Breaking: Police 'Tase' UCLA student apparently without cause [VIDEO]
A report from UCLA's Daily Bruin seems to support what I was initially skeptical of, after watching the harried cell phone video to the right -- that a student was shot repeatedly with a taser by campus police in response to absolutely no threat. Zero.
The scariest part? I can't find any regulation they broke by using this "less lethal" weapon on the student.
The Bruin writes:
At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.
The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.
The student began to yell "get off me," repeating himself several times.
It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition.Campus Police are subject to all the same rules and regulations as California police. That's because they are California Police: "The officers of the department are armed and possess the same authority under the law as municipal police officers."
Unfortunately, as the ACLU has noted, there are virtually no regulations covering the use of tasers for officers:
Furthermore, the maker of the X26, the preferred stun gun of California law enforcment, pushes the Taser as a "nonlethal" weapon, despite the fact that dozens have died either as a direct or indirect result of being tased: "Since 1999, at least 148 people in the United States and Canada have died after encounters with police who shocked them with Tasers."
As far back as 2003 I found a review of the Taser in the industry mag, Police Magazine [PDF], that characterizes the Taser as a "less-lethal" weapon. Not "non" but "less"...
(Hat tip: AmericaBlog)