UCLA: Get Tasered for using the Computer Lab

An incident happened last night on the UCLA campus when, as reported, a student was shot down with a taser gun multiple times by University Police officers for not showing them his ID immediately. There is a full report of the incident at the Daily Bruin web site.

Multiple students documented the incident with their video phones and cameras. The video (link below) was taken off the site as seemingly to many people where watching it and the web site stopped running. It’s now on YouTube.

A link to the statement from the UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams has been put onto the front page of the UCLA official web site. The statement only mentions that the incident is now being investigated.



click on the image for the jump (multimedia)

link to YouTube video page




















Some (subjective) notes from our side:

A few things are quite astounding when you watch (the little you can see) on the published video.

1. The whole area is full of students and the only thing the most of them do is watching or taking pictures.

2. It takes more then 5 min in the video until some of the other students finally start acting and trying to help or stop the activities of the “University Police”. The report provided by “Daily Bruin” quotes some of them telling that they then were as well threatened by the “officers” with tasers.

3. We identified at least 3 times within the 6 minutes of the video that the security personnel must have used tasers against the student (who most of the time was lying on the ground). Given the body volume of the student as shown in the movie this not only would be considered as excessive use of force (with following disciplinary plus legal actions) for “normal” police officers, depending on the type of tasers used this can be fatal (and has been in the past) for the “victim”.

4. The “officers” are using two of the oldest tricks to cover themselves – (a) don’t attack us; the person lying on the ground in pain after being tasered is physical not able to do this; – (b) stand up; after being “treated” a few times with high voltage that’s the last the person can do – you see two of the “officers” carrying him around in the video.

Even when taking into consideration that the officers themselves might have felt that they are “loosing authority” when faced with a crowd of more and more students becoming interested and surrounding – at no point there was reason to use force at such level. The use of (excessive) force in such a situation – if there would have been a threat to the officers from the crowd what seemingly never was the case – would have just had the opposite effect and to our knowledge police officers are trained to de-escalate in such situations…

We hope that the “management” of the UCLA is not just trying to brush the whole matter under the carpet. By only watching this video there are many points of action to be taken. We would suggest to start with looking into who your stakeholders are …

Post scriptum: It is completely untrue that students at UCLA from now on will have to wear orange jump suits and shackles when entering the computer lab during night hours.

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