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July 22nd, 2008
02:05 PM ET

Accused, arrested, tasered, killed…

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/22/art.taservictim.jpg caption="Baron ‘Scooter” Pikes"]

David Fitzpatrick
Producer, CNN Special Investigations Unit

When I felt the searing 98 degree heat and the oppressive 100 percent humidity here, it wasn’t as jarring as it might have been. In fact, it seemed familiar for a very good reason.

Just a year ago I was in the same sort of weather in a town only 40 miles from here: Jena, Louisiana, ground zero for the nation’s largest civil rights demonstrations in a generation.

Then, I was helping to produce stories about what led to the demonstrations - the jailing of a teenager named Mychal Bell.

You might recall, Bell was in a school yard fight in Jena that stemmed from three nooses, hung from a tree in front of the local school. Bell was jailed on a charge of attempted murder in the wake of that fight and five of his classmates were also charged, but not imprisoned.

A year later, I was in Winnfield where one of Mychal Bell’s first cousins, Baron ‘Scooter” Pikes, was the central figure in another case where accusations of racial injustice have been flying.

Last January, the 21-year-old Pikes was struck by a taser gun nine times in less than an hour, after he was arrested on an outstanding warrant alleging possession of crack cocaine.

He was dead on arrival at a local hospital after being hit six times while handcuffed and lying on his stomach, once in the back of a Winnfield police car and twice more on the concrete outside the police department’s headquarters.

It took the local coroner nearly six months to classify the death as a homicide and, as of this writing, no formal charges have been filed by the Winn Parish District Attorney.

There’s an ongoing investigation by the Louisiana State Police and both attorneys for officer involved, Scott Nugent, and the local coroner say they expect a grand jury will be convened sometime in future.

Winnfield is a town with a colorful and notorious past. On the big water tower that rises over the town are colored drawings of two of the area’s most famous, or infamous sons: former governors Earl and Huey Long. Both were larger than life and Huey Long, of course, was the subject of Robert Penn Warren’s book, “All The King’s Men,” which has been turned into two films. There’s a plaque smack in the middle of Winnfield’s downtown that helps you find the law offices both men inhabited when they were here.

This is also a town where everyone pretty much knows everyone else. While taping interviews and shooting incidental footage for our story, we were stopped several times by people who knew one or another figure in this case.

One woman, who didn’t want to be interviewed on camera, had a decal painted on the rear window of her car in honor of Baron Pikes. An elected city official also told us off-camera that he was worried that the demonstrations that took place in Jena could well be duplicated in Winnfield.

The story of what happened to Baron Pikes has been news off and on here since the beginning of the year. But until now, there hasn’t been a great deal of notice in the national press or on television.

That’s changing of course. A reporter for The Chicago Tribune was in town the day before we arrived. And there are a lot of people here who say that they welcome the attention, even if it might augur more turbulence ahead.

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Rob

    10 points to SK from Illinois for making the most ignorant comment here.

    Last time I checked, the consequence of being arrested WITHOUT a trial for suspicion of ANYTHING is not punishable by death by cops.

    Perhaps one day someone you love will get caught in the same situation, and then maybe you'll learn to think before you open your mouth. God forbid...

    People like you spit on the constitution and what it stands for.

    July 22, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  2. Laura Setzke, Chicago IL

    Why when people hear hoofbeats they always think zebras, and not horses. I mean there could be a lot more to this story than we know. There might have been a reason that this happened. If they hadn't tazered him he might have turned around and shot the cops.

    July 22, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  3. Chris

    Lets say this guy was a bad person who did bad things. Does killing him make all of you heartless individuals feel better? I bet it does. Lets make him white and the police officers black . Does it still make you feel better? If black police officers abused their authority and being killing white males our country (America), would be outraged. Its a shame that the truth is this country (not all) hate blacks. Racism is so bad here that its possible any event like the the L.A riots can send us into a civil war. It wont be like slavery (blacks we scared). Blacks are ANGRY now and very easy to result in violence. Look at some of the police footage, these cops have guns and they are getting brutally beat by a black male with no weapon. I think America should do something about injustice, because after so long of oppression people become animals. Understand the law of cause and effect. Don't think treating someone bad will result in good behavior. Pray for peace

    July 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  4. Winn Citizen

    I am a young white woman from Winnfield, Louisiana; I have lived here most of my 30 years. I will agree with those that say this town is deep rooted in corruption. Corruption could be found in the Sheriff's Office, the Police Station, the Court house, and the D.A.'s Office.
    However, I feel that the Chief of Police, J. Carpenter( a black man), has handled this situation as best as he can. I was not aware of Scooter's death and the circumstances surrounding it until I heard it on the news and read about it in the newspapers.
    I can relate with his family. I would want justice if it were my son. I feel that this should be investigated thoroughly, and if punishment is needed and required then so be it. Police are just as responsible as regular citizens. This boy was in their care; they are responsible for him while in their custody. According to a forensic scientist, Scooter , did not have any drugs in his system, and his death was the result of the taser-ing.
    I pray for-not only-Winn Parish and it's citizens, for all those involved-that the LORD would lead,guide, and direct them into uncovering the truth and that the perpetraters are punished accordingly; and finally for Scooter's family-for peace and comfort during this time.

