Taser Kills Young Black Man, Reminds Residents of Jena Injustice

By Jonathan Adams Jul 21, 2008

In Winnfield, La, forty miles from Jena, another town with a history of corruption is simmering with racial tension after the death of a young Black man by a white police officer and his taser gun. Baron "Scooter" Pikes was killed in January, but now that the autopsy and the officers’ statements conflict many are taking a second look at the events that should not have ended in a young man’s death.

Pikes did not resist arrest, and he was handcuffed while lying on the ground, according to Nugent’s police report of the incident. It was only after Pikes refused Nugent’s command to stand up that the officer applied the first Taser shock in the middle of his back, Nugent wrote. Several more Taser shocks followed quickly, Nugent stated, because Pikes kept falling down and refusing to get back up. Grocery shoppers who witnessed the incident later told Pikes’ family that he had pleaded with Nugent: "Please, you all got me. Please don’t Tase me again." Williams said police records showed Nugent administered nine Taser shocks to Pikes over a 14-minute period. The last two jolts, delivered as police pulled Pikes from a patrol car at the police station, elicited no physical reaction because the suspect was unconscious, Williams said. Only after Pikes was carried into the police station and slumped into a chair did police call for an ambulance. He was pronounced dead soon afterward at the local hospital.