Digital Culture

UCLA Student Tasered in Library

Police tasered a student at UCLA yesterday after he was unable to produce his Student ID card. The video above is raw but powerful, especially the reactions of the other students. Throughout the recording the audio is the most jarring part, with a female in the background screaming in fear while the police repeatedly ask the male student to “stand up” after they tased him. At 6:35 in the video, a student in a white tshirt is asking the police for an explanation while other officers are removing the tasered student from the building, and a police officer tells him to “Move over there.” After the student challenges him to explain why, the cops response is “Move back over there or you’re going to get tased too…”.


From The Daily Bruin:

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 building immediately.

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 as well.

The student began to yell “get off me,” repeating himself several times.

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 condition.

What I’m interested in, though, is…where are the librarians? All of the reaction shots and voices appear to be students…where is the librarian asking WTF the police are doing to their patron? That’s what I’d like to know. Anyone at UCLA have an answer?

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

10 replies on “UCLA Student Tasered in Library”

At MFPOW, at 11:30 pm, the only staff in the building would have been students (undergrad and grad assistants), and paraprofessionals. Depending on where the confrontation occurred (again, at MFPOW), none of those might have been anywhere nearby — and yes, that includes near the main exit – that station was usually staffed by one paraprofessional and one security person.

librarian reactions to the taser incident in UCLA’s Powell Library…

ALA President Leslie Burger has written an open letter to UCLA Acting Chancellor, Norman Abrams, expressing her concern and shock at the taser incident which happened in the Powell Library on November 14, 2006. This follows condemnation by ACRLog and…

I agree that use of a taser is a significant act and one that needs to be used in conjunction with a thought out/common sense escalation of force plan. However, let’s not forget the “victim” was guilty of failing to follow officer’s directions. We all need to understand that the police are enforcing order. This individual should have exited the premises when initially asked. The whole episode would have ended there had he done so. Instead, he refuses to comply or “complies at his own speed” and so suffers his fate.

Absolutely investigate the escalation of force. But remember the ownership the tased individual has here. The system has turned 180 degrees to the point where the guilty are always innocent (in the eyes of the media) and the police are always guilty. Let’s remember who we rely on to save us when we’re victims of lawless persons.

A Concerned Citizen

I believe the boy tried to finish up what he doing in the computer lab before he took his backpack to leave. Not a criminal act, nor was acting slow to leave the building. He WAS leaving you know. The police were responsible for keeping peace and did not do it. Isn’t their alternative title “Peace Officers”?

Ever hear of “EXCESSIVE FORCE”??? The investigation of the excessive force of the police should be the correct response, not the boy in the library. It’s all on tape. Use your eyes and your brain for what God intended, and be concerned about the citizens who want to downplay it.

unfortunately police officers are always considered guilty by the public until the courts prove them, not innocent but justified in their actions. this case is one that shouldn’t need much explaining. 1. the student, who failed to prove he was a student, was asked to leave. HE DID NOT. 2. when leaving was confronted by police officers who now must assist this gentleman in leaving and he does not comply with their commands. IF HE CANNOT PROVIDE ID HE IS ASSUMED TO BE TRESSPASSING. 3. did not comply with officers and acted in a passive aggressive nature. calling upon other students to act with him is not only dangerous to himself but also to other students putting the officers in a defensive mindset. the officers must not only worry about the person they are trying to apprehend, but they must also worry about a large crowd of students gathering and yelling at them… put yourself in their shoes! alot of students, most of whom did not understand the student put himself in that position, are now angry and you and 2 other officers (1 or 2 not sure video is difficult) need to control a pissed off criminal and a large angry crowd who do not understand the law as well as the trained profesionals(most police officers!). BOTTOM LINE: the student F—ed up! unfortunately for him his bipolar disorder probably made the situation more difficult.
the officers chose in this situation to use a taser instead of more hands on physical force. proving that a taser was more effective is difficult but, with the crowd of students that gathered quickly the taser in this instance is also used as a deterant, or an intimidator to the other students.

At MFPOW, at 11:30 pm, the only staff in the building would have been students (undergrad and grad assistants), and paraprofessionals. Depending on where the confrontation occurred (again, at MFPOW), none of those might have been anywhere nearby — and yes, that includes near the main exit – that station was usually staffed by one paraprofessional and one security person.

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