[Marxism] Taser-firing cop at UCLA had a violent past

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Nov 21 07:11:41 MST 2006


(It turns out that cop who fired the taser gun at UCLA is an 
African-American. I guess he didn't understand that nation trumps class.)

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-taser21nov21,0,1459046.story?coll=la-home-headlines
Officer in Taser case identified
Terrence Duren, a 2001 UCLA officer of the year, has been the subject of 
two other use-of-force complaints.
By Charles Proctor and Richard Winton
Times Staff Writers

November 21, 2006

The UCLA police officer videotaped last week using a Taser gun on a student 
also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and 
was earlier recommended for dismissal in connection with an alleged assault 
on fraternity row, authorities said.

UCLA police confirmed late Monday that the officer who fired the Taser gun 
was Terrence Duren, who has served in the university's Police Department 
for 18 years.

Duren, who was named officer of the year in 2001, also has been involved in 
several controversial incidents on campus.

In an interview with The Times on Monday night, Duren, 43, defended his 
record as a campus police officer and urged people to withhold judgment 
until the review of his Taser use is completed.

"I patrol this area the same way I would want someone to patrol the 
neighborhoods where I live," he said. "People make allegations against cops 
all the time. Saying one thing and proving it are two different things."

While he would not directly talk about why he used the Taser on the 
student, he said a videotape of any arrest doesn't necessarily tell the 
whole story.

"If someone is resisting, sometimes it's not going to look pretty taking 
someone into custody," he said. "If you have to use some force, it's not 
going to look pretty. That's the nature of this job."

A student's cellphone video of the incident has been broadcast around the 
world and focused much criticism on the officer.

But Duren — who was back on duty at the UCLA campus Monday night — said he 
can roll with these punches and wants to explain himself to students 
critical of his actions.

"In this line of business, you have to have a thick skin," he added. "I am 
proud of my service as a cop."

The incident occurred about 11 p.m. Nov. 14 in a library filled with 
students studying for midterm examinations.

Senior Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, was asked by Duren and other university 
police officers for his ID as part of a routine nightly procedure to make 
sure that everyone using the library after 11 p.m. is a student or 
otherwise authorized to be there.

Authorities said Tabatabainejad refused repeated requests to provide 
identification or to leave. The officers decided to use the Taser to 
incapacitate Tabatabainejad after he went limp while they were escorting 
him out and after he urged other library patrons to join his resistance, 
according to the university's account.

The video shows portions of the incident, in which Tabatabainejad can be 
heard screaming in pain when the Taser shocks are administered.

The tape, which has been broadcast on the YouTube website and TV newscasts, 
prompted widespread criticism both on campus and from outsiders. On Friday, 
more than 200 students held a march to the police station, while acting 
Chancellor Norman Abrams tried to quell the critics by announcing an 
independent investigation of the Taser use. Abrams said UCLA had received 
numerous e-mails and calls from concerned alumni and parents.

Tabatabainejad's attorney, Stephen Yagman, said his client was shocked five 
times with the Taser after he refused to show his ID because he thought he 
was being singled out for his Middle Eastern appearance. Tabatabainejad is 
of Iranian descent but is a U.S. citizen by birth and a resident of Los 
Angeles.

Duren said Monday that he joined the UCLA police force after being fired 
from the Long Beach Police Department in the late 1980s. He said he was a 
probationary officer at the time and was let go because of poor 
report-writing skills and geographical knowledge.

In May 1990, he was accused of using his nightstick to choke someone who 
was hanging out on a Saturday in front of a UCLA fraternity. Kente S. Scott 
alleged that Duren confronted him while he was walking on the street 
outside the Theta Xi fraternity house.

Scott sued the university, and according to court records, UCLA officials 
moved to have Duren dismissed from the police force. But after an 
independent administrative hearing, officials overturned the dismissal, 
suspending him for 90 days.

Duren on Monday disputed the allegations made by Scott.

In October 2003, Duren shot and wounded a homeless man he encountered in 
Kerckhoff Hall. Duren chased the man into a bathroom, where they struggled 
and he fired two shots.

The homeless man, Willie Davis Frazier, was later convicted of assaulting 
an officer. Duren said Frasier had tried to grab his gun during the 
struggle. But Frazier's attorney, John Raphling, said his client was 
mentally ill and didn't do anything to provoke the shooting.

It remains unclear when the independent investigation of the Taser incident 
will be completed. It will be headed by Merrick Bobb, a veteran watchdog of 
both the Los Angeles Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff's departments.

UCLA police officials said in a short statement that Duren arrived at 
Powell Library with Officer Alexis Bicomong. Duren "discharged the Taser," 
the statement said. Officers Kevin Kilgore, Andrew Ikeda and Ricardo 
Bolanos, and Sgt. Philip Baguliao, a supervisor, were also at the scene.

"Let the independent watchdog run its course," Duren said.

The officer said that when the probe is complete, he'd like to sit down 
with students, particularly Muslim student groups, to explain his actions 
at the library.

"I have nothing to hide."

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