"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Gentleman and a Scholar?

You pay $23, 0000 to have your little darling attend UCLA. You're so proud of little Mostafa Tabatabainejad; he's now a senior and knows that to get into the campus library, he has to present a student ID. Your little dear is of Iranian descent, and even though he surely must have been asked to present his ID before, this time he refuses, because he feels he's being "profiled" because of his race.

Not surprisingly, the student volunteer working at the library asks him to leave. He refuses. A campus police officer asks him to leave and he refuses. He starts shouting about the Patriot Act and his rights and demanding that the officer take his hand off of him as he's being escorted out the door. He drops to the ground in defiance of the officer and begins yelling and asking the other students to join in his "protest."

He holds onto furniture so the officers cannot drag him away. Even when he's eventually handcuffed, he resists their efforts to drag him away. So, to try to gain his compliance, the police officers stun your baby boy with a taser device, which delivers an electric shock.

Tasers are controversial because the ACLU and other pro-criminal groups do not like them. Police like them because they safely immobilize offenders short of using more lethal methods like batons or firearms. In fact, the UCLA police won a life-saving award from the manufacturer of Taser for a situation where "officers subdued a patient who allegedly threatened staff at the campus' Neuropsychiatric Hospital with metal scissors."

Although apparently some isolated deaths have occurred after tasers have been used, most reputable studies conclude that there is an extremely low risk of death or injury from use of such devices. Of course, any physical interaction with the police could result in unintentional death or injury because police cannot know in advance what hidden ailments an offender might suffer from. (This incident, obviously coercive of Mostafa's will and upsetting to his dignity, and clearly violative of the "golden rule" may, however, constitute torture under some interpretations.)

Back to our story: recall, if you will; your little 23k darling is exercizing his right to practice civil disobedience against the Patriot Act by not producing his ID at the school library and by shouting and carrying on and resisting removal by the police. They taser him a couple of times to attempt to get him to cease resisting. Little Mostafa's friends in the university community start expressing solidarity with Mostafa by closing in on the police, yelling at them and generally coming very close to obstructing justice. Eventually the police are able literally to drag your little dear out of the library amidst the shouting and complaining of the lad's fellow scholars.

UCLA education: $23,000.

Having a stunning evening at the campus library: free.

Suing UCLA for big bucks? Priceless.

At least they're teaching them something at UCLA-- when you precipitate an incident in which you cause the police to have to give you a kick in the pants, sue.

It's the American (Civil Liberties Union) way.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Of course. ACLU is an anagram for UCLA...