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DEBATE TEAM BRINGS HOME TROPHIES

On the weekend of Nov. 11 and 12, the UM Debate Team won the Junior Varsity tournament championship at Appalachian State University. Freshman Carrie Hanson and her teammate, junior Christopher Torres, won five out of six preliminary debates and advanced into the semi-finals where they defeated James Madison University for the tournament win. Hanson and Torres were ranked as the tournament’s fourth and fifth-place speakers, respectively.

Senior Alex Acosta and junior Rob Weaver won four of six preliminaries and advanced into the quarterfinals for the Varsity division. Acosta was judged third-place speaker for the tournament.

ELSEWhere

COMMUNITY RESPONDS TO TASER USE AT UCLA

SARA TAYLOR // DAILY BRUIN (UCLA)

(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES – An incident late Tuesday night in which a University of California-Los Angeles student was stunned at least four times with a Taser has left the UCLA community questioning whether the university police officers’ use of force was an appropriate response to the situation.

Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was repeatedly stunned with a Taser and then taken into custody when he did not exit the CLICC Lab in Powell Library in a timely manner. Community Service Officers had asked Tabatabainejad to leave after he failed to produce his BruinCard during a random check at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said the checks are a standard procedure in the library after 11 p.m.

Young said the CSOs on duty in the library at the time went to get UCPD officers when Tabatabainejad did not immediately leave, and UCPD officers resorted to use of the Taser when Tabatabainejad did not do as he was told.

A six-minute video showed Tabatabainejad audibly screaming in pain as he was stunned several times with a Taser, each time for three to five seconds. He was told repeatedly to stand up and stop fighting, and was told that if he did not do so he would “get Tased again.”

Tabatabainejad was also stunned with the Taser when he was already handcuffed, said Carlos Zaragoza, a third-year English and history student who witnessed the incident.

A Taser delivers volts of low-amperage energy to the body, causing a disruption of the body’s electrical energy pulses and locking the muscles, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“It’s an electrical shock. … It causes pain,” Young said, adding that the drive stun would not likely demobilize a person or cause residual pain after the shock was administered. Young also said a Taser is less forceful than a baton, for example.

But according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001, a charge of three to five seconds can result in immobilization for five to 15 minutes, which would mean that Tabatabainejad could have been physically unable to stand when the officers demanded that he do so.

During the altercation between Tabatabainejad and the officers, bystanders can be heard in the video repeatedly asking the officers to stop and requesting their names and identification numbers. The video showed one officer responding to a student by threatening that the student would “get Tased too.” At this point, the officer was still holding a Taser.

ETC

Locks of Love will be coming to UM on Nov. 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Flamingo Ballroom A. Students can sign up for an appointment in UC 240. A minimum donation of eight inches of hair is required.

November 21, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.