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Author Topic: UCLA taser incident
DonaldD
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... but only after 11:00pm.

Because before 11:00 pm, the library is open to the public at large.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
First is, we don't call the police if someone doesn't have his library card on him. This is a part of the incident that went largely undisputed, and I gather from this it's not unusual.
Hmm...the way you phrase it does make it sound odd. I don't think it's usual or "not unusual" for someone to call the cops for not having a library card.

But I think in a scenario when it's closing time and a manager or guard or whatever asks you to leave a store/library/government building or whatever, if the person refuses I think it's not unusual for a person in the U.S. to think..."well, I guess I'll call the cops." I don't think it's common but I think most in the U.S. can also imagine that some people might be quicker to call the cops out of fear, spite, prickiness or whatever. When you don't have the power to get someone to follow the rules you call someone who does...the cops.

What IS unusual is for a place to have separate closing time for different people. Most libraries shut down at time X and it applies to everyone. I've never attended a college that had separate hours for students and non-students. I can guess at and acknowledge some reasoning for that but I've never personally seen it and I get the impression that many others in the U.S. haven't either. I can see how that can lead to people pressing for exceptions to be made and some people allowing them and others not. I think it all depends on whether people see it as a stupid rule or a rule that really benefits them as a student body. It wouldn't surprise me if people give that excuse all the time: "Oh, I left my ID at home...can I just stay another 10-20-30 minutes" whether it's true or not.

What would you expect someone to do in a library in Europe if it was closing time and someone refused or said, "give me 10 more minutes."?

I imagine in most U.S. libraries that the librarian would either give the guy ten more minutes or continue to insist that the guy leave. I doubt that many librarians would immediately call the cops but I can imagine most might EVENTUALLY call the cops if it became apparent that the guy was going to keep refusing or ignoring the librarian's insisting. Particularly if people are frequently asking for more and more time. I don't see it too unusual for people to reach a point where they'd say, "fine, if people aren't going to politely get things together and leave when it's closing time and I ask them to leave then I'm going to call the cops."

How would you see this play out in Europe?

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Tom Curtis
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Jason, well using your peculiar definition of "deserves", you will then agree with me that the cops in this instance "deserve" to be fired and face criminal charges. You will also agree that any cop who attempts to arrest a drug trafficer "deserves" to be shot. Likewise, any serving US soldier in Iraq also "deserves" to be shot. Afterall, in the later two cases being shot are certainly reasonably forseeable consequences of their actions.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Hmm...the way you phrase it does make it sound odd. I don't think it's usual or "not unusual" for someone to call the cops for not having a library card."

My son, the one who's work-mate was cuffed awhile back as I described in a post yesterday, called me just now to report his car window had been smashed in this morning. Rather than confront the person whom he (and I) believe did it -- his little weasel of a crack-snorting/girl-friend beating neighbor upstairs -- he did the right thing and called the cops. He was told that such matters could not be ddressed unti tomorrow morning.

If only it was a matter of staying in a library 10 minutes afther the 'ID Only' curfew had kicked in, maybe then he woud have gotten a swift response to his problem. ('Ooh ooh! Francis Francis! We sould put a RollEyes here! [Roll Eyes] )

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Tom Curtis
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The Drake:

quote:
Your own words above show that the student in question was dismissive and disrespectful. Unless you consider it compliant and respectful to demand that everyone else be searched before you will comply.
No, my words show that he was assertive and not easily intimidated. It is possible to question the request of somebody with authority without being dismissive, and without being disrespectful. And somebody in authority who cannot recognise that is a problem already (and shouldn't be in authority).
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
He was told that such matters could not be ddressed unti tomorrow morning.
That's just ridiculous. The only time I've heard of a policy for delayed response that made sense is for missing persons. Even then, I can imagine exceptions. In general, though, too many parents get too concerned about a kid staying out too late without telling where he's going that they call the cops. In those cases it makes sense to wait 24 hours or whatever.

In pretty much all other cases that I can imagine cops should respond as quickly as they can. If it's a small town with very few cops I can see them postponing a vandalism call until after some more dangerous situation is under control but there's no reason anyone should say he just needs to wait until tomorrow morning.