    God Bless All

    July 22, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  5. Jenna

    I have found it more than amazing to sit here and read some of the things that are being posted.
    Yes, this kid was black. Yes, he had a warrant for possesion.Yes, he was hit with a taser while he was hand cuff.Yes, he was laying on his stomache.
    So what here justifies what these officers did.
    NOTHING!!!!!!
    At the time of his arrest no illegal drugs were present. No!
    At the time of arrest no weapon was found. No!
    Being handcuff and laid on the concret was a huge threat to the officers. No!
    Again what justifies these officers actions!

    NOTHING!!!

    Nothing that you can explain to me can make me believe that the officers here were any danger for their lives.

    Instead, these officers acted stupidly and carelessley and choose not to make a reasonable judgement call.

    If the use of the taser was needed then the proper usage of it was misused.

    The person or person's responsbile should take responsbility for their actions.

    Including the dept which clearly didnt train the officers properly to handle the use of these not only restrainable devices but also deadly.

    Yes, he is responsbile for breaking the law for crack.

    But that doesnt mean that the law should ignore that his rights were taken and life all in one day.

    Just because you are the law doesnt mean you define the law.

    Police shouldnt be above the law, yet if the can take the law into their own hands.Then they must take responsbilty for the lives they take in those hands.

    Jenna P.
    Austin,Tx
    South must change. Police must change!

    July 22, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  6. Jerome

    We haven't even heard the whole story yet. This guy could have been kicking or head butting the officer even with the hand cuffs on. You all calling this officer a rouge cop should be ashamed of yourselves. What do you want in the streets? Anarchy?

    July 22, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  7. Tim

    Many years ago, while living in a ground floor apartment near a major college campus, an individual knocked on the sliding glass door late one night.
    I spread the curtain and told the individual that they had the wrong apartment. I could see by the look in the guys eyes that he was hopped-up on something, so I kept the phone close, just in case.
    Sure enough, he throws himself at the triple-paned stationary door, resulting in much shattering glass, but did not break through.
    After calling the police, I watched as he tripped around the courtyard, banging on other windows, stripping down to his shorts, etc.
    When the police and campus security arrived, I watched as it took 6 officers all their might to catch, handcuff, and hog-tie this fool.
    They still had difficulty getting him into the squad car due to his movements and thrashing around. Had tazers been available at the time, their use would have been welcomed by all, except of course, the perp.
    I applaud the efforts of those here who have tried to turn the subject away from the race aspect. The actions of all the people in this story are what are valid. There are crack-heads and power-hungry cops of every color. There are also great humanitarians, volunteers, teachers, preachers, and all around good folks of every color, as well.

    July 22, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  8. milecom

    we are all god,s children no one deserves that kind of treatment,no matter the skin color we are all one blood ! people we can do better no matter what !peaca

    July 22, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  9. EBONI1984

    Can anybody tell me what happened to innocent until proven guilty. Every one is saying he got what he deserved, but you know nothing about him. It amazies me how some poeple can say it ok or a bunch of crap. I feel people need to open your eyes. If your not from the ghetto (low income housing) then you dont know how it is to wake up and be sterotyped by police, media and every one else who thinks they know how life is. and if he did sell drugs that didn't give any ont the right to end his life, And if he used drugs that doesnt give any one the right to end his live. Open you eyes to the biger picture. It happen all the time, I have a friend who was at a bar w/ his white friends, when they were leaving the police said he didn't belong in their neck of the wood because he was black, he was taseres 7 times, and he didn't do anything wrng. I have a younger brother who has never sold drugs or been in trouble w/ the law, but it seems just because he is a young black man w/ a nice car then he must be doing something illegal. He works full time and goes to school full time.

    July 22, 2008 at 6:59 pm |
  10. Joseph Fabian

    My heart goes out to the family. Knowing the very people they pay taxes to for safety and protection, used those funds for torture and murder. I wish MLK was still here. There has to be a better way.

    July 22, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  11. jack

    Another great story posted on the "new" website of ac360.com

    Great journalism, keeping "them" honest!!!

