I was extremely shocked today to watch the video of a UCLA student screaming out in pain as he is repeatedly tazed by the University of California’s Police Department when he did not immediately comply with their demands that he leave the building. Although I do agree that the student overreacted when the police demanded that he leaves, I can see no evidence of a physical danger that he posed, and the the response from the police was neither humane nor calculated. It is sad to see that the authorities who are responsible for the students that will form the next generation of leaders in the USA act in such brash, trigger-happy ways. The initial press article is here (“Student shot with taser by UCPD“) as well as a follow up (“Community responds to Taser use in Powell“).
It is very ironic to note that UCLA just awarded a “Meritorious Service/Taser Award” to their officers for “subduing a patient without harm after he threatened staff at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital”. It sure seemed that these officers thought they had the perfect opportunity to be awarded the “Angry mob/Taser Award”. I can only hope that I do not find myself in a situation where this is happening, because chances are good that people at Berkeley will step in more forcefully that the onlookers at UCLA, since there is still strong feelings of “protecting” our legacy from the Free Speech Movement.
I would say more, but I do not feel safe to express any other opinions that I already have.