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Tom Curtis
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LOJ, an interesting scenario, but you neglect the fact that Jesse's wife's friend stated that she did not see the altercation between Tabatabainejad and the police, though she did see him leave. It follows that from her location you could not see the cops enter, and so neither could Tabatabainejad from a similar location.

You also ignore the universal human tendency to rubber neck. If something unusual happens, you take notice. Cops entering a library is certainly unusual. Consequently when witnesses say they saw Tabatabainejad leaving, and the cops seize his arm, prima facie, that is exactly as it went down.

I also can't help noticing that in order to partly exonerate the cops, people continuosly need to make contrary to available evidence conjectures.

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Tom Curtis
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I can't help noticing that the defenders of the police in this instance (on this board) have gone from simple defence and blaming it on Tabatabainejad to blaming the situation on Tabatabainejad but acknowledging that the repeated tasing was excessive.

This makes my fundamental point. Given the information we have, no reasonable person could have believed the repeated tasing was necessary for the safety of the police or public. Not only was the force excessive, it could not have reasonably been believed to not be excessive. Therefore it was criminal assault.

The officers ought to be charged with criminal assault.

I am quite aware that under cross examination, the evidence we have may not hold up, but that is why we have courts. It is not a reason to not charge the cops involved.

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The Drake
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And I would say the independent investigation must go forward, and then appropriate charges filed. Furthermore, they should probably close the library to everyone at 11 pm.

The policy itself seems to invite "assertiveness".

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
LOJ, an interesting scenario, but you neglect the fact that Jesse's wife's friend stated that she did not see the altercation between Tabatabainejad and the police, though she did see him leave. It follows that from her location you could not see the cops enter, and so neither could Tabatabainejad from a similar location.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm definitely not suggesting that this is even the most plausible scenario. The fact that this person didn't see the altercation, doesn't rule out the POSSIBILITY that he could see the cop coming and she didn't. If the exit is north and well down the hall and the guy was facing north and looking out for the jerk that told him to go but the friend was facing east and not particularly on the lookout for anyone that friend might see him leave after x minutes or so and not look around until she hears shouting down the hall and sees a crowd of people surrounding whatever happened. Did Jesse say the friend didn't see or hear ANYTHING after that or just didn't see the actual altercation and so can't speak to how that went down exactly?

If the friend didn't see or hear anything, then I'll concede that that part of the scenario is probably not possible (although it's still possible that he just hurried and finished as much work as he thought he could get away with before actually getting ready to go).

As for witnesses saying they saw the moment the cop went up to the guy and grabbed his shoulder maybe I missed/forgot that detail in which case the second scenario I made up isn't possible either. I have no particular desire to exonerate the cop. Like I said, he almost definitely went over the line no matter how it went down. From what little I heard though (my internet connection has been choppy and it was hard to make out everything) his yells sounded more like making a statement/pissing off the cops than a plea for help from cops going over the line. But I will readily concede that I really don't know what happened.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
You also ignore the universal human tendency to rubber neck. If something unusual happens, you take notice. Cops entering a library is certainly unusual. Consequently when witnesses say they saw Tabatabainejad leaving, and the cops seize his arm, prima facie, that is exactly as it went down.
Again, I think it depends. If I'm facing south and the exit is to the north I may mostly be looking at my books/talking with my study group and occasionally my eyes wander to notice people walking by. I may notice the guy but not think anything of it. I may not even SEE the cop coming in from the north and if they meet directly to my right I may not even notice them talking at first. Then I hear yelling and look to the side and see the grabbing shoulder thing. I may think, I just saw that guy heading out...why did they do that to him?

Even those that see a cop enter, unless it looks like something serious is going on they may take notice and then look back at their books.

