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  • Man dies after cop hits him with Taser 9 times

    WINNFIELD, Louisiana (CNN) -- A police officer shocked a handcuffed Baron "Scooter" Pikes nine times with a Taser after arresting him on a cocaine charge.

    Baron Pikes, 21, was Tasered nine times by a police officer in January in Winnfield, Louisiana.
    1 of 2

    He stopped twitching after seven, according to a coroner's report. Soon afterward, Pikes was dead.

    Now the officer, since fired, could end up facing criminal charges in Pikes' January death after medical examiners ruled it a homicide.

    Dr. Randolph Williams, the Winn Parish coroner, told CNN the 21-year-old sawmill worker was jolted so many times by the 50,000-volt Taser that he might have been dead before the last two shocks were delivered.

    Williams ruled Pikes' death a homicide in June after extensive study.

    Winn Parish District Attorney Christopher Nevils said he will decide on any charges against the ex-officer, Scott Nugent, once a Louisiana State Police report on the case is complete. Watch coroner describe how cop might've Tasered a dead man »

    "It's taken several months for this case to even be properly addressed, so one has to wonder, why did it take so long?" said Carol Powell Lexing, a lawyer for the Pikes family. "Obviously, a wrongful death occurred."

    Nugent's lawyer, Phillip Terrell, said his client followed proper procedure to subdue a man who outweighed him by 100 pounds. But Williams said Pikes was already handcuffed and on the ground when first hit with the Taser, after the 247-pound suspect was slow to follow police orders to get up.

    Winnfield, a sleepy lumber town about 100 miles southeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, is best known as the birthplace of legendary Louisiana governors Huey and Earl Long. It's also about 45 miles northwest of Jena, Louisiana, where a racially charged assault case sparked a September 2007 demonstration by an estimated 15,000 people. Watch racism charges fly after Taser death »

    One of the teenage defendants in that case, Mychal Bell, is Pikes' first cousin -- and his lawyer was Powell Lexing.
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    Nugent is white; Pikes was black. His death led to demonstrations that drew several dozen people in Winnfield, where the population of about 15,000 is roughly half African-American.

    "The family wants justice," Lexing said. "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."

    But Winnfield police Lt. Chuck Curry said race "isn't an issue at all" in the matter.

    "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." See how Tasers work »

    According to police, Pikes was wanted on a charge of possession of cocaine when police tried to arrest him outside a shopping center January 12.

    "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."

    Terrell said Pikes was fighting Nugent "on uneven ground" amid obstructions such as concrete blocks and barbed wire.

    "He's fighting, wrestling with an individual who weighs 100 pounds more than him," he said. "His partner had just come back to the police department from triple bypass surgery and could not assist Officer Nugent."

    Terrell said his client "used every means possible" to take Pikes into custody before pulling out his Taser, a weapon Winnfield police purchased in 2007.

    "The only thing he could have done other than to say, 'OK, we're going to let you go' is to beat him or Tase him. He did the right thing," Terrell said.

    Williams, who ruled Pikes' death a homicide in June after extensive study, said Nugent fired his Taser at Pikes six times in less than three minutes -- shots 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.
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    "After he was given that drive stun to the chest, he was pulled out of the car onto the concrete, " Williams 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."

    Williams said he had two nationally known forensic pathologists, including former New York city medical examiner Michael Baden, review the case before issuing his conclusions. He said it's possible Nugent was shocking a dead man the last two times he pulled the trigger.

    "This fellow was talking in the back seat of the car prior to shot number seven," he said. "From that point on, it becomes questionable [if Pikes was still alive]."

    Curry said Pikes told officers he suffered from asthma and had been using PCP and crack cocaine. But Williams said he found no sign of drug use in the autopsy, and no record of asthma in Pikes' medical history.

    In the year since Winnfield police received Tasers, officers have used them 14 times, according to police records -- with 12 of the instances involving black suspects. Ten of the 14 incidents involved Nugent, who has no public disciplinary record.

    Nugent was suspended after Pikes' death, and Winnfield's City Council voted 3-2 to fire him in May. He is appealing his dismissal, and his lawyer says he followed proper procedures in Pikes' case. He was trained in the use of the Taser by a senior police officer who was present during the incident that led to Pikes' death, Terrell said.

    Curry said Taser International, the device's manufacturer, indicates that "multiple Tasings do not affect a person." But he said he could not explain why Pikes was shocked so many times, and said whether Nugent followed proper procedure was "yet to be determined."

