We often discuss improper use of tasers by police. However, I must admit that this story went under the radar for me until reported by Tony Brown, Francis Holland and Howard Witt. Here is Howard's article:
At 1:28 p.m. last Jan. 17, Baron "Scooter" Pikes was a healthy 21-year-old man. By 2:07 p.m., he was dead.
What happened in the 39 minutes in between--during which Pikes was handcuffed by local police and shocked nine times with a Taser device, while reportedly pleading for mercy--is now spawning fears of a political cover-up in this backwoods Louisiana lumber town infamous for backroom dealings.
Even more ominously, because Pikes was Black and the officer who repeatedly Tasered him is white, racial tensions over the case are mounting in a place that's just 40 miles from Jena, La. Jena is the site of the racially explosive prosecution of six Black teenagers charged with beating a white youth that last year triggered one of the largest American civil rights demonstrations in decades. And in a bizarre coincidence, Pikes turns out to have been a first cousin of Mychal Bell, the lead defendant in the Jena 6 case.
No novelist could have invented Winnfield, a place so steeped in corruption that they built a local museum to try to sanitize it all.
I am tired of reading these stories about Black men, blind men, women, pregnant women and children irresponsibly tased by the police.
I join with African American Political Pundit in saying, "We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by rogue cops who consider the taser an apartheid electrocution whip of the 21st century."