    July 22, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  12. ms. johnson

    Scooter wasnt a drug dealer, did not have a record, only arrested 1x for possesion of stolen goods

    July 22, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  13. Free

    Sadly, I'm no longer surprised by the patriotic, flag-waving Americans who routinely ignore the rights of ALL Americans to be "innocent until proven guilty". I have personally known more than one person who has been accused of a crime that they did not commit. To refer to people as scumbags, thugs, etc. based on a mere accusation is completely unfair. To further suggest that someone deserved to die before the accusation is proven is frightening.

    White, black or otherwise, may it never be one of your loved ones despised as such, convicted and sentenced before even exercising the right of a fair trial. Seems to me that true Americans would rely on the systems that make America great and stop relying on the backwards-thinking, civilian rush to judgment brand of "justice" that is America's greatest shame.

    July 22, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  14. Saddened By The Ignorance

    a few thoughts from an asian-american lawyer in DC. first, police officers have a difficult job and the vast majority are up-standing and many are heroes. but, lets not deny the suspicious circumstances in this death. there is a long history of discrimination, hate, and killing of african-americans in our country. there are deep seeded fear and hatred from racist idiots. on the other hand there are many young black men that turn to crime due to circumstances. then there are those that turn to crime even though they are privileged. the biggest issue and disadvantage is the lack of black fathers in the household. understand this: people are people. i would turn to crime if my, or my family's, welfare depended on it. don't think you are beyond criminal behavior if you were in his shoes. if i'm starving, i'll fight you to eat. we all have that inner sinful, selfish nature. was he a crack user, dealer? probably, but we don't know that for sure. were the officers racists? maybe. did they use excessive force? probably, but again we do not know for sure. what we do know is that a young man is dead. in the custody of the police. he was tazed 9 times while handcuffed. that alone is enough for suspension and a full investigation by an independent agency. was he fighting the officers? that's what the they claim. it's likely that he was resisting in the beginning, but after the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th time HE WAS PROBABLY FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE BECAUSE HE WAS WAS DYING! both sides should not make generalizations of murder on one side, and the crackhead deserved it, on the other. there is definitely a racist element in all of this, for those that don't see that, you are blind or stupid. someone's child is dead, have some respect. we need some answers here, and we need them now. possible (in my opinion, probable) criminal behavior needs to be fully investigated and people held accountable. if the officers are innocent, lets find out. don't drag your feet and don't sweep this under the rug because he was "just" a black kid suspected of drug possession. 6 MONTHS! THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! it would not have taken 6 months for a white man, that's a fact

    July 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  15. Diane

    This death was classified as a homicide. Wether it was intentional or not, it is still MURDER. This young man did not deserve to die just because he was black or did drugs or whatever lifestyle he chose to live. He deserved his day in court just like anyone else.

    July 22, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  16. Downer

    Dayem. If you gonna tased the guy 9 times dead you might as well shot him instead first. Seems like they took pride in torturing whether that person was a criminal or not shouldn't matter.

    I can almost say pulling out a hand gun in this scenario is 9 times safer then the taser. The officers would've think twice about pulling any trigger and probably would've apprehended the guy and he still be alive. But since they had the taser they used that to torture the guy.

    Tasers need to be removed from law enforcements.

    July 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  17. Larry

    I'm telling you, Chicago is becoming the media/political centre of america. All the police involved were white and racist.

    July 22, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  18. Jolene

    I feel sorry for the Grand Jury, it sounds like they may have difficulty coming up with an indictment on this case. What amazes me is the possibility that taser guns could be lethal and that the manufacturers don't seem to have any facts as to what is considered excessive use. Looking forward to hearing more about this case.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    July 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  19. carlton

    To Violet Miller,bill and others who think similarly,

    I acknowledge it seems black youth are in conflict with the law more so than other races,according to the prison statistics i hear quoted on television programs.It's also true in my opinion,that some blacks would likely not try a correct avenue for a better life if given the opprtunity.Barack obama does have a valid point on issues in the black community.
    But for every gangbanger,as you say that got what he had coming to him,a poor deserving black youth yearning for a proper or decent opportunity to prosper in life can be found.

    I believe you are racist.I believe there is also a disturbing trend with many(not all)police departments that have been correctly focused upon in the news.

    I applaud cnn for their black in america series.I am black and i would also like to see another cnn network devoted to issues of all people of color.

    citizen of virginia

    July 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  20. Rob

    the use of tazers is out of control. The companies that make them have sold the police and the public a bill of goods in saying that they are "non-lethal" force. The number of deaths attributed to tazer use is on the rise. The US Air Force has research that shows that the tazer is not as safe as thought to be. Police departments need to have stricter protocols on the use of tazers. But that won't happen until wrongful death lawsuits start to cost them millions.

