mailing list archives
Tasing at UCLA -- response from Assistant Vice Chancellor
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 18:27:41 -0500
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Craig A. Johnson" <caj () tdrs com>
Date: November 18, 2006 12:03:20 PM EST
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Tasing at UCLA -- response from Assistant Vice Chancellor
As an alumnus with advanced degrees from UCLA, I found this episode
very alarming -- and wrote to the media relations shop.
I am sending my original note, the Vice Chancellor's response, and my
Please use if you wish.
To: "Public Comment" <publiccomment () support ucla edu>
From: "Craig A. Johnson" <caj () tdrs com>
Subject: RE: Suggestion for UCLA media relations
Dear Mr. Lokman:
I appreciate your prompt response and am pleased that you and Mr.
Abrams are on the job investigating this very disturbing action.
Perhaps your policy of having students who have forgotten their IDs
being subject to manhandling and, in this instance, "tased" by
University cops should be re-examined. All reports indicate the
student posed no threat, and was in fact voluntarily leaving the
Powell Library. In fact, students being students, one would think
that a mandatory ID presentation policy should be administered with a
very light touch.
I and several of my fellow alumni look forward to hearing the results
of the investigation.
Craig A. Johnson
I am responding to your message of concern regarding the arrest of
a UCLA student at Powell Library and the use of a taser by the
University of California Police Department. Rest assured this
matter has the close attention of Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams,
who has requested a swift and fair investigation with attention, of
course, to due process concerns. I can assure you that student
safety and treatment is a matter of the utmost importance to UCLA.
As updated information becomes available, we will post it at
www.ucla.edu, in the "News & Notices" section of the Web site.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Communications
Updated Statement from Chancellor Abrams
About the Incident at Powell Library
November 17, 2006
A number of students, parents and members of the public have
contacted me to express their concern about Tuesday evening’s
incident in which university police took a student into custody at
Powell Library. Since the incident, I have been in close contact
with the chief of police and have asked that the investigation into
the actions of all involved move at the quickest pace possible
without sacrificing fairness.
I am committed to our country’s system of due process which
counsels us not to rush to judgment. It would be best if everyone,
within and without the university, would withhold judgment pending
review of the matter. I, too, have watched the videos, and I do not
believe that one can make a fair judgment regarding the matter from
the videos alone. I am encouraged that a number of witnesses have
come forward and are participating in the investigation.
To parents who are concerned about the safety of their children at
the university, student safety and treatment are of paramount
concern at UCLA. Indeed, this incident arose out of a university
policy that is designed to ensure student safety, which requires
persons in the library after 11:00 p.m. to be prepared to identify
There are conflicting reports of what transpired in this matter. I
am confident that the review process underway will lead to a
complete and accurate story of what took place. We must let the
fact-finding process take its course.
From: Craig A. Johnson [mailto:caj () tdrs com]
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 8:18 AM
To: Campus Leadership (OMR)
Subject: Suggestion for UCLA media relations
Dear Media Relations:
Perhaps the administration should use this in their frequent calls
for donations to the Alumni Fund, etc. I'm sure it would inspire
many of us alumni to pony up. After all, who can't support random
tasering on the UCLA campus?
Craig A. Johnson
Daily Bruin -- Wednesday, November 15, 20006
[BREAKING NEWS]: Student shot with Taser by UCPD officers
Incident occured around 11:30 p.m. in the Powell Library CLICC
UCPD officers shot a student several times with a Taser inside the
Powell Library CLICC computer lab late Tuesday night before taking
him into custody.
No university police officers were available to comment further
about the incident as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, and no Community Service
Officers who were on duty at the time could be reached.
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
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
The student began to yell "get off me," repeating himself several
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
UCPD officers confirmed that the man involved in the incident was a
student, but did not give a name or any additional information
about his identity.
Video shot from a student's camera phone captured the student
yelling, "Here's your Patriot Act, here's your fucking abuse of
power," while he struggled with the officers.
As the student was screaming, UCPD officers repeatedly told him to
stand up and said "stop fighting us." The student did not stand up
as the officers requested and they shot him with the Taser at least
"It was the most disgusting and vile act I had ever seen in my
life," said David Remesnitsky, a 2006 UCLA alumnus who witnessed
As the student and the officers were struggling, bystanders
repeatedly asked the police officers to stop, and at one point
officers told the gathered crowd to stand back and threatened to
use a Taser on anyone who got too close.
Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the
library during the incident, said police officers threatened to
shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and
his badge number.
Gordy was visibly upset by the incident and said other students
were also disturbed.
"It's a shock that something like this can happen at UCLA," she
said. "It was unnecessary what they did."
Immediately after the incident, several students began to contact
local news outlets, informing them of the incident, and Remesnitsky
wrote an e-mail to Interim Chancellor Norman Abrams.
With reports from Lisa Connolly, Derek Lipkin and Saba Riazati,
Bruin senior staff.
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- Tasing at UCLA -- response from Assistant Vice Chancellor David Farber (Nov 18)