Students expect campus security to provide safety – not to turn against them.
More than 400 UCLA community members expressed this in a protest on Friday after a Muslim/Iranian-American, UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad, was stunned five times with the taser gun before being handcuffed and taken into custody by the UCPD last Tuesday night, at the Powell Library.
According to the Daily Bruin, the student was asked to show his BruinCard, but failed to do so because, as an U.S.-born student of Iranian descent, he said he believed he was being singled out in an incident of racial profiling.
Tabatabaineja was stunned by a taser gun because he could not or did not show his student ID, not because he was endangering lives.
UCPD threatened to shoot students who got too close. How is the UCPD helping to make the learning environment safe by threatening to taser any student who intervenes?
While being stunned, Tabatabainejad said he cried out saying that he had a medical condition, but the UCPD kept shooting.
Now, UCLA students are saying “Don’t let the UCPD get away with attempted murder.”
We as students in general, should be outraged by this incident.
Tabatabainejad plans to file a lawsuit against university police for alleging “brutal excessive force” and false arrest, his lawyer said Friday as reported by the Daily Bruin.
Leave out the minor details and it comes down to the students. Who is not being protected? The students. Who is the UCPD supposed to be protecting? The students.
How is it that the student is being protected when he is being stunned multiple times over an ID card as he is leaving when asked to do so by the police?
We also have campus police and an escort service and the bottom line is: the students need to be protected.
If a student is not endangering anyone including himself, there should be other ways of dealing with those individuals rather then to taser them.
It is also unrealistic to expect someone fallen to the floor after being stunned numerous times, to impulsively stand up.
There are videos on YouTube of this incident from cell phone cameras but how can students just stand there and watch as someone is being assaulted in front of their eyes.
Yes students protested, demanded the officers’ badge numbers and said it was wrong, but no one actually stopped the UCPD.
We don’t know all the details. We don’t know if Tabatabainejad went limp before he was stunned or after. We don’t know if the student was seeking attention. We don’t know if he was a victim of racial profiling. We don’t know if he was leaving peacefully when the police grabbed his arm and he protested.
We don’t know all the details but forget them for just a minute.
The answers can be argued but the fact still remains that the police repeatedly used force against someone who was not a threat to anyone.
Possibly the Police made a huge blunder, but the UCPD should be trained professionals who know how to deal with different situations in a more humane manner.
The UCLA reputation is on the line, and the academic nation is watching for their next step.
What would you do if this happened in the Oviatt Library here at CSUN?
Would you protest? Would you intervene? Would the CSUN clubs and organizations get together and support a fellow classmate?
Or would the CSUN students just walk away?
We the students have the power to bring change but we have to demand it.
Think of all the incidents that probably go by unnoticed and unreported.
No matter what the history is, at the end of the day we are all human.