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Investigative Journalisming : Apeshit in the Mainlab

Disclaimer: I don't know anything, this is all just from gathered accounts and would not make for legitimate journalism fodder...

When the n00bs at Fall Training asked us, "What should we do if we ask a user to leave the lab and they refuse to leave?"

I didn't know the answer was, "Well if they really don't want to leave, eventually the UCPD will come and go all Emperor Palpatine on them."

Video Footage of the Incident Taken in Powell Library at 11:30PM last night

Daily Bruin Article About the Incident
18 News Articles from Various Outlets about the Incident (including AP, NBC, etc)
UCPD's Press Release on the Incident
Chancellor Norman Abram's statement about incident
UCLA livejournal thread, including witness account

    Witness David Remesnitsky's account, taken from his facebook
    Tonight I witnessed the most vile act I have ever seen. Police Officers at Powell Library brutally attacked a student for not having his ID; he was trying to leave, but they dragged, cuffed, and repeatedly tazed him. They continued these acts of brutality for 20min. and taunted him with phrases like "are you retarded." They tazed him repeatedly, even after he told them he had a medical condition;they ignored our pleas to stop.

The student who was arrested's facebook

i like to take simple problems and find the most difficult way to do them. i have a talent, what can i say.
i am currently having a early life crisis. i cant seem to make decisions. it'll pass, i hope. i need to play soccer, when i dont i become another person. its like Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, weird i know.

As Far As I Can Tell, This is What Went Down
    At approximately 11:30PM last night a CSO was performing a routine random check for BruinCards. Frequent CLICC user and UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad could not produce a BruinCard and was asked to leave. When he did not leave, the UC Police was called to escort him out. Tabatabinejad began to exit the lab when the police arrived. He was on his way walking out when a UCPD Officer placed a hand on his arm to escort him out.

    At that point, Tabatabinejad repeated shouted "Don't touch me!" When a second officer approached him and took his other arm, Mostafa stopped walking out of the library and sat down. He was handcuffed. The police officers ordered him to stand up. When he did not comply, a police officer used the drive stun setting on a taser to tase him.

    This caused Tabatainejad to cry out and sob. Police continued to instruct him to stand up by saying "Get up. Stand up now." Tabatainejad shouted, "Here's your Patriot Act. Here's your fucking Patriot Act."

    Police instructed Tabatainejad to "stop fighting us." Tabatainejad responded by saying "I'm not fighting you." He also repeated "I said I was leaving" to the police officers in an emotionally upset tone.

    During the incident students asked for the police officer's badge numbers but their requests were ignored, because the police were handling Tabatainejad.

    Tabatainejad said to the other students, while on the floor, "I got tazed for no reason, I was leaving this godforsaken place, this is abuse of power, this is justice at work."

    Police continued to instruct Tabatainejad to stand up; Tabatainejad told them to "fuck off." At that point, a police officer said, "Stand up or you will get tazed again." Students witnessing the scene vocally protested the police actions. When Tabatainejad still did not comply, the police officers tazed him again. Students who attempted to physically interfere with the police officers' actions were told they would be tazed if they did not keep their distance.

    Tabatainejad did not comply with the officers' repeated orders for him to stand up. Officers dragged him into the doorway of the CLICC Main Lab. An officer told him, "Do what we say or you will be tazed again." When he still did not comply he was tazed again. Eventually, Tabatainejad was dragged into the lobby, where he knelt on the ground and was again ordered to stand up. Students argued with the police while he was dragged out of the library. Tabatainejad was tasered a total of 3 times, despite media reports (five).

yay! Debate!

  • It has always been policy for UCLA students who use the library during night hours to have and be able to produce a BruinCard at all times.

  • Therefore, after Tabatainejad was asked to leave for being unable to produce his ID, he should have followed library policy and left.

  • Tabatainejad sat down and yelled after being touched (and continued to do so after he was tazed). He was ordered to leave the lab. Tabatainejad should not have resisted the police/failed to comply with their orders.

  • You are't supposed to make noise in the library. Tabatainejad was being unnecessarily disruptive. His preaching about the Patriot Act and Justice was unrelated to his situation. According to more than one bystander, he also said something about being a martyr.

