Throwback Post Part 1: Cops Gone Wild: The Cops With Tasers Edition

Written By: Elsie Law - Dec• 14•11

NYC recently implemented a rule that allows city police sergeants on patrol to carry a taser. The purpose of this rule implementation is to supposedly allow the city’s sergeants an alternative to using the deadly force of a pistol. There have been dissenting voices that have stated that a taser can be just as deadly as a firearm- especially when it is improperly and excessively used. A case in point, is the beginning of the year death of Baron Pikes in Winnfield, Louisiana.

The case of Baron Pikes (pictured above) is just reaching news outlets’ radar. Mr. Pikes died in January, after he was repeatedly tasered by an arresting officer- while he was in handcuffs.

The death of the 21 year old (who was ironically- or maybe not so ironically- a first cousin of Mychal Bell of the Jena 6), was recently ruled a homicide by the Winn Parish Coroner. The coroner reached his decision after an extensive months long investigation, in which he was assisted by two nationally known forensic pathologists.

According to CNN, the coroner’s investigation determined that “[Baron] Pikes was already handcuffed and on the ground when he was first hit with the taser…[Officer] Nugent fired his Taser at Pikes six times in less than three minutes (the shots were recorded by a computer chip in the weapon’s handle). Then, officers put Pikes in the back of a cruiser and drove him to their police station- where Nugent fired a seventh shot, directly against Pikes’ chest. After he was given that drive stun to the chest, he was pulled out of the car onto the concrete. He was then electroshocked two more times. Two officers noted that he had no neuromuscular response to those last two 50,000-volt electroshocks…It’s possible that [Officer] Nugent was shocking a dead man the last two times he pulled the trigger.”

In a weak attempt to rationalize the murder, Winnfield Police Lieutenant Chuck Curry, said: “[Baron] Pikes told officers he suffered from asthma, and had been using PCP and crack cocaine.” However after performing a meticulous investigation, the coroner strongly refutes this claim, stating that “he found no sign of drug use in the autopsy, and no record of asthma in Pikes’ medical history.”

Baron Pikes’ family and community understandably want justice. Although Officer Nugent was belatedly fired in May [SIDEBAR: He is currently appealing his dismissal], no charges have been currently filed against him for this murder.]

(Originally Posted: July 24, 2008)

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