Thursday, November 16, 2006

Horrifying Taser Video

This is the video of police officers repeatedly tasering Mostafa Tabatabainejad in the UCLA library on Tuesday night. The story (so far) is that he didn't have library ID and refused to leave, the police arrived, he started to leave, they grabbed him, he told them to let go of him, and they tased him. That's when the video starts.

It's horrifying. It really makes me physically ill. You probably don't want to watch it.

UPDATE: This has agitated me enough to finish off "Bethsheba 2006," a song about people who become collateral damage.


VanillaJ said...

"Back over there, or you're going to get tased too." Note that the cops are not fazed in the slightest, despite the clear public outrage. Note that despite being outraged, no heros amongst the crowd. Obey authority, y'all. It's a spectator sport.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

I've been wondering about this too: how much of a hero would *I* be? I can picture myself stepping forward and...but what then? Attacking a police officer? It's obvious in the video that the students are horrified and WANT to do something, but they're waiting for somebody to decide WHAT.

There was apparently an ACLU protest today and the guy has gotten himself a high-profile lawyer, so we'll see.

There are two extremes of thought floating around: one side says "he obviously was defying the police so he deserved it," while the other says "he's the new Rosa Parks." The details about what happened before the tasing are so far contradictory, but it sounds like the guy WAS initially in the wrong and uncooperative (though there may have been some level of racial profiling that he was protesting).

But getting tased, repeatedly, while in handcuffs? Is THAT how you're supposed to deal with somebody who is refusing to stand up? It's sheer brutality. I can see tasing somebody who is posing a threat, who is armed and dangerous, but a guy who is sitting on the floor?