Family Wants Justice In Taser Death of 21-Year-Old Black Man

Family Wants Justice In Taser Death of 21-Year-Old Black Man

Published July 24, 2008

Posted July 24, 2008 – A Louisiana coroner said Tuesday that a police officer shocked a 21-year-old Black man so many times with his Taser that the suspect was likely dead when the officer gave him two more 50,000-volt jolts.

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"After he was given that drive stun to the chest, he was pulled out of the car onto the concrete," Randolph Williams, the Winn Parish coroner, told CNN.   "He was electroshocked two more times, which two officers noted that he had no neuromuscular response to those last two 50,000-volt electroshocks."

Officer Scott Nugent, who zapped a handcuffed Baron “Scooter” Pikes nine times in the back of his cruiser after arresting him on cocaine charges, has since been fired. Winnfield Police Lt. Chuck Curry told CNN that Nugent handled the situation as best he could. He also denies charges that race played a role.

"This has come down to a police officer that was trying to apprehend a suspect that they had warrants for," he said. "He done what he thought he was trained to do to bring that subject into custody. At some point, something happened with his body that caused him to go into cardiac arrest or whatever.”

Pikes was wanted on a coke-possession charge when police tried to arrest him outside a shopping center on Jan. 12, police say. "He would not stop for the officer," Curry said. "At some point in there, he was tased to bring him under control, and several hours later, died at the emergency room."

Said Nugent’s attorney, Phillip Terry, "He's fighting, wrestling with an individual who weighs 100 pounds more than him." Winn Parish District Attorney Christopher Nevils said he would consider all of this as he decides whether to charge Nugent, a former Louisiana state trooper, with negligent homicide.

"It's taken several months for this case to even be properly addressed, so one has to wonder, why did it take so long?"  Carol Powell Lexing, a lawyer for the Pikes family, told CNN. "Obviously, a wrongful death occurred. The family wants justice. This is just another example of why it's very important to stay vigilant with these types of cases, on the injustice that's been perpetrated on the disadvantaged."

Pikes is the first cousin of Mychal Bell, one of the six youths charged with beating a White schoolmate in Jena Louisiana. Bell’s attorney was Lexing.

Written by BET-Staff


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