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UPDATED: 11:10, November 19, 2006
Independent probe launched into police violence
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Public furor has prompted the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) to launch an independent investigation into a police Taser arrest, university officials confirmed on Saturday.

The UCLA made the move to calm public furor created when UCLA police used a Taser to subdue a student studying in a library Tuesday night, said the officials.

The move came after more than 200 students marched to the UCLA police station calling for an independent investigation into the Taser incident as well as the suspension of the officers involved.

Acting UCLA chancellor Norman Abrams said he ordered the probe after the university received numerous calls and e-mails from parents and alumni raising concerns about the officers' actions during the videotaped arrest, which has been widely seen on TV news and the YouTube website.

He said a veteran Los Angeles law enforcement watchdog would head up an independent investigation of the incident.

"I want to assure them that the UCLA campus is a safe environment. Student safety and treatment are of paramount concern at UCLA," Abrams said. "We plan to move ahead promptly with a complete and unbiased review."

Earlier, Los Angeles police launched an investigation into the videotaped arrest.

The footage showed the student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, falling to the ground and crying out in pain as officers stunned him.

The incident began when community service officers, who serve as guards at the library, began their nightly routine of checking to make sure everyone using the library after 11 p.m. is a student or otherwise authorized to be there, according to campus police.

Tabatabainejad was singled out because of his Middle Eastern apperance, witnesses said.

The incident was the third videotape of an arrest to surface in the last week in Los Angeles.

The first videotape showed a police officer hitting a suspect in the face several times at the end of a foot chase in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The second video showed a Los Angeles Police Department officer dousing a handcuffed suspect in the face with pepper spray as the suspect sat in a patrol car.

Source: Xinhua

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