21 November 2006


"Urthwalker" from MySpace pointed out in his blog that the UCLA police's taser policy allows them to torture nonviolent resisters. This is, of course, important in light of the recent, and repeated, tasering of a UCLA student in one of UCLA's libraries. As Lenin's Tomb put it:
The most grotesque part of the video is where the cops are telling him to get up and walk. Having sent 50,000 volts through his body, they know he's been temporarily paralysed and can't walk for shit. Yet, they continue to tell him that if he doesn't get up and stop struggling, he will be tased again. They electrocute him five times, and threaten students who attempt to intervene that they too will get shot with the taser if they get too close.
What this brings to mind is the experiments done by Stanley Milgram, which had as their aim to determine whether ordinary Americans could be made to torture each other by nothing so much as authoritative-looking figures in white labcoats. It is also reminiscent of Philip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment, in which experimental subjects were made to behave as prisoners and prison guards.

Now, perhaps, I understand the meaning of the "human subjects" forms I was asked to fill out when applying to The Ohio State University to write an ethnographic dissertation. Presumably, the University asked me to fill out these forms because (according to the original bureaucratic rationale) they did not want me to do experiments of the Milgram or Zimbardo sort. It appears that the University (or at least UCLA) wants its police force to have a monopoly on that type of research.

Here's the future in that line of "research": what happens to a people when you take away their reasons for living sanely, while at the same time making it impossible for them to "resist nonviolently"...


Blogger Algernon said...

It's a nauseous video: I have watched it several times looking for any legitimate basis for the tasering, and cannot find one. The kid is on the ground, overpowered by three officers, and tasered repeatedly. It is like watching a video of a rape. Another striking thing on the video is that an officer threatens a student who merely asked for his badge number. That these officers are not put on leave from duty while the incident is investigated is an abomination.

9:18 AM  

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