UCLA Taser Cop Is An 18-year Veteran

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During an 18-year career, a cop is bound to be involved in some action. That’s certainly true of officer Terrence Duren who is at the center of the overblown Taser incident with student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23.

Duren had to shoot a trespassing vagrant in a campus study hall three years ago. Then there was a brawl on fraternity row where someone complained about Duren using excessive force. The complainers got the best of Duren who took a 90-day suspension avoiding dismissal.

There are always a percentage of ignorant people arrested for criminal activity that complain about the cop hoping that their complaint will somehow nullify the arrest. That phenomenon is much more prevalent with young people that deny or minimize the conduct that led to the arrest when explaining things to their parents.

Making smoke about the use of the Taser or suggesting racial profiling does not change three things, Tabatabainejad’s refusal to show ID, leave as ordered, and his failure to peacefully submit to arrest. Tabatabainejad put on a good show for the other students by getting Tasered but the fact remains he was uninjured.

A better approach to calling officer Duren on the carpet would be to examine Tabatabainejad’s conduct and whether he should be suspended or expelled as a student.

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2 responses to “UCLA Taser Cop Is An 18-year Veteran

  1. Like almost any instance where there’s a bullshit force complaint…had the individual acted like a civilized human being and simply cooperated with the police, the situation would’ve been avoided. He decided to resist and HE FORCED the police to adminster physical force…plain and simple. The fact that he screamed and yelled after being hit with the taser does not change the fact that he forced the police to taser him. It also does not matter that a bunch of liberal college students with zero life experience have a problem with it. Their opinion on the matter holds no matter. In fact half of them should’ve been collared for obstructing governmental administration. The police acted appropriately and used the least amount of force necessary to accomplish the task. They should be commended, period.

  2. This is not a “bullshit force complaint” PD, and this student did not FORCE the police to do anything. By most accounts he was about to leave the library in compliance with the security guard’s request when the police arrived and Tasered him. While this student could have been more polite to the Campus Safety Officer (what do you mean by “governmental administration” anyways?) the fact remains that he was only passively resisting and posed a threat to no one.

    UCLA’s police officers have the strange distinction of being the only law enforcement agency in the region and the UC system that is allowed to use Tasers on passive resisters, non-violent individuals, and handcuffed detainees. The officers did not violate any of their policies, but that does not mean they acted appropriately or used the “least amount of force necessary.” And why do you think they should get a commendation for successfully removing a student from a library who didn’t have his ID? Was anyone’s life saved by their actions? Is it a case of uncommon valor when five police officers electrocute a handcuffed student? You can defend the campus police all you want, but put things in perspective at least.

    And as far as the original post goes, what “criminal activity” was this student arrested for? As it turns out, the police didn’t even have enough to book him. He was given a ticket for resisting arrest and sent on his way. While resisting arrest is a crime, he certainly wasn’t committing this crime while he was studying in the library before the security guard asked for his student ID. I don’t think his goal in complaining about being electrocuted is to “nullify” his arrest because there isn’t really anything to nullify. It’s not like he’s on his third strike here is it?

    Regardless of how much “life experience” UCLA’s students have (and believe me, many of them have a remarkable amount for their age), they have a vested interest in the quality of service they receive from the police officers who patrol their campus. This student was studying in the library and minding his own business before he was Tasered by the police. He was not creating a disturbance, and was not endangering anyone. He was not breaking any law, even when he refused to present his student ID. I believe the students were upset at the officer’s tactics because the tactics used by the campus police have an immediate relevance for them. Their opinion actually does “hold matter” (whatever that means). Think about how you might feel if you lived in a private community with it’s own police force, and then those police went to your next door neighbor’s house because of a zoning violation, pulled him away as he was washing his car, and then handcuffed and electrocuted him. While the student involved could have defused the situation by being more polite, the amount of force the police used to remove him from the building (Tasering him at least 5x including at least once while he was handcuffed) was without a doubt more than what was necessary.

    Your stereotype about UCLA’s student body is inaccurate. I don’t know if you’ve been to a university campus lately, but the 60s are definitely over. I taught at UCLA for several years and it is no hotbed of liberalism. The political mood there is best described as apathetic. For the students who do engage in politics, the Green Party is not their only option; the Republican Club is very active there. Another indicator of the political leanings of the student body is the fact that a significant number that I encountered are Evangelicals.

    And before you accuse me of being some sort of academic lefty you should know that I worked in law enforcement for 17+ years. I’ve dealt with more than my share of rude and non-compliant people and am proud to say that a cooler head prevailed every time.

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