August 14, 2008

Baron Pike Joins Other Black Men, Women and Children Victimized by Taser-Happy Cops

UPDATE: Former cop Scott Nugent indicted for manslaughter!

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.
You can read the rest of the article here.

I am tired of reading these stories about Black men, blind men, women, pregnant women and children irresponsibly tased by the police.

I've taken time to document and understand the use of force continuum to better understand when tasers are supposed to be used. Yet, I see no excuse for the homicidal behavior of police officers in Winnfield LA or Charlotte NC.

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."

I suspect that you will hear more and more about taser abuse from other bloggers in the afrosphere. What say u?


Regina said...

Great post! I just read about the latest taser incident on another blog.

Villager said...

Regina - I think that this is an issue that we need to bring to our blog readers. It's not being discussed in the MSM...

Eddie G. Griffin said...

We need an action plan that gets results on these taser issues.

Villager said...

Eddie - I don't have an action plan, so if you come across one ... please share. For now, I'm trying to keep villagers informed and aware of the situation...