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Officer in UCLA Taser case identified

The UCLA police officer videotaped last week using a Taser gun on a student also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and was earlier recommended for dismissal in connection with an alleged assault on fraternity row, authorities said. UCLA police confirmed late Monday that the officer who fired the Taser gun was Terrence Duren, who has served in the university's Police Department for 18 years. Duren, who was named officer of the year in 2001, also has been involved in several controversial incidents on campus.

In an interview with The Times on Monday night, Duren, 43, defended his record as a campus police officer and urged people to withhold judgment until the review of his Taser use is completed. "I patrol this area the same way I would want someone to patrol the neighborhoods where I live," he said. "People make allegations against cops all the time. Saying one thing and proving it are two different things." While he would not directly talk about why he used the Taser on the student, he said a videotape of any arrest doesn't necessarily tell the whole story.

"If someone is resisting, sometimes it's not going to look pretty taking someone into custody," he said. "If you have to use some force, it's not going to look pretty. That's the nature of this job." A student's cellphone video of the incident has been broadcast around the world and focused much criticism on the officer.

But Duren — who was back on duty at the UCLA campus Monday night — said he can roll with these punches and wants to explain himself to students critical of his actions. "In this line of business, you have to have a thick skin," he added. "I am proud of my service as a cop." The incident occurred about 11 p.m. Nov. 14 in a library filled with students studying for midterm examinations.

Source: LA Times
Tags: UCLA Taser
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