Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Officer To Be Indicted In Tazering Death of Barron Pikes (Jena 6 Cousin)

Ten day ago I posted about Mycheal Bell's Cousin being Tazered To Death In Louisiana; in which I posted a piece by the Chicago Tribune's Howard Witt.

Witt's follow up piece came out yesterday about the pending indictment hearing of the police officer who tazed Barron Pikes to death; which you can see below.

But first I want to encourage any bloggers to participate in tomorrow's Day of Blogging Against Extra-Judicial Electrocution and to post this widget on your website:



Indictment sought for police Taser death in Louisiana
By Howard Witt | Tribune correspondent
4:53 PM CDT, July 28, 2008

HOUSTON - Seeking to defuse growing racial tensions in the small Louisiana town of Winnfield, the local district attorney announced Monday that he will seek an indictment against a white police officer for the death of a black man who was shocked nine times with a Taser device while handcuffed in police custody.

Winn Parish District Atty. Chris Nevils said he would convene a grand jury Aug. 12 to consider possible charges against the officer, Scott Nugent, 21, who was fired from the Winnfield Police Department following the death of Baron "Scooter" Pikes.The grand jury will also examine the conduct of two other officers who were present during the incident, Nevils said.

Pikes, 21, died Jan. 17 within 39 minutes of being arrested on a drug possession warrant. Winnfield police claimed Pikes told them he suffered from asthma and was high on crack cocaine and PCP, but the local coroner found that Pikes had been healthy and had no drugs in his system. He ruled the death a homicide.

"Now is the time to take this case to the grand jury for a determination about whether charges should be brought," Nevils said in a statement. "I know there are strong feelings on both sides of this matter. But my obligation, and that of the grand jury, is to objectively sort through the facts and make a decision that is in the best interest of justice. That is what we intend to do."

Nevils' decision came a little more than a week after the Tribune published the first full account of the case amid fears expressed by the victim's family and civil rights groups that the incident would be covered up in a town with a florid history of backroom dealings and political corruption.

Read the rest of the article here.

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