  • Police are only required to give badge numbers if the person who is being arrested requests. The students interfering were obstructing the police from doing their job, which is illegal.

  • It is legal (UCPD's Department Policy) for police to use a taser on someone if they fail to comply. When taking down a suspect, tasers are often used as a substitute for more dangerous weapons, such as firearms.


  • It was unnecessary for police to touch Tabatainejad if he began to exit the lab upon their arrival. A reaction to being touched does not warrant being shocked with 50,000volts.

  • If Tabatainejad was handcuffed they could have just dragged him out without tasering him. The taser was unnecessary.

  • Tabatainejad was not acting in a violent manner. Because he was resisting passively, use of a weapon on him was uncalled for. Tabatainejad was unarmed and therefore not dangerous. A taser was an excessive and unecessary use of force.

  • It is dangerous to tase someone multiple times within a short time period. Coroners have warned police not to use a taser on someone more than twice, citing he potential for death. Many people have died from being tased, so much that Amnesty International is concerned about police abuse of tasers.

  • Tasers are designed to incapacitate people. They have a debilitating effect on muscle control. It may not have been possible for Tabatainejad to stand if he had been tasered multiple times. Therefore, it was illogical for police to expect Tabatainejad to be able to walk after being shocked with a taser.

  • If the Daily Bruin account is accurate, "at one point officers told the gathered crowd to stand back and threatened to use a Taser on anyone who got too close" and another student was threatened with the stun gun when asking for an officer's ID. If this is indeed true then that is very ethically questionable.

  • Was the UCPD justified in it's tasering of an uncooperative UCLA student?

    Yes - The student was being a dick
    No - The police were being dicks
    Both parties were acting like dicks!

    *does a cartwheel*

    And everyone's shocked.


Holy cow, that is scary. I'd be pretty outraged if something like that happened at 'SC, but I wouldn't be all that surprised. What is it with campus police being total asshats?


*Obligatory Conservative Response*

No way... the police were totally in the right.

The best way to avoid police action/brutality/anything is to follow the law...

Which he broke on multiple occasions...

And then to scream about hot topic things not related to his own situations, plus spazzing out over a policeman putting his hand on his shoulder does nothing but raise tensions to make the police result to the taze...

How about people follow the rules for a change?

And not resist arrest?

Is that so hard to ask?


Re: *Obligatory Conservative Response*

wtf? but he was already trying to leave. why couldn't they just not touch him and just watch him leave? to me it seems like the fucking police provoked a lot of this.

Re: *Obligatory Conservative Response*

The thing is, he only tried to leave AFTER the police came. He had plenty of time to leave after multiple tazerings...


Re: *Obligatory Conservative Response*

When you refuse to comply with a CSO, UCPD gets involved no matter what. No exceptions. They have to.

You do not have the right to walk away from the police when they've been called to deal with you.

Furthermore, when you are unable to produce ID for the police when stopped with due cause you are taken to the police station immediately regardless of circumstances until they can establish your identity.

The fact that he tried to leave after the cops showed up does not make the situation ok. He created a problem and had to deal with the outcome.

He then created further problems by not cooperating with the police and causing a scene, which led to his being tazed.

Honestly, people are making a much bigger deal out of this than is necessary. Getting tazed is *NOT* a big deal.

It is standard procedure for police around the world in dealing with a beligerant suspect who refuses to cooperate.
That response is pretty much insane. Yeah, the guy was being uncooperative, but multiple taserings?? That's ridiculously out of line. I hope this becomes more public.


Even if you suggest the victim was making the matter more complicated, at the end it would amount to a protest. I gather in the US you no longer get to stage a non-violent seat-in in universities.
Of course you have the right to assemble...

On the other hand, though you can't really go into someone's house without their permission, and then sit there and protest when the cops are asking you to leave. If it's not your property, when the cops ask you to leave you have to leave. If the student could prove he was allowed to be there (by producing a bruincard) that's another story.