I agree that if I was in a school library and I saw a cop come in I'd probably notice and may watch for a second or two but I doubt I'd pay attention beyond that unless something immediately happened if I was busy trying to finish a paper at 11:30 at night. If the grabbing really did occur immediately after a cop walks in, then I'd agree that it'd keep my attention. Otherwise...I'm not so sure I'd notice. I'll have to go back and review what people said...I apologize if I got the "testimonies" wrong. To be honest, though, I'm losing interest in this thread. I agree with nearly all the points being made on both sides to an extent and I really couldn't make out enough from what was given to know for sure what happened so I'm not particularly interested in investing time in doing much "research" on it anymore.

quote:
I can't help noticing that the defenders of the police in this instance (on this board) have gone from simple defence and blaming it on Tabatabainejad to blaming the situation on Tabatabainejad but acknowledging that the repeated tasing was excessive.
I really didn't notice much defending of the cops from the beginning. Mostly I just saw groups of people focusing on two different aspects of the story. Whether the cop did something wrong and whether the student did something wrong. The ones focusing on the student eventually got around to addressing the complaints about the cop and for the most part readily admitted that the cop probably or definitely did wrong. Some of those who initially focused on the cop eventually addressed their opinions on the student but people are much more divided on whether the student did wrong or not. Of course this is the case since the possible wrong he did was less severe and possibly less visible (really only one from a friend of a friend of a friend account who was nearby but who knows how nearby).
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Jason, well using your peculiar definition of "deserves", you will then agree with me that the cops in this instance "deserve" to be fired and face criminal charges. You will also agree that any cop who attempts to arrest a drug trafficer "deserves" to be shot. Likewise, any serving US soldier in Iraq also "deserves" to be shot. Afterall, in the later two cases being shot are certainly reasonably forseeable consequences of their actions.
I realize my formulation doesn't quite fit with all scenarios, but it's more or less spot on in most cases. In the examples you gave, it's true that most people would not say that the people "deserved" what they got, even though their choices led to reasonably foreseeable consequences. Then again, these people knew what they were getting into, as did their loved ones. Maybe they do deserve what they get in those examples, in a sense. Is it impossible to posit a definition of the word that excludes moral judgment? In other words, if I put $100 into an account at a rate of 15% interest, don't I deserve my $115 at the end? Is it impossible to say that a good person deserves for a bad thing to happen to them without condemning the choice that led to the consequence?

Then again, I realize I may be getting off the beaten path with this one. I'm content to say that people generally deserve the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their choices... except when they don't [Smile]

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Everard
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Tom-
While generally agreeing with you, the least reliable evidence we have is eye-witness testimony. While we should probably take it at face value for the time being, its also necessary to recognize that what people are reporting is more likely to be not what occured then be what occured.

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sharpshin
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"Deserve's got nuthin' to do with it."
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Dr.GH
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No one has ever confused me with a fan of cops. My personal disgust and mistrust of cops is why cop lovers at Panda's Thumb made me so revolted that I blew PT off last year. However, it is stupid - not naive, stupid- to think that pain is not, or should not be part of a cop's tool kit. What do you do when someone refuses to comply with the law? Should you just kill them?

There have been a spate of recent campus rapes in the LA area, mainly at Cal State Long Beach, but there have been other attacks in the area. The UCLA cops (California State Marshals actually) are likely on a higher alert than ordinarily. It is the law that after 11 PM people in the library are required to campus ID.

The student refused to show identification, and refused to leave the area. The cops over reacted, but I wasn't there- nor were any of you.

As for being "so brutal and abusive that I could not watch it all," according to one student, I am glad that I am not so sheltered.

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DonaldD
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quote:
It is the law that after 11 PM people in the library are required to campus ID.
I would love to see that Statute. Municipal? State?

Or do you mean something else by "the law".

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Ivan
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Yeah, my view of this thing is that the kid was probably a huge dick, and that the cops gave him exactly what he wanted by effectively torturing him with the tazer. I mean, I can't think of any other word for it. They were causing him pain in order to generate a specific response out of him (getting up and leaving).

Did the kid provoke them? Hells yeah, he did. This is exactly what he wanted to happen. He effectively made himself into a mini-celebrity and was able to confirm all of his small-minded notions that all cops are evil and out to get him. And it just kills me that the cops played right into his hands. They abused their power and should be fired, which is probably what the kid wanted.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
I would love to see that Statute. Municipal? State?

Or do you mean something else by "the law".

Perhaps common law regarding trespassing.

I'm not talented in searching for laws but I found this as one example among many in LexisNexis:

quote:
Copyright 2006 The Morning Call, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania)

August 23, 2006 Wednesday
FIFTH EDITION

SECTION: COMMUNITY REPORT; Pg. B3

LENGTH: 423 words

HEADLINE: Judge rules nine guilty of trespass at rally; The war protesters refused to leave Dent's office at closing time.

