Student Tased at UCLA

An Iranian student was repeatedly Tased for refusing to leave a school library.

This past week, a video capturing a blatant act of police brutality has been circulating the Internet, causing an outrage on college campuses across the country. The video, uploaded from a camera phone, captures an Iranian-American student at the University of California-Los Angeles being shocked with a Taser by a campus police officer. The actions taken against the student are absolutely reprehensible and the officers involved should be held responsible for this outrageous use of force.

The student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, was in a library computer lab at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when he refused to show identification to a campus security officer. Tabatabainejad, who was violating a UCLA policy requiring anyone in labs to show a student ID after 11 p.m., was then repeatedly shocked with a Taser by campus police for allegedly refusing to leave the lab.

After watching the video, it is clear the student, already in handcuffs, didn’t pose any real physical danger to the officers, so it is unexplainable why the officers found it necessary to shock him not just once, but multiple times. The video shows Tabatabainejad screaming and crying in pain after being Tased five times, while his fellow students are screaming at the officers to stop.

The police reaction to what was essentially a minor infraction of campus regulations was entirely disproportionate. Brutality of this nature was completely unnecessary and unprofessional. The line was passed even further when at the end of the video you can hear a cop threaten to Tase a student for asking for the officer’s badge number and identifying information. Tasers were intended for personal protection and the protection of others, not for physically abusing a handcuffed student.

Though recognizing the importance of safety on campus communities, the student should have just been escorted out, especially considering there were three physically fit officers and only one student requiring removal. Such disgusting abuse of power and malignant treatment should not be tolerated and the police department should be held accountable for its despicable actions.