Fascism is on the rise in California as campus security felt obliged to taser a student at least 4 times for not having his ID in the library. He was on the ground for at least 3 of those tasers, and he is not accused of acting violently. Here’s a quick recap from the campus newspaper:
At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.
The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.
The student began to yell “get off me,” repeating himself several times.
It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition.
It’s at about this point that the video you’re about to watch begins. The audio is loud and painful to listen to as the student is shocked repeatedly. This video is disturbing to anyone who values freedom. You have been warned!
The video doesn’t have the best camerawork, that’s for sure. But you can get an impression of what happened from it.
A follow-up story in the student newspaper makes clear that the student was handcuffed for at least one (probably more) of the taser shocks. The story also offers some information about the use of tasers:
But according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001, a charge of three to five seconds can result in immobilization for five to 15 minutes, which would mean that Tabatabainejad could have been physically unable to stand when the officers demanded that he do so.
“It is a real mistake to treat a Taser as some benign thing that painlessly brings people under control,” said Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.
“The Taser can be incredibly violent and result in death,” Eliasberg said.
According to an ACLU report, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.
My main question is this: How do the campus security officers’ actions protect anybody? During this huge commotion that followed their illegal tasering, anything could’ve happened in that library. Women could’ve been raped in the bathroom. Laptops could’ve been stolen. It could have sparked a riot. So, how do their actions help anything?
It seems to me that these were just a bunch of thugs trying to assert and protect their authority, which is clearly more important to them than human rights or the students’ constitutional liberties.
I am simply disgusted with the actions of the campus security team. First, they caused a scene that didn’t need to happen by laying hands on the exiting student. Second, they tasered the hell out of him when there was no need to. With several officers present and no violent actions on the part of the student there was simply no reason to taser him. Being loud in a library is not a taser-able offense. Third, they tasered him again and again and again as he was lying helpless on the ground! That is absolutely unacceptable.
I can think of no other word but “fascism” to express my feelings about the actions of the officers in this video. Certainly, “abuse of authority” and “police brutality” come to mind, but they don’t really sum up the mindset of the officers fully.
The mindset is the scariest thing. It seems to be that “authority must be obeyed at all times, no matter what.” That is not consistent with the student’s constitutionally protected rights, which place his inalienable rights far above any sort of convenience achieved by granting limited authority to officers of the peace. I’m sure it would be much more convenient to give police officers unlimited power to use and abuse as they saw fit, but such an arrangement is totally incompatible with the concepts of freedom and liberty for which our forefathers fought and died. Freedom is far more important than being quiet in a library or being cooperative with police.
I hope that these “cops” will be fired and arrested for their gross breach of this student’s constitutional rights, not to mention sued for monetary compensation to make up for the excruciating physical pain he must’ve experienced (those screams will stick with me longer than I might wish).
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. All over the country police are acting with impunity as they violate citizens’ rights and trample over civil liberties. I’ve covered some of these including when Miami police shot peaceful protesters with rubber bullets and then laughed and joked about it, or when cops beat and arrested a man trying to get a form to report police brutality. Also disturbing is a video of cops using vicious chokeholds on peaceful protesters.
How can we bring sanity back to our government? Who will protect us from the police? Well, the answer is: No one! We must protect ourselves, and each other. If you witness police brutality, be sure to report it, and capture it on tape if you can. Of course, be careful that you don’t get beaten when you try to file that report.