    But a copy of the Winnfield Police Department's Taser training manual, obtained by CNN, says the device "shall only be deployed in circumstances where it is deemed reasonably necessary to control a dangerous or violent subject." And Williams said regulations regarding the use of Tasers were not followed.

    "It violated every aspect -- every single aspect -- of the department's policy about its use," the coroner said.

    Winnfield has seen a spate of high-profile corruption cases in recent years. One of Nevils' predecessors as district attorney, Terry Reeves, killed himself amid allegations of embezzlement and extortion. The town's current police chief, Johnny Ray Carpenter, is a convicted drug offender who received a pardon from former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards who himself is now serving a federal prison term for racketeering.

    And Carpenter's predecessor, Gleason Nugent -- the father of Pikes' arresting officer -- committed suicide in 2005, after allegations of fraud and vote buying in the race for police chief, an elected position in Winnfield.



    Now Nevils is awaiting the state police report on Pikes' death, which will be presented to a grand jury for possible charges against Nugent -- a possibility Curry said would be a blow to the department.
    "It's one of these no-win situations," he said. "No matter the outcome, nobody's going to win in this case."
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/22/...tml#cnnSTCText

  • #2




    That's all I got to say..

    Comment


    • #3
      Well the coroner was interviewed and he said it seemed like what the officer saw as resisting was the suspect not being able to get up fast enough because of his size. I believe the suspect was about 240-280 pounds.

      The officers claimed the guy was on PCP but the coroner found no traces of ANY drugs in the guy's system and found he was a healthy individual.

      Also it seems the officer violated the dept guidelines on taser use and I thought there was restrictions against taser use when the suspect is handcuffed?

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in648859.shtml

        Comment


        • #5
          If dude was 247 lbs and fit, then he was a pretty big feller and possibly very difficult to control, if he was a 247lb fatbody, his heart was probably working overtime to begin with.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NextCapCop
            Well the coroner was interviewed and he said it seemed like what the officer saw as resisting was the suspect not being able to get up fast enough because of his size.
            Well the coroner was not there and he is only qualified to comment on the medical details of the deceased. Anything else is nothing more than his personal opinion based on the limited facts available to him, just like what you or I are saying here. But officially the coroner has no reason to even mention the officer or what the officer might've perceived.
            Last edited by Fëanor; 07-24-2008, 05:16 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              "He's fighting, wrestling with an individual who weighs 100 pounds more than him," he said. "His partner had just come back to the police department from triple bypass surgery and could not assist Officer Nugent."
              Then what in the hell was he doing on duty? I gather that the “partner” was witness to the whole thing what is his side of the story?
              It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

              Comment


              • #8
                I back the Tazer 100%.
                The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                I Am the Sheepdog.


                "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                that we are all that stands between
                the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  ...Curry said Pikes told officers he suffered from asthma and had been using PCP and crack cocaine. But Williams said he found no sign of drug use in the autopsy, and no record of asthma in Pikes' medical history.

                  In the year since Winnfield police received Tasers, officers have used them 14 times, according to police records -- with 12 of the instances involving black suspects. Ten of the 14 incidents involved Nugent, who has no public disciplinary record.
                  And
                  Winnfield has seen a spate of high-profile corruption cases in recent years. One of Nevils' predecessors as district attorney, Terry Reeves, killed himself amid allegations of embezzlement and extortion. The town's current police chief, Johnny Ray Carpenter, is a convicted drug offender who received a pardon from former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards who himself is now serving a federal prison term for racketeering.

                  And Carpenter's predecessor, Gleason Nugent -- the father of Pikes' arresting officer -- committed suicide in 2005, after allegations of fraud and vote buying in the race for police chief, an elected position in Winnfield.
                  Wow! What a department!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NextCapCop View Post
                    Also it seems the officer violated the dept guidelines on taser use and I thought there was restrictions against taser use when the suspect is handcuffed?
                    Since when is a coroner an expert on what a department's guidelines on use of force are or aren't?
                    "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I find it funny that everyone that has ever drawn a case against tazers fails to mention the fact that EVERY single Officer on the street that has been issued a tazer has had to take the ride. EVERY Officer knows the pain and how most people comply with this pain. Most people stop what they are doing and comply. Every year there are countless Leo’s and Tazer employees being tazed wither for training or demonstration and not once have I ever hear a news story about any of them dieing or being severely injured. Why are these stories never displayed? "Tazer, the tool that helps Leo’s save countless lives a year and has been used in the training of every single Officer that is deployed with one, has not had one single death in the training."
                      That is in the defense of Tazer
                      But... I do have to say that I agree with cmr's response. This department is... no words can describe!
                      Last edited by BlackSun23; 07-26-2008, 08:06 AM.
                      "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing." --Edmund Burke