Um, a non-violent seat-in pretty much amounts to going into a university and staging a protest without permission. So in conclusion, if you do it in the US you get tasered. Weak.
I was recently disciplined under this item in the UCLA Student Conduct Code:

102.16 Failure to Comply
Failure to identify oneself to, or comply with directions of, a University official or other public official acting in the performance of his or her duties while on University property or at official University functions, or resisting or obstructing such University or other public officials in the performance of or the attempt to perform their duties.

The guy clearly violated University policy. He wasn't an innocent victim. (I think the policy is wrong, but unfortunately I don't make the rules.)

Should he have been tased? No. But people keep making him out to be a martyr or a noble protestor when the fact of the matter is hundreds of students have had to leave the library when they could not show ID, per this policy.

And HE was the only one who ever threw this big of a fit about it. (I'm sorry but it does not look like a "non-violent seat-in" it looks like a guy who does not want to comply (maybe rightfully) with the police. But you can't compare him to Gandhi.

He was in an area restricted to him (because he could not provide ID.) They had every right to remove him from it for the safety of other students, including the safety of my coworkers.

Look, I have had negative experiences with the UCPD and have every reason to hate them and condemn their actions here. But this student was no saint.

And to generalize this to the entire United States is weak. And a fallacy. Almost as lame as this guy ranting on about the Patriot Act. (I don't like the Patriot Act either, but his arrest had nothing to do with the Patriot Act.)


Nonviolent sit in on PRIVATE PROPERTY is called tresspassing, it's against the law.

The right to assemble only covers you in public places.

Powell Library (at night) is closed to everyone but students. This guy refused to identify himself.

His being there was breaking the law. His "non-violent seat-in" was a combination of tresspassing and failure to comply with police.


It wasn't a really appropriate time to hold a "non violent sit in." You can't call it that.

That's akin to you housesitting your friends house, and some random guy walks in and can't prove he lives there, so you call the cops and he's like whateva whateva I do what I want, then the cops come and try to get him out of there, but he decides to sit down in the house and stage a protest.

Not gonna buy it.


I'm writing about this to Enigmachat right now, is it okay if I link to this entry?


Re: Enigma?

sure, if it's not locked it's open to the public.


So you all know...

The police had to stop him. They could not let him just walk away.

CSOs asked him to leave when he couldn't present identification. He refused.

Refusing directions given in a professional capacity by a CSO mandates police involvement. No exceptions.

Police show up and he starts to leave. They have to stop him.

He has no ID on him. If you can not present ID to a police officer when stopped for anything you get taken to the station regardless of the circumstances. They hold you there until they can establish your identity. That's the law.

Why taze him? Why not just handcuff him?

You do not handcuff anyone who is not cooperative. Doing so raises a very high risk that you will break their wrist. If you have someone who is that erratic you taze them. That's by the book.

To those who are claiming he was just using "passive resistance", that's bullshit.

Passive resistance isn't acceptable when you are tresspassing on private property which IS what he was doing. He was breaking the law.

As for the police telling him to stand up after tazing him, this is perfectly acceptable. The incapacitating effects of a taser wear off at most 2-5 seconds after the taser stops depending on the model, setting, the location struck, and the individual. In all cases, however, the results are extrordinarily shortterm. There are no lingering effects.

That is why they are used to the extent they are. They are a quick, effective method to bring a noncooperative suspect in line which do no permenant damage.

Some interesting facts:

Between September 1999 and October 2004, there were 73 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers. In only 8 of these cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause or a contributing factor or could not be ruled out as a cause of death.

Police officers that patrol schools, including grade schools, in several US states (including Kansas, Minnesota and Florida), currently carry tasers.

Re: So you all know...

Are those statistics based on a single shock or repeated shocks?


Re: So you all know...

Both. That is EVERY "tasing related" death in the US in a 5 year period. Every single death that occured after someone had been tazed one, twice, or over and over. And in that 5 year period there are only 8 incidents in which the tasers MIGHT have been even partially responsible for the person's death.

Given how widespread the use of tasers actually is, how frequently they're used, etc it goes to show you just how safe/mild/appropriate they actually are.