Thursday, November 16, 2006

Student Tasered at UCLA Library

Being an alumnus of Michigan State University, I can relate to abuse of power by campus police. What happened at UCLA was absolutely horrible. Although not clear from the graphic video below, if it is true that the police tasered the handcuffed suspect, those police should fired and barred from ever "protecting" the public again along with steep jail sentences. Video snippets of police actions don't tell the entire story, so an investigation is most definitely important. The video is pretty revealing though. At no point is it ever clear if the suspect is ever under arrest. But with 4 to 5 officers standing around, they couldn't just carry the guy out?

This whole scenario is just so indicative of the mood, temperment, and politics of today's society. You're either with us or you're against us. What disturbs me the most after the initial melee is the officer at the end of the video when approached by a female who asks for his name and badge number, the officer responds with, "Stand back or you'll get tasered too." The public has a right to ask officer's their information. I don't know if officers have the right to threaten violent force in return.

I find it equally disturbing that the student newspaper's editorial staff printed this letter with this gem out of the letters received (I have no clue how many they actually received. I'm assuming they received at least more than just this letter):
What if this suspect had a gun or biochemical agents such as anthrax?
Yes, because there's been a trend, CIA intelligence, or ever an attempt by slow moving terrorists to target university libraries carrying doses of anthrax around. Wow. Us or them buddy. Just hand over all your civil liberties. I realize now that a person can justify any actions by stating, "He could have had anthrax." It's the new "sprinkle some crack on him". Hell if it works for an entire White House administration, why can't the public use it too? Sick.

UPDATE: UCLA's student paper editors speak out agsinst the police use of force. I'm assuming their decision to print the particular Letter To the Editor I quoted above was their attempt to apear "fair and balanced".

However, I disagree with their decision to print this guy's editorial on the subject when all he's done is watch the video and review the police record. I don't know, it that whole investigative reporting thing or maybe taking into account eye witness reports that make an editorial worth something. Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke, like me.


Blogger Terry said...

Saw this on MSNBC tonight, sent chills up my spine.
Great write up, and nice job finding that pisspoor attempt to cover for the campus police in the Daily Bruin too!

Fri Nov 17, 03:02:00 AM 2006  

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