                      "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us." --George Orwell

                      "So long as there are men, there will be wars."
                      --Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As far as we know now, there is no medical evidence that has linked a death to the use of a Taser. People and idiots from Amnesty International fail to realize that this device is powered essentially by 4 AA batteries and does not have enough power to stop a person's heart. If people simply followed the nice police officer's directions to submit to being handcuffed, no one would ever be tased or die fighting with us...Duh..but that only makes sense.

                        Many times while with prisoners in the hospital I have made it a point to show the ER Docs what a Taser is and does. I show them them the battery and how it works. Every Doc says the same thing, which is that it can't stop someone's heart. Yeah...WE know that...
                        Last edited by DH21187; 07-26-2008, 01:24 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JonesZ
                          DH21187 you really should not make stupid comments unless you can provide your medical credentials to support your ignorant statements.

                          Handcuffed and on the gound... HOW easy is it to get up from a prone or sitting position handcuffed?

                          And as quickly as the officer was demanding the suspect comply with his orders?

                          You don't have to work for NASA part time to understand that there are many unanswered issues with this arrest / case.
                          Jones,

                          Maybe you should trying reading something about the Taser first before you decide to post comments as stupid as the ones above. I realize your 5th grade education makes this rather difficult, but you should try reading some of the medical testimony from Taser's website and actual cases where the experts have testified on both sides. But then again, people like you with small brains and big mouths rarely do. So why don't you break out your dictionary and start reading first and then try to post something meaningful. I don't need medical credentials to understand basic science and biology. I guess if you had made it past the 5th grade you might have a better understanding of the physical world and why it is almost impossible for a Taser to kill someone, which is what my comments were about. But then again I am assuming even a 5th grader could have figured this out, which you apparantly can't.

                          I guess it is Internet day for the grade schools again.
                          Last edited by DH21187; 07-29-2008, 12:23 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, consider the fact that LEO's are

                            1) more likely to be physically fit
                            2) highly unlikely to have seizure disorders (an automatic DQ)
                            3) highly unlikely to have multiple other disorders that have been linked to deaths occurring subsequent to taser use


                            Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe the population on whom tasers have been tested does NOT represent the population upon which they are most likely to be used?

                            It would be unconscionable for Taser to test its equipment on populations that would be vulnerable to its use. Taser's data is ipso facto flawed.



                            Originally posted by BlackSun23 View Post
                            I find it funny that everyone that has ever drawn a case against tazers fails to mention the fact that EVERY single Officer on the street that has been issued a tazer has had to take the ride. EVERY Officer knows the pain and how most people comply with this pain. Most people stop what they are doing and comply. Every year there are countless Leo’s and Tazer employees being tazed wither for training or demonstration and not once have I ever hear a news story about any of them dieing or being severely injured. Why are these stories never displayed? "Tazer, the tool that helps Leo’s save countless lives a year and has been used in the training of every single Officer that is deployed with one, has not had one single death in the training."
                            That is in the defense of Tazer
                            But... I do have to say that I agree with cmr's response. This department is... no words can describe!
                            Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                            Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                            A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
                              Well, consider the fact that LEO's are

                              1) more likely to be physically fit
                              2) highly unlikely to have seizure disorders (an automatic DQ)
                              3) highly unlikely to have multiple other disorders that have been linked to deaths occurring subsequent to taser use


                              Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe the population on whom tasers have been tested does NOT represent the population upon which they are most likely to be used?

                              It would be unconscionable for Taser to test its equipment on populations that would be vulnerable to its use. Taser's data is ipso facto flawed.
                              1) Fitness has nothing to do with the effect of Tasers on people.
                              2) Seizures are almost NEVER fatal unless positional asphyxiation occurs during them.
                              3) There has NEVER been a link with the use of Taser and someone’s medical condition that has caused a death. Just because a rooster crows in the morning and the sun comes up doesn’t make a connection between the two.


                              Read the medical data provided on Taser’s website and read the associated medical testimony from both sides in the associated lawsuits with it first.
                              Last edited by DH21187; 07-29-2008, 12:24 AM.

                              Comment

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