn't or wouldn't show his ID. At this point (11:30 p.m., apparently), officers of the University of California Police Department were called, and at some point after that the video begins. As the video begins, Mr. Tabatabainejad is loudly objecting to being touched by the officers. People at the scene reported that he went limp and tried to obstruct their carriage of him from the premesis, at that point (about 40 seconds into the video) he was tasered the first time.
From the screams, it sounds like he was tasered at least once more, and probably once more after that.
A few observations:
Mr. Tabatabainejad had several opportunities to do the right thing here.
The first was to just show his ID.
The second was to show his ID after talking smack to the CSO.
The third was to leave before the UCPD arrived.
The fourth was to respond in a calm and collected manner when the police arrived.
The fifth was to leave when the police asked him to do so.
This sequence of events does not seem to suggest the UCPD trying out a new toy, this suggests to me a 23 year-old having a bad day and choosing the wrong people upon which to vent his frustrations and acting out.
I never hear the UCPD officers swear or use anything other than a pretty even tone of voice. They're not picking a fight, they're handling a situation. Me personally, when someone starts shouting at the top of their lungs in a public place, I start checking the sightlines to the exits and inventorying improvisable (or real) weapons. Normal people don't scream. What's more, the age group at which severe psychosis begins is the 18-25 age group. People that age who are not obviously drunk and act like that I would assume to have either another chemical impariment or potentially mental illness. If you can't control yourself in a public place, it's the job of the police to control you.
What the police were looking for was evidence of compliance, and calling them "M-Fers" and yelling political comments about the (totally irrelevant, in this case) Patriot Act aren't evidence of compliance. Maybe he couldn't stand up within a minute of being Tasered as he was asked to do, but he could gather his wits and de-escalate the situation verbally. You'd think that being shocked to the ground would have some sobering effect, but this kid was way beyond that.
I love the concerned crowd gathered around the malefactor and taunting the police. In particular I love the wannabe pre-law demanding "badge numbers" and verbally assaulting the police. What part of the situation makes Mr. Remesnitsky (whom I presume to be the guy in the white shirt, and to whom I apologize if he is not) believe he is capable of controlling it, or even helping? Does he presume that Glocks would have been produced and Mr. Tabatabainejad executed had he not appeared? Rubbernecking is so rarely helpful.
As far as the "racial profiling" aspect of this goes, less than half of the UCLA population is white and somewhere between 30-40% are going to be Asian or South Asian. This would not seem to be an example of walking into the room and picking on the first brown face you see, if you're going to racially profile at UCLA you're going to be very, very busy. But of course, since Mr. Tabatabainejad is an Iranian-American, the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) is right there to demand investigation of this "disturbing incident" as only an:
outside, independent probe will ensure that the civil rights aspects of this case are being taken seriously and will be addressed in an impartial manner.Right. Now, I believe that this incident the result of a college student with authority issues picking the wrong time, place and manner to tangle with the UCPD, nothing more and nothing less. But I have to admit that I would not be at all surprised to find that this was an intentional bit of theater intended to provide pretext for protests of "racial profiling" at UCLA, and by police in general.
Edit to add:
Heh. I beat Michelle Malkin to this one. Hope the trackbacks are working...