More on the UO International Student who was Tased by Police

Below are the most recent headlines and links to articles about the Chinese International Student who was tased by the police in his apartment on September 22, 2009.  And as always I couldn’t keep from adding a few of my thoughts on the ideas floating around as to why this young man has been slow to cooperate with the police investigation or seek any form of justice in this incident.

Chinese students to discuss Taser case:
The two young men will talk to investigators probing Eugene police conduct in the incident

The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Thursday, Nov 5, 2009

Tasered student seeks legal aid: It’s not known yet whether he plans to sue; meanwhile, the city is investigating the police officer’s action
The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Friday, Oct 23, 2009

And here is the million dollar quote from the student’s attorney explaining why these students were reticent to go to the police station to aid in an investigation of the incident:

“Cultural issues were definitely part of it,” Koleszar said. “They had a lot of concerns, probably because of differences in how something like this is handled” in the United States as opposed to China.

Because it is so much more logical for someone from China to fear the intentions of the police, than for someone in the United States who was just broken in on by the police and shot with a taser in his own home.  Everyone in the U.S. knows that when the police are investigating themselves they are deeply concerned with caring for the victim of the potential police abuse and always prepared to address police use of excessive force. 

(Oops, usually that is the case…  But it looks like this is actually the same officer who tased a student last year.  And I kind of remember what happened back then:

The most high-profile case involving the use of a Taser in Eugene occurred in May 2008, when an (the same) officer shocked anti-pesticide protester Ian Van Ornum twice after a downtown rally. Kerns has issued a preliminary adjudication in that case that indicates that the officer’s use of the stun gun was appropriate.

And do you remember the details?  Police video in the case shows that Van Ornum was tasered twice in the back while he lay face down on the ground with his arms pinned under his side or held behind his back. Van Ornum’s doctor testified that he suffered a concussion.

And what happened to the student who was cooperating with the investigation that time?

Taser victim Ian Van Ornum was sentenced today to 80 hours of community service, 18 months of probation and $500 in attorney fees plus court costs.

Yep, it must be a cultural thing.  The Chinese just naturally fear cooperating with the police because of the way they handle things back in China.

And can I remind myself one more time, just out of a general you’ve got to be kidding me thought I can’t get out of my head…
This is the same police officer – the exact same guy who really took to heart the communities concern after that last tasing incident.  
This is the man the department would deem the “2008 Officer of the Year”  after he tased a public protester twice in the back.

So yea, I can see why the current victims have been slow to cooperate with the investigation or accuse the police officer of any wrong doing.  You know how it is with the police in China.

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