Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cop in UCLA Taser Case Has History of Violence

The UCLA police officer who repeatedly Tasered a student last week has been identified as Terrence Duren, a 13-year veteran of the force with a history of violence.

Duren was first hired as a police officer by the Long Beach Police Department in the 1980s, but was soon was fired due to poor report-writing skills and a lack of geographical knowledge. These deficiencies, however, did not prevent his subsequent hiring by the University of California Police Department (UCPD).

In 1990, Duren used his nightstick to choke a man who had been seen hanging around outside a UCLA fraternity house. This led to a lawsuit against UCLA, as well as a move by officials to dismiss Duren. The dismissal was overturned, however, and in 2001 Duren was named Officer of the Year.

In 2003, Duren shot and wounded a mentally ill homeless man. According to the man’s attorney, the shooting was unprovoked.

And now, Duren has again distinguished himself and the university by repeatedly Tasering 23-year-old UCLA senior Mostafa Tabatabainejad while he was still incapacitated from the first Tasering.

An independent investigation of the incident is underway. Meanwhile, Duren remains on active duty with the UCPD.

Other officers involved in the assault are: Kevin Kilgore, Andrew Ikeda and Ricardo Bolanos, and Sgt. Philip Baguliao, a supervisor. (LINK)