BYLINE: By Manuel Gamiz Jr. Of The Morning Call

BODY:
A Lehigh County judge Tuesday found nine Iraq war protesters guilty of defiant trespass for refusing to leave the Bethlehem district office of U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent at closing time Jan. 17.


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kenmeer livermaile
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I like your analysis, Ivan.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
while clearly the students in the library didn't agree with the policemen's actions, they seem to accept that they have the right to do them (later disciplinary sanctions aside). The policemen weren't at all embarrased about it either.
I don't know that I agree with this statement. My reaction in watching the video was to place myself in the shoes of the bystanding students, and I most definitely felt that the cops did NOT have a right to do what they did. It seems to me that this attitude was quite prevalent, with several audible exclamations of "stop doing that" and "you can't do that" and "that is so wrong".

The only way this statement seems to be true is in the sense that "might makes right". It seems apparent that the students perceived the "ability" of the police to do what they were doing based on the absence of plausible counter force. If by "accept that they had the right to do them" you mean that the students felt unable to physically stop the police from the abusive action, then I would agree with this statement. But I certainly think that the nearby students were stressing their strenuous opinions that the police did NOT have a "right" to do what they did.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If by "accept that they had the right to do them" you mean that the students felt unable to physically stop the police from the abusive action, then I would agree with this statement."

That's how I interpreted Radu's statement. If we can chastize ourselves as a society for not stopping a mugging on the street because 'someone else will do it', and if we've deputized the cops to be that someone, then when we percieve the3 cops mugging someone, the cycle of responsibility has returned to ourselves.

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Jesse
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The wifes friend didn't see it because she didn't get up until there was already a huge crowd between her and the site of the altercation. You can't see the entry way from the computer lab.

By the way, that would be a second hand account to you guys. We were both hanging out with her when she told us about it. The layout of the Powell would be first hand, since I know it pretty well and have been there multiple times.

Again, Drake, what is posted is not the "official statement" of the police involved. It's a press release. One is considered a sworn statement, the other is some PR flak paraphrasing what the official report says.

My question is, who has a better reason to mistate the events of that evening? Bystanders, or the officers who have their careers on the line and may face jail time? Do you think cops are immune to having their perceptions altered by intense situations, selective awareness, or faulty memory?

I spent a couple years driving a rig all over this country, and have lived all over CA, north and south. The urban police and sherrif forces of Southern California are a special breed.

If Mel Gibson wasn't worth a few hundred million, he would have been spitting teeth within seconds of his traffic stop.

I think it's worthwile to examine his behavior and the way the police responded to it, and compare that to the behavior of this kid and the way the police responded.

What would be considered dramatic, unussual, hard to believe, in terms of police behavior is pretty much par for the course here, from LAX police tazering a 70 year old man for arguing with a rental car agent, to the cop who stuck a gun in my face when I told her I was going to reach into my glove box (I have no adult police record, and none of my juvy arrests resulted in conviction, and they sat behind me for five minutes after they pulled over so pretty sure they ran the plate). Her partner, it's worth noting, told her to "put that damn thing away" and apologized to me, but the twit had popped the safety. When I said something about her releasing it, she lied to the other officer.


Good cops *here* are rare. I'd think people who watch the national news would be starting to get that by now. The UCPD is trained at the Orange County Police Academy, and let's just say it's other graduates don't exactly have a record of restraint in the use of force.

If heading out the door with your backpack on isn't complying with a security guards order to leave, I don't know what the hell is.

I *still* want to know what the CSO told the UCPD. If the situation was blown out of proportion to them, if the CSO made false claims that threats were made, it might go a long way toward explaining the situation. I've had people tell the police I threatened to kill them when I walked away from an argument saying "I guess I'll just have to trust that the Creator is just, and you'll get what you deserve.".

Drake, I wasn't being "harsh" to jason. That's his argument. Read it as he restated it. Let's try it this way.

"If you drive a Bently around South Central Los Angeles at 2 am, you deserve to get carjacked."

Less inflammatory?

