Who ordered the scrambled brains?

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Updated: Police heroically detain enemy combatant at UCLA

Check - this - out.

From what I wrote in a MyUCLA forum post:

There’s not enough information for me to definitively say whether I feel the use of force was justified. But I think it’s worth clarifying conceptually, that the primary role police officers perform is the enforcement of the law, as agents of the executive branch. The use of force by a police officer is an act of judgment (and sentencing, both functions of the judicial branch). It is because the use of force breaches this fundamental separation of powers that its application be restricted to handling clearly apparent threats.

Another thing to consider is whether officers that preside over a small, generally safe community encounter enough threatening situations to acquire the ability to respond quickly and fairly in intense situations. With that in mind, one must wonder what is the worth of a “student-friendly” police department if their officers are so insulated from danger that they feel justified in applying excessive force regardless of the actual threat level of a situation. (Not that the LAPD doesn’t have it’s own problems.)

Yeah, it could be said he was inciting the public to violence, but two trained police officers couldn’t subdue a student without Tasering him five times? I mean, if dozens of surrounding college students were calling for the officers to stop, then it seems highly unlikely that the officers’ actions were justified. Ferchrissake, the kid can be heard screaming in agony “I’m not fighting you” and “I said I would leave”. And the fact that the entire altercation occurred when he was heading for the exit in the first place?! Not to mention that to use the computers you need to be a current member of the UCLA community (faculty, staff or student). If nothing else, there is a heavy burden at the moment for the UCPD to justify their actions and for the UCLA administration to appropriately address the concerns of the UCLA community.

Update: I’ve checked technorati, god bless their souls, and found an amazing response to this story. Here’s a quick run through of a cursory search. Pretty amazing phenomena in terms of speed and pervasiveness of information flow. What I find most interesting are the themes that keep popping up: extreme anger that leads to accusations that the student witnesses should have physically intervened, almost universal references to the quote “Papers, please” and the decline of the U.S. into Fascism (mostly by international observers), confusion about the actual story (”Are they cops or security guards?”), letter-writing, and then the typical low-brow, high-school student responses (”Awesome! LOLZ!!!!11″). The comradarie and concern by students within the UC system is also quite impressive. California is quite progressive, and that is magnified at the university level.

As far as the cultural effect, in even one year, this type of immediate, widespread, highly-accessible public reaction will be even more developed and … highly-accessible. It’s interesting that this process bypasses a lot of media and participant (administrators, spokespersons, victims’ lawyers) spin. You end up with a raw emotional reaction, unmeasured by a spoon-feeding media. Most people didn’t even read the corresponding articles and were merely responding to the video. It’s all very fascinating, and the effect on culture is just beginning. What will things be like 20 years from now, with extremely high levels of internet connectivity and an overwhelming amount of public data (where you could actually get a response to a question as random as “What was the temperature in the 3rd floor broom closet of the Chrysler Building was 40 days ago?”) My feeling is that the downside will be diminished value in privacy. As information becomes more accessible, privacy becomes less feasible, and the property will be absorbed and accepted by culture for the sake of technological progress.

Here’s the list I mentioned above, in case you’re interested. This doesn’t include the Facebook (college social networking site) group dedicated to this event, with a membership of 1500 students and counting, and a growing message board of 500 comments. More links at this technorati search.
http://daiwizzy.livejournal.com/54463.html (friend of one of the CSOs involved)
(UCPD press release)
http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2006/11/heres-your-patriot-act-heres-your.html (49)
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Commenting options at bottom.
Where Is America Heading To .com said:

I was truly shocked about the video and see that a lot of people in youtube were downplaying this incident so I stayed up the whole night creating a website for this and even registered a domain. Please visit http://whereisamericaheadingto.com to vote and express your opinion. We have to do something.


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