UC Students Protest Taser Gun Incident at UCLA Library

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday November 24, 2006

The incident involving 23-year-old UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad, who was shot with a taser by campus police officers last week, has sparked off debate in the national media and led to protests at the UC Berkeley. 

According to published reports, Tabatabainejad, who had been using the UCLA Powell Library Computer Lab on Nov. 14, had been asked to show identification after 11 p.m., as per university policy.  

He refused to do so and officers used the taser gun to subdue him, an action which was caught on a students’ cell phone camera and broadcast on Youtube.com. 

In the video, Tabatabainejad is shown struggling with the officers while screaming “Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your fucking abuse of power.” 

UCPD officers were repeatedly heard to ask him to stand up and to stop fighting them. The controversy has led the University to announce an independent investigation of the incident. 

UC Berkeley students held a demonstration against the actions of the UCLA police on the Sproul Plaza on Monday and addressed letters to UC President Robert Dynes, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and UC police at both Berkeley and UCLA. 

The letter demanded that a moratorium on Taser guns be established, that action be taken against the officers involved in the incident and that a commission be created for review of all UC police departments. 

No one from the UC Berkeley Police Department or the University’s Public Affairs Department could be reached for comment.