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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Cops Should Never Get a Break

    Mostafa Tabatabainejad, the UCLA student who was shot with a taser by police on Nov. 14, was unnecessarily stubborn and stupidly self-righteous when he refused to comply with university policy. Tabatabainejad’s reference to the Patriot Act at the scene was unjustified, as are his claims of racial discrimination.

    Why would a college Community Service Officer (CSO) be worried about terrorism at a library computer lab? If he was trying to make a point, he fell short; his mock heroics seem more a cry for attention than a statement. Choose your battles, after all.

    However, Tabatabainejad definitely did not get what he wanted. Terrence Duren, the cop that attacked him, should face prosecution for his actions, and never serve again. Tasers kill people; people are not cattle prods. Tasers should be used in defense, when there exists an immediate threat of physical danger.

    Tasers should not be used to make a cop’s job easier, or as a form of punishment. When Tabatabainejad acted out, he wasn’t putting anyone in danger, no matter what the police department says.

    Based on his history, Duren is a loose canon. His actions were motivated by some sort of unhinged rage, a failure of basic judgment, a lack of respect for the people he serves, racism, or some combination of the four.

    We don’t want to hear about how cops are treated unfairly by the media; their power comes with an enormous responsibility. They should always be held accountable, and never get a break when they’re under fire. That’s just the nature of their job.

    Tabatabainejad’s little sit-in failed; it was silly and petty, from the start. But, unintentionally, he opened up a whole new can of worms. Innocent people should never have to feel afraid of the people that are supposed to protect them. We understand that cops have a tough job, and that sometimes they make bad judgments in the heat of the moment. However, these mishaps cannot be forgiven, and these people cannot get a break; when they mess up, people’s lives are in danger.

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