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The Drake
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quote:
I spent a couple years driving a rig all over this country, and have lived all over CA, north and south. The urban police and sherrif forces of Southern California are a special breed.
I've been there too, and the residents are also a special breed. From what I can see as an outsider, it is a self-sustaining cycle.

The cops get threatened, are injured on the job, perceive that the system doesn't punish criminals. So they mete out some "street justice", people see it, get enraged, and generate more confrontations with the cops they are suspicious about.

My comment about jason had a lot more to do with you calling his detailed explanation of his motives and assumptions "a waste of screen space", rather than your actual point or the inflammatory language that you used.

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seekingprometheus
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By the way--I don't know if this has been clearly established, but if you listen to the video it is quite clear that the tazing lasted beyond 3 seconds. Listen carefully between 1:46 and 1:52. The sound of the tazing clearly begins right before 1:47 and clearly continues until at least a split second after 1:51. It is therefore at the very least more than 4 seconds, and seems to probably be a full 5 seconds.
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Jesse
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More to it than that even, Drake.

The CHP is nothing like the rest of the police forces around here. They are very rarely involved in any sort of exessive force incidents, they're polite, they're professional, and they're don't look at everyone not driving a brand new car like a criminal.

They also have much higher standards in recruitment.

The way the SDPD and LAPD deal with people has almost nothing to do with their attitude, or record, or suspected offence. It has everything to do with what they percieve as someones social status, and that's the case whether you're filing a complaint or are a suspect.

Having recently moved out of L.A. and into the burbs of the San Gabriel Valley, I've found the local police here to be completely different, smiling at people, saying "hi" to folks in parking lots...it's just WIERD man [Smile] .

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seekingprometheus
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I am frankly astonished and disgusted by some of the attitudes presented here. It is incredible to me that ostensibly "ornery" individuals can be so deferential to authority that the reaction to a blatant abuse of authority and the clear torture of a fellow human being is to immediately launch into conjecture to attempt to justify such egregious behavior.

So the kid was a dumb***. Fine. How can this possibility/probability be more pressing to you than the flagrant violation of authoritative responsibility? How is it possible to watch a video of a library full of students unable to stop a small gang of bullies from inflicting harm on a human being who is COMPLETELY passive physically, and to immediately react by expressing a conviction that he deserved it? (A conviction, it should be noted, that is based almost purely on speculation). This amazes me.

Tom C: thanks for speaking sense--I especially liked the concise demonstration of exactly what such an absurd definition of "deserve" entails.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Other people 'deserve' what they get when we're sure that *we* would never do such a thing to 'deserve' what they got.

Some Jewish schmuck bleeding heart liberal said, long ago, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The Bible doesn't record what I believe would be necessary for such a statement to have an effect: Jesus was holding two just-so sized pounders in each hand, ready to cave in the first skull that threw a stone. (stone-throwing skulls? sounds like a video game [Wink] )

Here's someone's rather rough transcription of a description of such a Jesus by Ezra Pound 20th century America's favorite traitor):

<begin>
Ha' we lost the goodliest fere o' all
For the priests and the gallows tree?
Aye lover he was of brawny men,
O' ships and the open sea.

When they came wi' a host to take Our Man
His smile was good to see,
"First let these go!" quo' our Goodly Fere,
"Or I'll see ye damned," says he.

Aye he sent us out through the crossed high spears
And the scorn of his laugh rang free,
"Why took ye not me when I walked about
Alone in the town?" says he.

Oh we drank his "Hale" in the good red wine
When we last made company,
No capon priest was the Goodly Fere
But a man o' men was he.

I ha' seen him drive a hundred men
Wi' a bundle o' cords swung free,
That they took the high and holy house
For their pawn and treasury.

They'll no' get him a' in a book I think
Though they write it cunningly;
No mouse of the scrolls was the Goodly Fere
But aye loved the open sea.

If they think they ha' snared our Goodly Fere
They are fools to the last degree.
"I'll go to the feast," quo' our Goodly Fere,
"Though I go to the gallows tree."

"Ye ha' seen me heal the lame and blind,
And wake the dead," says he,
"Ye shall see one thing to master all:
'Tis how a brave man dies on the tree."

A son of God was the Goodly Fere
That bade us his brothers be.
I ha' seen him cow a thousand men.
I have seen him upon the tree.

