Patterico's Pontifications

11/17/2006

It’s Funnier When You Don’t Explain the Joke

Filed under: Humor,Movies — Patterico @ 9:54 pm

Sacha Cohen explains the joke.

Then again, some people apparently need it explained.

Like, for instance, the guy who punched him.

We see the movie tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to it.

Readers: Do You Know Anyone Fighting in Ramadi?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:51 pm

Or do you know anyone who knows anyone who is fighting in Ramadi?

I’m going for the six degrees of separation thing here.

I can’t tell you why right now. But I need to talk to someone who is fighting there. It could be very important.

Please e-mail me if you can help. E-mail address is: my moniker (Patterico) followed by the AT symbol (@), followed by gmail.com.

Student Protests Patriot Act

Filed under: Current Events,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:47 am

The following video has been making the rounds, so let’s all watch it, shall we? At the beginning, the tased student is heard shouting: “Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your f[vowel omitted]cking abuse of power.”

He is referring, of course, to the controversial provision of the Patriot Act which provides for repeated tasing of any students who are slow to leave a university library.

One can thus see a direct line in the chain of command between the UCLA Community Service Officers who tased the student, and the jackbooted thugs in the White House.

Let the war crimes trials begin.

P.S. In case you didn’t know, the chain of command goes through LAPD, of course. Stories like this L.A. Times piece lump this videotape together with two recent videos depicting alleged excessive force by LAPD officers. This allows LAPD to somehow be tarnished by the actions of the officers in the above video, even though LAPD had nothing to do with the incident. Describing the various videos in a single story shows that it’s a “theme,” you see. I think they teach this in journalism school.

UPDATE: Cha-ching! The student is looking to cash in on his tasing:

The UCLA student stunned with a Taser by a campus police officer has hired a high-profile civil rights lawyer who plans to file a brutality lawsuit.

The best part: the “high-profile civil rights lawyer” is Stephen Yagman, currently under indictment for money laundering and tax evasion.

Note the interesting contrast between an earlier L.A. Times story, which depicts the guy as going to the floor only when he is tased:

After repeated requests, the officer left and returned with campus police, who asked Tabatabainejad to leave “multiple times,” according to a statement by the UCLA Police Department.

“He continued to refuse,” the statement said. “As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building.”

Witnesses disputed that account, saying that when campus police arrived, Tabatabainejad had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack. When an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, the witnesses said, Tabatabainejad told the officer to let go, yelling “Get off me” several times.

. . . .

Officers stunned Tabatabainejad, causing him to fall to the floor.

and today’s L.A. Times story, which says that, according to the student’s own version, he was already on the floor, refusing to leave, when he was tased. It’s all about the racial profiling, you see:

[Yagman] said Tabatabainejad eventually decided to leave the library but when an officer refused the student’s request to take his hand off him, the student fell limp to the floor, again to avoid participating in what he considered a case of racial profiling.

I guess Yagman and the student watched the tape and realized that it showed the officer yelling at him to get up before the tasing.

Damn Patriot Act! Now go give this boy (and Stephen Yagman) a few million dollars!

UPDATE x2: Keep your comments on point and civil . . . or I’ll tase you again.

As If You Needed It: More Evidence That Henry Weinstein Is a Leftist

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:24 am

The L.A. Times‘s Henry Weinstein is a longtime Pacifica radio listener, who has raised money for the local Pacifica station?!

I don’t believe it. This is the same Henry Weinstein who lionized Steve Yagman? (Yagman is now under indictment for money laundering and tax evasion.) The same Henry Weinstein who never missed a chance to slander the conservative judge I worked for? That guy . . . is a raging liberal?!?!

Who woulda thunk it?!?!?!

A Plausible Explanation As to Why the LAPD Report May Have Misstated the Number of Punches

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

This morning I noted a story that explains a possible reason that the LAPD report on the punching video says that there were two blows, when in fact there were five:

In his testimony, Schlegel [the author of the report] said he left out of his report the “three times’’ [LAPD Officer] Farrell struck [the resisting suspect] Cardenas because he was calling dispatch and didn’t see the blows struck. After watching the video in court, however, Schlegel testified he had seen Farrell hit Cardenas. The video, however, clearly shows Farrell striking Cardenas five times.

Schegel is the author of the report.

Now watch the video again. Pay close attention to what the officer on the left (Schlegel) is doing during the first three punches.

Clearly, Schlegel is using his radio when the first three blows are administered. When the punches begin, he turns his head and notices something is happening. He might have seen one or two punches in his peripheral vision. But he also is having to deal with his radio, and is clearly distracted by that. It could be that, during the first three punches, he saw that there was something happening, but he didn’t know exactly what it was.

Does he definitively see any of the first three punches? I can’t say for sure that he does.

He definitely sees the final two. That’s all you can say for sure, based on the video.

I noticed this when I first watched the video, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. My thinking was: surely these officers talked to each other before the report was written.

But, on reflection, I’m not so sure.

Speaking about the case with a random cop today (one from the Sheriff’s Department, as it happens), I was reminded of something that I have long known to be the case, but had forgotten in the context of this video.

And that is: when there is a use of force, it is common for supervisors to quickly arrive on the scene, and to order the involved officers not to talk with each other about the use of force.

Although it was a Sheriff’s Deputy who reminded me of this, I know, based on years of experience, that this is a common practice in the LAPD as well.

You see, police agencies want to conduct credible investigations of their officers’ uses of force. The idea is simple and laudable: don’t let the officers “get their stories straight” before they are asked about the use of force.

But there are costs to such an approach. One is that officers may have had different perspectives. And any differences in their accounts may be blown out of proportion.

Did this happen in this case? I have no idea. Did Schlegel, the author of the report, simply miss the fact that his partner had delivered five blows instead of two? And was he separated from his partner and forced to write his report based on his own independent recollections, without any input from his partner, the officer who actually punched the suspect?

I don’t know. But it’s a real possibility.

I still think that Farrell, the officer who administered the blows, would have been asked to complete his own report. But that report might not have been part of the standard discovery. It could have been segregated into a separate “use of force package.” Often, such reports should (in my opinion) be included in the standard discovery packet, but aren’t. I have had discussions with a Sheriff’s Department individual about this very issue — and the guy I have talked to is a reader of this here very blog. (I have commonly called him up to ask for a use of force package, only to have him ask how Glenn Greenwald is doing nowadays.)

The point is: there could be a completely innocent explanation for the discrepancies between the report and reality. Do I know this to be the case? Not at all. But, based on my experience, it’s a very real possibility.

Good luck getting the L.A. Times to tell you about any of this, however.

P.S. By the way, it’s also not entirely clear that the fifth punch actually landed. The suspect may have blocked it with his hand, as several commenters here have noted. Are we talking about four punches instead of five? I can’t tell you for sure.


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