Wednesday, October 18

Officer named in Taser incident


UCPD identifies Terrence Duren as police officer who used a Taser on a student in Powell

Terrence Duren, whose tenure with university police has included
an award for UCPD Officer of the Year as well as allegations of
police misconduct and use of excessive force, was the officer who
used a Taser against Mostafa Tabatabainejad in Powell Library last
Tuesday, university police said Monday.

Duren arrived on the scene with Officers Alexis Bickamong, Kevin
Kilgore and Andrew Ikeda, and the sergeant on duty was Philip
Baguiao, said Nancy Greenstein, UCPD director of police community
services.

The 43-year-old officer, who was on active duty Monday, was also
the subject of media attention three years ago after he shot a
homeless man in Kerckhoff Hall.

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Allegations against him in other incidents include alleged
harassment of students on more than one occasion.

All of the allegations against him regarding police misconduct
and use of excessive force were investigated by the UCPD and proven
false, Duren said ““ “all of them.”

The investigations are the responsibility of the chief of
police, who appoints a supervisor within the department to examine
the situation and report back, Duren said.

Duren was the only officer available for comment Monday, and he
could not comment specifically about the incident because it is
under investigation.

UCPD officers were called to the library Tuesday night when
Tabatabainejad, a fourth-year Middle Eastern and North African
studies and philosophy student, failed to produce his BruinCard
when he was asked to do so.

DOCUMENTS Click
here for a pdf version of UCPD’s taser policy.

According to UCPD, Tabatabainejad refused to cooperate and leave
the premises, resisted officers’ attempts to escort him out
of the building, and incited others to “join his
resistance.” At this point, the officers on duty determined
it was necessary to use a Taser to gain compliance.

As further information has become available over the past
several days, some specifics of the incident have been
clarified.

Tabatabainejad’s attorney, Steven Yagman, who on Friday
announced plans to file a suit against the university, said the
student did not produce his BruinCard because he felt singled out
during the identity check. It is not clear how many students were
asked for identification, but witnesses said the Community Service
Officers on duty spent several minutes checking, while other
students in the CLICC Lab at Powell said they were not asked for
their BruinCards.

Yagman also said Tabatabainejad intentionally went limp when the
officers grabbed his arm because he did not want to participate in
racial profiling.

The UCPD has described this as an act of resistance, and has
said at this point the officers could not have known whether the
student was a threat.

Neither Duren nor any other officers could comment about the
incident, as it is currently under investigation.

A video captured by a student in the library, which has been
broadcast worldwide and drawn extensive criticism, shows Duren
using a Taser on Tabatabainejad.

But Duren urged students to understand that he “is more
than just that guy in that grainy image.”

Duren, the father of a 23-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy,
has worked with UCPD since 1988.

In 1991, he served seven months as a Marine in Operation Desert
Storm, the U.S. military operation in Kuwait.

Duren’s nearly 20 years with UCPD have been marked by both
praise and criticism, which he said is typical of any police
officer’s career.

“People are going to complain about you ““
that’s just the nature of the business,” he said.
“A lot of times it’s a misunderstanding of what we
do.”

In 2001, Duren was named Officer of the Year, an award based on
an officer’s performance of duties, contribution to the
department and commitment to the goals of community-oriented
policing, the Daily Bruin reported in 2004.

“That’s one thing I want you to understand: I have
received more congratulatory notes than negative ones as a police
officer,” Duren said.

“I most definitely have had my downs, but overall I would
say being a police officer has been positive,” he said.
“Am I a perfect human being? No, I’m not, but overall
my experience here as a police officer has been great.”

Duren’s stint in the public eye has focused on those
downs, which include accusations of assault on students.

Court documents and complaints in reference to the case of
Willie Davis Frazier, Jr., the homeless man who Duren shot in 2003,
outline several other allegations, some of which include
altercations with students, the Daily Bruin reported.

According to one court complaint presented in the trial, Duren
allegedly woke a student sleeping in the study hall in Kerckhoff in
August 1993, escorted him outside, slammed him against a wall, and
handcuffed and arrested him.

The complaint also stated that on the way to the police station,
Duren told the student, “For a while there I thought I was
going to have to “˜Rodney King’ you.”

In 2002, Duren had a verbal confrontation with another student,
Kirk Zhong, which resulted in Zhong being arrested, according to an
incident report.

Zhong said the confrontation began when he walked by two
officers questioning a homeless man and they began yelling at
him.

According to the report, Zhong took a combative stance against
the officers by clenching his fists.

Zhong maintained the report was unfounded because he was
carrying books, so he could not have clenched his fists.

The one point Duren most wanted to make about his work as a
police officer is that criticisms can be a result of
misunderstanding ““ and that as soon as the investigation has
concluded, he wants to clear up that misunderstanding.

“I understand their anger,” he said.
“There’s always another side to the story, and
I’m willing to tell it.”

Duren said he wanted to sit down specifically with Muslim
student groups, as they have been highly critical of the
incident.

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