He cried no cry when they drave the nails
And the blood gushed hot and free,
The hounds of the crimson sky gave tongue
But never a cry cried he.

I ha' seen him cow a thousand men
On the hills o' Galilee,
They whined as he walked out calm between,
Wi' his eyes like the grey o' the sea,

Like the sea that brooks no voyaging
With the winds unleashed and free,
Like the sea that he cowed at Genseret
Wi' twey words spoke' suddently.

A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea,
If they think they ha' slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.

I ha' seen him eat o' the honey-comb
Sin' they nailed him to the tree.
<end>

[ November 20, 2006, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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DonaldD
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Interestingly, that story was only added to the canon in the 6th or 7th century. Regardless, I wonder why he wasn't actually depicted wielding a bowling ball as you suggest...
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The Drake
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You know what I felt when I was watching - more listening, really, to the video?

I thought about Cool Hand Luke, and how he just wouldn't stay down. Except in this case it was not getting up. I was silently begging him to get up, to end the event from his side - since the cops were obviously not going to end it from theirs.

Instead, he's screaming his head off about abuse of power, and I - from the safety of my apartment - am thinking, "Luke, just stay down and shut up! You're making it worse!"

So, if my reaction was to also be angry at the student, that's where it comes from. I don't claim it to be right or balanced or even rational, so spare the outrage at my choice to focus on the victim.

I don't like that this event existed in my world. Am I mad at the cops? Sure. They will be scrutinized for what they did. But the other participant in this fiasco should not be heralded as a martyr or freedom fighter, for he was none of those.

Most people here have admitted that.

What we share is a sense of outrage. I assume the cops will be dealt with - rightly or wrongly, and despite obvious precedents to suggest that they will escape without bearing the full cost of their actions.

But I would also like for people like this student to not disturb the fragile peace that we all manage to share in most places and most of the time -- against the odds, creating a civilization of sorts. That's why I get mad at the protester, the angry young man, the youth that has to be dragged away in cuffs to make their precious point that they were apparently not articulate enough to express with rational discourse.

Especially over an ID that could have been fetched with a minimum of fuss and no infringement upon anybody's time, energy, health, or discomfort.

I'm not going to speak any more on this subject for a while, at least until there is more information than inflammation.

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kenmeer livermaile
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'What we have here is a tazer to communicate.'
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kenmeer livermaile
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"That's why I get mad at the protester, the angry young man, the youth that has to be dragged away in cuffs to make their precious point that they were apparently not articulate enough to express with rational discourse."

At least he was trying to express a point. A lot of time cops have to deal with folks far more out of control than Mostafa who have no other point to make than the fact of their out of controlness.

Back in mid-80s downtown Yakima, some short, stocky, hoary bearded fellow used to regularly hold shouting sessions at twilight. He would rant about MKULTRA type things, wicked government conspiracies, stupid American sheep, thjat sort of thing.

I especially recall him hollering at the top of his ungs several times over, "They shot lasers in my eyes and set FIRE to my BRAIN!!!!"

He lived in a tiny granny cottage that gave even his immediate neighbors just enough space that his shouting wasn't directly in their ears, but still, the cops came around now and then.

I'm trying to think of our nickname for him. Not The Ranter. Something less negative.... AH, yes! The Exhorter. We called him The Exhorter.

Yakima in the 70s and 80s was a seasonal haven for exhorters of many stripes. Come September, when the fruit harvest afforded temp labor money for transient types, it was not extremely rare to see not one but two Jesus wannabes -- robe, sandals, hair, beard -- in the same day.

Seeing Jesus come out of the dirty booksore is a fond memory of mine.

But The Exhorter was of the essence of Yakima:

"They shot lasers in my eyes and set FIRE to my BRAIN!!!!"

*sigh* You can't make stuff like that up.

[ November 20, 2006, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Sequel: they shot tazers in my butt and set FIRE to my ASS!!!
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Jesse
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Huh.

I've seen that movie about twenty times, Drake...and every time I think "C'mon, get up and fight, you beautiful bastard, get up and fight. Take it 'till he can't dish out no more."

Some nights I weep at the extent to which we, as a Nation, have forgotten the faces of our fathers.

"Any man forgets his I.D. gets a cattle prod in the rear" ?

