Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Taser happy cop charged with murder in rural Louisiana

CNN reports that Scott Nugent, a police officer who apparently tasered a man nine times, has been indicted on murder and criminal malfeasance. The man who was tasered appears to have died before the final shocks from the taser were administered. Considering the man was handcuffed before being tasered the first time, it's hard to see how even one shock was appropriate -- much less eight additional shocks.

The case is from central Louisiana, from a small town called Winnfield, pop. 15000 or so. The police officer is white and the victim was black. The victim, Baron "Scooter" Pikes, was 21 years old and worked at a sawmill (or more likely, the saw mill in town) and ran from the police. He was wanted for cocaine possession. This is where the case becomes a bit bizarre: he told the police he had asthma and had used PCP and crack cocaine. No medical history of asthma was found and no traces of any drugs were found in his system. Perhaps the most bizarre -- and best -- thing is that the cop was indicted. He was fired, though I believe that the officer has appealed his dismissal. I do not know if his appeal has been heard or when any appeal will take place if it hasn't already.

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