UC Irvine Community Reacts to UCLA Taser Incident
On Nov. 14 around 11:30 p.m. in the Powell Library at UC Los Angeles, fourth-year double major in philosophy and Middle Eastern and North African studies Mostafa Tabatabainejad was Tasered up to five times by UC police for failing to show his Bruin ID card to community service officers and refusing to leave a computer lab.
Tabatabainejad, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, hired civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman on Nov. 17 and filed a lawsuit against the UC Police Department for ‘brutal excessive force’ and false arrest.
According to a Nov. 22 article in The Los Angeles Times, Yagman said on Nov. 21 that he was no longer representing Tabatabainejad. The status of the lawsuit is uncertain.
Tabatabainejad did not comply when repeatedly asked to leave the premises by CSOs performing routine ID checks. Yagman explained that his client did not leave because he felt that he was being singled out through racial profiling. The library, open 24 hours, permits only students, faculty and staff members after 11 p.m. for security purposes. When Tabatabainejad remained in the library, CSOs left and returned with four UCPD officers, one of whom used a Taser on Tabatabainejad.
The incident was recorded as a six-minute video on a student’s cell phone and released on CBS News and YouTube.
In the grainy video, Tabatabainejad is shown being Tasered as he yells, ‘Here’s your PATRIOT Act! Here’s your fucking abuse of power!’ Police repeatedly tell him to ‘stand up’ or ‘get up.’
‘I got Tased for no reason,’ Tabatabainejad says after he is first Tasered. ‘I was leaving this God-forsaken place.
Students from across the nation were outraged by the video, spawning a Facebook group called ‘UCLA’s UCPD Brutality’ which has more than 9,000 members including approximately 150 UC Irvine students.’
‘I believe what the police did