Thursday, January 18, 2007

UCLA faces lawsuit for Taser incident

The UCLA student Tasered multiple times for his failure to show idea is suing UCLA for violating his civil rights. Mostafa Tabatabainejad's complaint, which is supposedly on the Daily Bruin Web site somewhere (if anybody can find it, let me know), includes allegations of excessive force, battery and, curiously, an American with Disabilities Act violation.

Not surprisingly, the account of the incident in the complaint looks even worse than the original story. According to the complaint (or at least Sara Taylor's description of it in today's Daily Bruin), UCPD officer Terrence Duren fired the Taser more than once after Tabatabainejad was already in handcuffs.

Notably, the complaint does not raise an issue of racial profiling, an accusation which would seem difficult to prove given the facts of this case. I expect that a lot of people are likely to lose interest as a result. But the constitutional question has more significant ramifications. If Tabatabainejad can resist the temptation to settle and end up prevailing on that issue, it will put a lot of pressure on police departments across the state to prohibit the use of Tasers on suspects who are passively resisting.

Acting Chancellor Norm Abrams has released a rather bland statement, saying "We regret that Mostafa Tabatabainejad has filed a lawsuit at this time," and asking everyone to wait for the results of an independent investigation. No word yet on when those will be coming.


Anonymous said...

does Chancellor Abrams "regret" that his cops tased the hell out of one of his students as much as he regrets the lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

Wait, but I thought that he was asking for it - begging the cops for more? Or that he got sexual pleasure from it? I think I read it in a David Lazar column.

Anonymous said...

I read some of Abrams later statements on the incident and their very upsetting. We need to get rid of this guy!!!!

Read this report in the Bruin:

"We regret that Mostafa Tabatabainejad has filed a lawsuit at this time. We also regret his girlish screams. It's unfortunately that people watching the video perceive his shrieks to indicate the level of pain actually caused by Tazers."

Abrams then had an assistant Tazer him.
Composing himself.
"You see I said Uhhh. Not EEEEH! That's because I have testicles and not a vagina."