November 27, 2011

Taser Death: Roger Anthony (Scotland Neck, NC)

It happened again! This time a rookie cop with about a month on the job decided that it didn't have the training to handle a 61-year old UNARMED Black man riding his bike without electrocuting him with a taser gun.

The 61-year old man, Roger Anthony, was riding his bike on Monday, November 21st. Someone called '911' to report that he was drunk. The police responded with Officer John Turner. He found Mr. Anthony riding the bike and followed him in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away.

Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Mr. Anthony didn't stop, the officer pumped him with 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun, causing him to fall off of his bike.

Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said. He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.

Freeman said her brother was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing. She said he was riding his bike home from her house on Sunday night. Anthony lived alone in an independent living community.

Turner, who has been on the force for just over a month, has been placed on administrative leave.

Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills is calling for the State Bureau of Investigation to look into what happened.
"The best we've been able to determine is that he offered no threat," Mills said.
Milton Freeman said Anthony, his brother-in-law, used to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and ride his bicycle around town. Anthony was nicknamed "Rabbit" because of his big ears.
"Why would you (use a stun gun on) a man on a bike? He didn’t do any crime. He wasn’t trying to escape. How (was) he going to escape on his bicycle?" Milton Freeman said.

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