THE VAULT

Bruin up some Justice
November 20, 2006 by The Colonel

Stand up!

Once again, the Internet has come ablaze with controversy over a video posted last Wednesday showing a student at UCLA getting tasered by campus police. Reportedly, the incident started when the student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, couldn’t produce his student ID badge, or “BruinCard.” Mr. Tabatabainejad soon stated that he would leave and as he did, police approached to do the only thing that seemed rational at the time; try to force him to leave even faster. This is where things went a little, well, we’ll say hectic:

We warn you, this footage is both graphic and poorly filmed.
Viewer discretion advised.

After screaming a girlish, “Don’t touch me!” the student went limp, falling to the ground faster than a sack of kittens. Police implored him to stand up, but the defiant Tabatabainejad stood his ground, by laying on it. Then, rather than handcuff and drag the insolent student from the scene, they did what any well-trained officer would do when presented with a relatively benign confrontation–they Tasered that hippy.

While a 1/4 second jolt will provide for pain and muscle contraction, any charge over 3 seconds will cause the aggressor, or in this case the pacifier, the loss of control over bodily functions for up to fifteen minutes. This, of course, incapacitates the recipient of the shock, making them unable to move, and possibly to mess their trousers. Mr. Tabatabainejad was, judging by the faint, electrical buzzing sound heard on the tape, shocked for at least 3 seconds the first time, thus incapacitating him for then next 15 minutes, although the status of his knickers remains unknown.

Still, the police persisted commands to “Stand up” or he’d get Tasered again, and unsurprisingly, he got Tasered again. This time, the growing crowd of students began asking for the officers’ badge numbers, to which the police reportedly responded, “Do you want to be Tasered, too?” Fortunately, the cops stopped short of asking anyone if they were “feeling lucky.” For good measure, the police thought it appropriate to Taser Tabatabainejad one last time. At this point, the entire ordeal was over and the student was released on his “own recognizance.” He awoke outside the library three hours later with glasses and the word “PWNed” scribbled on his face in Sharpie marker.

The fact that this happened is no surprise. Cops at UCLA have been praised for their outstanding use of Tasers in the past. In fact, four of the almost 60 full-time officers at the school recently received “Taser Awards,” given by the manufacturers of the device for “excellence in Tasering and Taser-related activities in Law Enforcement.”

Justice. Taser Style.

Upon hearing the news that the UCLA student had been shocked several times, a spokesperson for Taser quipped, “Good, that’s good. That’s why we sell ‘em. Well, that and frying up small game. Say, I got a riddle for you: How many shocks does it take to subdue a college student? Give up? One to incapacitate his legs, and two more to make him unable to have children.” He then laughed until Slantmouth’s interviewer got a little weirded out and left.

Of course, the debate rages on about whether the cops were in the right to shock some poor, stupid kid in handcuffs 3-4 times with a Taser Gun while shouting at him to get up. Yes, the kid was stupid enough to start shouting, go limp and escalate the situation. And yes, the cops were stupid enough to shock him in front of an entire library filled with college students with easy access to both camera phones and YouTube, but the truth is, excessive is excessive.

This was, by no means, a life threatening situation, unless you consider whining to be a threat. Here at Slantmouth, we’re sure it’s tough to be a cop on the hard streets of the UCLA campus. What with the busting dorm rooms for weed and breaking up spontaneous drum circles on the quad, their nerves must be set on a razor’s edge. But, as a word of advice to the fine folks over at the UCLA Police: restraint never made anyone famous on YouTube.

~The Colonel