Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Use of Force at the UCLA library

Well, it seems that a student had a video camera at the UCLA library during the recent Taser incident. As I watched this, I was struck by two things. First, the camera man starts a bit into the incident, so we don't see the beginning, and he doesn't do a decent job of getting to the front of the crowd to record the scene, so we don't really get to see a whole lot. But, we do hear a great deal.

Second, it appears the officers Taser the student when he doesn't follow instructions to "Get up." It's clear he's not a threat, nor is he doing more than passive resistance, but they shock him, anyway. And, they shock him more than once.

See the video here:

My question is simple: for what reason did the officer move up the use of force continuum, and why did he stay there? This diagram of the use force continuum clearly shows the officers not matched to the student's behavior:
If the job wasn't tough in years past -- and it was -- it's certainly tough now with the proliferation of digital cameras and video recorders.

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