I just saw this video from a link on slashdot. I cannot believe this happened in America. A UCLA student was tased by UCLA police five times when he failed to present his student ID at the library and then failed to leave soon enough. I cringed, thinking, “could this happen to me? Or to my children?”
Tell your friends about this. Blog about it, whatever. Get the word out. Thank you.
A police officer saw the film and had a lot to say about it. Here are beginning of his comments:
As a police officer, I have two things to say about this:
1) This kid sounds like an a** and I’m certain that there will be more than enough “He got what he deserved posts.” I might even agree in the moral sense, but not in the ethical or legal sense, because….
2) This cop should never work in law enforcement again. This is inappropriate use of force by any professional standard. One post is not nearly enough to recount the things he did incorrectly, but I’ll hit the high points;
General rules for any controlled encounter (one where you aren’t in danger from the get go) include finding out what the issue is, telling the subject what he/she needs to do, and explaining what will happen if they do not. There is almost never a need to place your hands on anyone for any reason until you are ready to take them into custody unless you are suddenly attacked. This “officer” is grossly incompetent. Understand we deal with aggressive people that posture by yelling and swearing at us all the time – this should not disrupt the officer on bit. Keep. Your. Cool. So, screaming/swearing or not, this encounter should have been over with three sentences from the officer.
A) “Sir, per university rules and regs, I need you to show me your valid student ID or leave the library.”
B) “I need to to show me your valid student ID or leave the library right now, or I’ll have to take you into custody for trespassing and disturbing the peace.”
C) “Sir, I am placing you under arrest.” Then Mirandize him and be done with it. If he does anything but exactly what you tell him (“Sir, place your hands behind your back.”) then….
Now and only now, if he/she resists (NOT if he simply fails to cooperate i.e. passive resistence), you may use force sufficient to subdue him to the point of having him cease to be a danger to the officer or bystanders. That’s pretty simple stuff, folks. Basically, never be the first to use force, but when you do – do it quickly and overwhelmingly then STOP when he’s restrained. You are a trained professional who owns the situation and NOT a street brawler.
- ABC News article about a lawsuit that resulted from the event
- Google News search for related articles (currently several dozen)