Tabatabainejad is suing the campus police department for brutal excessive force and false arrest. Tabatabainejads attorney, Stephen Yagman, stated that the student declined to show his ID card because he was singled out for his Middle Eastern appearance and was being racially profiled. Were here to protest the excessive use of force, said Sabiha Ameen, president of the Muslim Students Association, at the November 17 rally. We do not feel safe on campus anymore. This is why we are demanding an independent investigation be carried out with students and that the officers involved in the action be immediately suspended. The event was called by more than 50 student organizations and supported by campus organizations across the country.
A video made of the attack by a witness shows Tabatabainejad saying hes going to leave and the repeated tasering by officers. Theres been a lot of outrage, said Negin Yaginhoot, a third-year student at UCLA. In the video, you can see a girl ask the police for their badge numbers and they respond by threatening to Taser her too.
Midway through the rally, protesters decided to march to the university police headquarters carrying signs that read, I am a student, Dont Taser me! and chanting U-C-P-D, You disgust me! As they approached, police locked the doors, turned off the lights, and dressed in riot gear, according to The Daily Bruin, the UCLA student newspaper.
So far the officers involved have not been suspended nor put on leave. The day after the demonstration, UCLA acting chancellor Norman Abrams said that an independent investigation of the event would be launched, headed up by Merrick Bobb, who was also a part of the investigations of the Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King.
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