World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Call For Taser Investigation Into UCLA Police

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2006

THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD CALLS FOR AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE BY UCLA POLICE OFFICERS

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) calls for an independent investigation into the use of a Taser by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Police Department against 23-year-old student Mostafa Tabatabainejad on November 14, 2006. The Guild rejects the use of, and threats to use, Tasers as an excessive use of force and urges an investigation into the incident and UCLA's Taser policy.

The Taser used by the UCLA Police Department delivers an electrical shock to a specific part of the body. This type of shock could reportedly severely incapacitate a person for up to 15 seconds, thereby prohibiting the victim from standing or walking on his or her own. According to a report by Amnesty International, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.

The police officers asked Mr. Tabatabainejad, an Iranian student, to leave a campus library after he was unable to produce proper identification during a random ID search. Mr. Tabatabainejad believes he was targeted for his racial identity as he was singled out from all of the other students in the library for an ID check. Video evidence taken by another student shows Mr. Tabatabainejad asserting his rights to a UCLA police officer before they began shocking him with a Taser, which they did at least five times. Witnesses, including the person videotaping and others who insisted the officers stop and requested badge numbers, were threatened with Taser abuse by the police officers if they did not disperse.

"The use of Tasers constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment which violates the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty ratified by the United States and thus part of U.S. law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution," said NLG President Marjorie Cohn.

As James Lafferty, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles points out, “This is not an isolated occurrence. On November 15, a 43-year-old man in Rocky Mount, North Carolina died in custody after being Tasered by local police officers. Tasers are dangerous weapons that must not be used by law enforcement officers as tools of repression in any circumstance."

The National Lawyers Guild supports the efforts of community members and people of color—who are frequently victims of excessive use of force—protesting this use of excessive force on the UCLA campus.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is a progressive bar association working in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters. The Guild has a long history of challenging police misconduct around the country.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news