Not a world some of us are willing to accept.

My wife is now one of several thousand people to have canceled her alumni membership.

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Tom Curtis
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Ev:

quote:
Tom-
While generally agreeing with you, the least reliable evidence we have is eye-witness testimony. While we should probably take it at face value for the time being, its also necessary to recognize that what people are reporting is more likely to be not what occured then be what occured.

I wouldn't say it is the least reliable, but certainly it is unreliable. It is also the only relevant evidence we are likely to get in this case, other than the very confusing video. Furthermore, on several simple points even eyewitness testimony, particularly from so many witnesses, is sufficient to establish several points:

Tabatabainejad had left his desk and was proceding to the entrance when confronted by police;

He was prone on the floor when first tased, and not offering any violence;

The police tased him multiple times, even though he was offering no violence or threat of violence.

We don't need any more facts than that to know the police used excessive force.

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Tom Curtis
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jason:

quote:
I realize my formulation doesn't quite fit with all scenarios, but it's more or less spot on in most cases. In the examples you gave, it's true that most people would not say that the people "deserved" what they got, even though their choices led to reasonably foreseeable consequences. Then again, these people knew what they were getting into, as did their loved ones. Maybe they do deserve what they get in those examples, in a sense. Is it impossible to posit a definition of the word that excludes moral judgment? In other words, if I put $100 into an account at a rate of 15% interest, don't I deserve my $115 at the end? Is it impossible to say that a good person deserves for a bad thing to happen to them without condemning the choice that led to the consequence?

Then again, I realize I may be getting off the beaten path with this one. I'm content to say that people generally deserve the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their choices... except when they don't

It seems to me that what your saying is in effect that people "deserve" the reasonably forseeable consequences of their actions if you don't like their actions. Which is just another way of devalu-ing the language of justice by turning it into the language of prejudice.

In the simplest terms, a person passively resisting arrest does not deserve to be brutalised, regardless of the reason for the arrest. To suggest otherwise is to give police a role of punishment, which necessarilly means punishment without trial. Even Saddam Hussain or Osama bin Laden would not deserve to be tased even once if they passively resisted arrest, regardless of the fact that they unquestionably deserve the death sentence as a result of judicial review. That's bottom line. That is what the rule of law means.

If you do not adopt that standard, then whether somebody "deserves" rough treatment or not depends on whether you like their politics, or them personally.

I give your fair warning on this, this is not just a matter of principle with me. It is personal, because by your standard, my cousin deserved to be dragged by the feat down a flight of concrete steps when he passively resisted arrest at a demonstration, with results that crippled him for life; and his sister and her child deserved to be killed by a letter bomb for he political activism. Both reasonably foreseeable consequences of their activities.

So when you define deserves in terms of "reasonably forseeable consequences", I can forgive you once as being thoughtless. But then I have to wonder why you would persist with so unusual a definition which is guaranteed to give offence of casually applied.

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Funean
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Nicely used Dark Tower reference, Jesse. I often think the very same thing, in such contexts.

Jasonr, I understand your point but the fact that I might deserve to have my car stolen when I leave it unlocked doesn't make the guy who takes it less of a car thief. The fact that an opportunity and means exists, as well as possible emotional motivation, doesn't mitigate the wrongness of an act. And even if the motivations were noble, I will never accept any argument in which the ends are used to justify an unacceptable means. If the path is ugly, the destination is thereby tainted.

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Dagonee
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quote:
This makes my fundamental point. Given the information we have, no reasonable person could have believed the repeated tasing was necessary for the safety of the police or public. Not only was the force excessive, it could not have reasonably been believed to not be excessive. Therefore it was criminal assault.
It would be helpful if one were to look up the standards for charging an officer with assault before making such bold pronouncements.

