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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    UAPD ensuring safety

    I am writing in response to the story stating that the University of Arizona Police Department “”would not pursue trespassers and goal post climbers”” after the UA football game win over California. I am writing to explain and clarify our course of action and responsibility in cases where community safety is placed at risk. UAPD does have a system in place to address calls for service and investigations in a priority order. Of course, the more serious the case, the quicker we respond and investigate the matter. This is common practice for law enforcement everywhere, and the minor issues of trespass and acts of minor criminal damage do often take a back seat to more serious crimes when police departments investigate. We have in our possession video tapes of the celebration after the win over California. I advised the reporter that we had not had an opportunity to review the tape and had not assigned anyone at that moment. We will eventually review the tape for criminal activity and irresponsible behavior that placed our celebrants at risk. The matter is important, and the message should be clear. UAPD is not against responsible celebration; we are against criminal behavior that threatens our community’s well-being and will take action to identify and charge those responsible. UAPD, like everyone else, is hoping for another big win by our football team. We are also hoping that with this win, we have a celebration that requires no review. Celebrate responsibly.

    Sgt. Eugene Mejia
    University of Arizona Police Department spokesman

    Tasering of Persian student outrageous

    Call it an addiction to social networking or a revelation from it. In the end, what I discovered spun my world and, in time, could spin the worlds of many more students out of control. While checking my MySpace.com, a friend posted a comment with a YouTube video link, followed by an urge to go to the Bruin steps in the UCLA campus for a protest. Not really reading the post, I clicked the link anyway, and then my jaw dropped.

    Though it’s a shoddy video, the audio is painfully clear. For just over six minutes, you can hear a man screaming and pleading to be let out of a building to the police, but instead is tasered. He screams, only to be tasered again. He screams again, and I think I heard him say something about his heart, and then is tasered again. Five times in all. Then the video stops. I click up to see the description. The man being tasered was a Persian student. The people doing the tasering were the UCLA police inside thePowell Library.

    What was the guy being tasered for? For not showing his ID. I thought it couldn’t be true. Actually, I prayed it couldn’t be true. So I went to the Los Angeles Times online. Believe it or not, it was true. The UCLA police deparment asked the Persian student to show his ID. He refused, and after protest, decided to leave the library. But the police would not let him leave, and tasered him five times. According to the Times article, the Persian student hired a civil rights lawyer and is filing a suit against the UCLA police department and claims to have “”mild to severe”” contusions on his right side.

    Oh, and another thing: This was all done within plain view of many witnesses, some of which you can hear screaming, “”Stop!”” in the video. Today, there is a planned protest by students at the UCLA steps. Was this racism? Discrimination against a student? Abuse of power? I don’t know. But whatever it was, it should not have happened over just an ID. Does our own police in Tucson and the UA have the same power? Should students be warned? Is there any way to check our police force’s power to keep this from happening to one of us?

    Navid Askarinya
    biochemistry sophomore

    Gender-neutral restroom debate rife with false assumptions

    In response to the letter to the editor “”Gender-neutral restrooms will cause problems”” in the Nov. 17 mailbag, everyone needs to realize that we are talking about gender-neutral and not unisex restrooms here. An agreement has been made to guarantee a single-stalled restroom on the first floor of every new building here at the UA.

    The UA accommodates an array of diversity issues for our students. Why should transgender individuals be any different? By creating gender-neutral bathrooms, we would be allowing people that identify with the opposite sex to use the restroom they feel most comfortable in. In other words, men that dress, look and act like men will not be allowed to use the women’s restroom, vice versa with women.

    When it comes to the fear of rape and sexual predators, they already exist. I don’t see a guard allowing entrance into any bathroom. If someone wants to go into a public restroom and cause harm, there is nothing and no one to stop them. On the other hand, to assume that transgender people are sexual predators steps into an area of racial and prejudicial judgments that are entirely unfounded. In fear for our children, we should realize that they may actually grasp the concept above all others; they need not have fear.

    The unnecessary fear that seems to be “”the real issue”” may stem more from a fear of these transgender individuals above all else. Yes, the UA is a family campus, but it is also home to another some odd 30,000 students. The people who may really utilize these gender-neutral bathrooms are clearly not confused about their gender, only trapped within a college community that evidently refuses to see them for who they understand themselves to be.ÿ

    Tracy Henry
    anthropology sophomore

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