From the official policies of the department:

quote:
Pain compliance techniques may be very effective in controlling a passive or actively resisting individual. Officers may only apply those pain compliance techniques for which the officer has received Departmentally approved training and only when the officer reasonably believes that the use of such a technique appears necessary to further a legitimate law enforcement purpose. Officers utilizing any pain compliance technique should consider the totality of the circumstance including, but not limited to:
(a) The potential for injury to the officer(s) or others if the technique is not used,
(b) The potential risk of serious injury to the individual being controlled,
(c) The degree to which the pain compliance technique may be controlled in application according to the level of resistance,
(d) The nature of the offense involved,
(e) The level of resistance of the individual(s) involved,
(f) The need for prompt resolution of the situation,
(g) If time permits (e.g. passive demonstrators), other reasonable alternatives.
The application of any pain compliance technique shall be discontinued once the officer determines that full compliance has been achieved.

quote:
6) CRITERIA FOR USE - DRIVE STUN
Authorized personnel may use a Taser in a drive stun capacity, as a pain compliance technique, in the following situations.
A) To eliminate physical resistance from an arrestee in accomplishing an arrest or physical search.
B) When a skirmish line is deployed and/or for pain compliance against passive resistors as allowed in UCLA Police Policy § 301.24 (Pain Compliance Techniques).
C) To stop a dangerous animal.

There's no mention of the suspect being cuffed. Passive resistance - which the suspect has now admitted was being used - can justify pain compliance via drive stun use of the taser.

It's going to be hard to demonstrate the officer acted outside the bounds of this policy, assuming he received the training mentioned in the policy.

Note that the test in the first section quoted is a totality of the circumstances test, which means not every listed factor has to resolve in favor of the use of force.

Obviously, the presence of the policy doesn't mean it is just or moral. But you didn't make a moral claim, you made a legal one.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
So when you define deserves in terms of "reasonably forseeable consequences", I can forgive you once as being thoughtless. But then I have to wonder why you would persist with so unusual a definition which is guaranteed to give offence of casually applied.
It looks like I'm beaten Tom. Nice job.
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Adam Masterman
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Lots of emotion on this issue, and the points seem to be fairly made, so I won't jump into the fray. The video, I will say, was very disturbing. Personally, I was quite viscerally reminded of the videos of the PSB cracking down on Falon Gong pratitioners. Irregardless of what he did, this young man was very clearly brutalized by those cops. I don't imagine anyone enjoyed seeing that happen in the U.S.

Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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"for pain compliance against passive resistors as allowed in UCLA Police Policy § 301.24 (Pain Compliance Techniques)."

Well that's just a plain outright ****ED law.

I've seen plain old late night Chicago cops make a seriously nodding junkie snap up to his feet just by jamming their thumbs underneath the fellow's are under his bottom ear lobe. (Try it. Hit a certain point and !WHAM!.) A junky way deep in a nod is SO passively resisting arrest it's like trying put handcuffs on oatmeal.

Only took a second. The fella was up and didn't want anymore. They had no problem escorting him from the establishment. (Maury's Diner on Larence Avenue)

Tazing? Electroshock proven to be potentially lethal? 100 years ago it was Pinkerton guards and billy clubs.

" a) Therefore it was criminal assault.

b) It would be helpful if one were to look up the standards for charging an officer with assault before making such bold pronouncements."

It might help to know the full and prime meaning of a word before firing piss-ant legal boilerplate out yer ass.

Definitions of criminal on the Web (bold and italic emphases mine):

* condemnable: bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure; "a criminal waste of talent"; "a deplorable act of violence"; "adultery is as reprehensible for a husband as for a wife"
* guilty of crime or serious offense; "criminal in the sight of God and man"

* involving or being or having the nature of a crime; "a criminal offense"; "criminal abuse"; "felonious intent"
* someone who has committed (or been legally convicted of) a crime
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

* A crime in a broad sense is an act that violates a political or moral law. In the narrow sense, a crime is a violation of the criminal law. For example, most traffic violations or breach of contracts are not crimes in a legal sense.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal

* COMPLAINT: A written statement of the facts alleging that a crime has been committed by the Defendant. The Complain usually includes the state stature or city ordinance of the crime, and the severity of the crime.
www.vermilionmunicipalcourt.org/terms.html

* A type of case in which the person is charged with a crime and may face penalties including fines, jail time, or imprisonment.
www.goldberg-law.com/legal_vocabulary.htm

The Law, under whose Rule we live, is supposed to be a distillation of moral ethics shared in common by We the People. Thus Tom's statement immediately following that which you cited (bold emphasis mine):

"The officers ought to be charged with criminal assault."

Get thee to a lawyery, Dag.

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