    July 22, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  21. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I agree with John Doe – being a police officer is a very hard job and until you've done it – it's so hard to judge until all the facts are known. No one deserves to die in custody but sometimes when the person arrested is so combative that extra force is necessary and if the person's health is not up to par, a possible consequence is death.

    July 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  22. Jane Doe

    RE DANA

    How do you know the police murdered this boy? He may have died from a drug overdose after choking down the rocks he had in his pocket when the police rolled up. You are quick to apply blame for judgement and yet, you have done the same. I would suggest a bit of reflection on your part.

    July 22, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  23. SK, IL

    I don't understand how or why people are so prompt to defend an individual that obviously chose to disregard the law. In our great country people have the freedom to make their own decisions and should therefore also have the responsibility to deal with the consequences derived from their decisions. What is so hard to understand about that?

    As for the police officers that tazed this individual, I commend them for giving this offender the opportunity to correct his actions by using the tazer instead of their glock. Myself I see it as justifiable action and believe that anyone who will jump on the 'those rogue cops killed this innocent boy' bandwagon should take a look around and ask themselves if they would rather just let the criminals go freely to police themselves. Myself- I would not want to live in an area without the protection and great service provided by the polic departments that willingly deal with offenders.

    July 22, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  24. Tom

    Does anyone else find it curios that these two young men are cousins? I think this goes far beyond racial relations. This family seems angry, if not unfunctional. Maybe, like Carey says, the whole family should be offered some counseling. Would they accept it? They probably would not, feeling that they are not the ones who need the help. Counseling only works if it is wanted and they trust the counselor. But something should be done, with all KIDS who are in trouble.

    And I wish people would stop judging the fair-haired blue-eyed child. These children have just as much child abuse, divorce, and neglect in their little lives. Kids are kids. I don't care what you look like, life can be rough.

    July 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  25. Jason shackelford

    I’m a 29 year old white male who has spent the last 9 years working 10 hours a day at a straight commission sales job. I have no criminal history for a good reason. I don’t steal, and I haven’t murdered or raped anyone. I also have a driving record free of any collisions or moving violations for the last 9 years. My only 2 confrontations with cops really made me re-think my view of the role they play. One was 2 years ago in Missouri where I was arrested on a DUI charge (I was .086), but ended up being robbed of $364 by the cops at the local jail who even had the guts to crack a joke about “not calling them when the $364 check doesn’t show up in the mail.” My last confrontation with cops happened 50 feet from the entrance to my home in CA. I was pulled over on DUI suspicion (I was 0.7), showered the officer with “yes sir” and “no sir” answers. After doing 10 minutes of road-side Olympics and being surrounded by 4 other officers, the officer who originally arrested me spit in my face. I turned my face to the side after the spit hit my cheek only to see the cops behind me pulling out their night sticks in anticipation of me “fighting back”. Of course I was arrested, and taken to the station without incident, but it was a sad realization of the caliber of people who infiltrate our law enforcement community.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  26. Sonja

    How would you feel if it had been one of your kids or relatives that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up dead like this? Would you still feel the same way? I dont condone this kid selling drugs or whatever it was that he did to make a living – the way I feel – the day he was born he had two strikes against him already – being male and being black – how much had really changed in America – really think about it....these cops need to be held responsible for what they did just like the ones that were finally bought to justice in the killings of some of our civil rights leaders like Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., etc but mind you only after they were allowed to live a full and prosperous life.....How much has changed – I ask you? Same old BS – different decade. They need to be held accountable – handcuff them and lie them down on their stomachs and taser them and see how they like it....Stop making excuses to justify what they did and continue to do "in the name of justice" – you're man enough to commit a tradegy – be man enough to face any consequences that are dealt out behind your actions. I ask you again – how much has really changed in America – you're still hiding behind those masks!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  27. Nathan Bernstein

    Honestly my gut reaction to this is “thank god”. I can’t lie and say I am appalled by the actions of these police officers. This op-ed piece doesn’t divulge details of the criminal’s arrest. For all we know he may have been fighting with police and deserved to be hit with a taser gun 9 times. He could have been hopped up on crack at the time. Honestly we don’t know. Anderson Cooper and his contributors are paid to report stories such as this to incite controversy. It is a ratings game folks.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  28. linda

    this is bull there is a boy thats lives next to me he had the police on a chace well as we know they got him in his yard got him down and hand cuffed then turned the dog loose on him now this boy will have scars on his face for everthe had over 75 stiches yes there needs to be something done we have cops here that beat up people and nothing done as for the family if nothing is done take it to the higher supream corts good luck

    July 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  29. lower7

    Black or white, the dude was a crack head. No doubt, there was plenty of provocation for the police actions. Instead of blaming the brave men who brought him in, why not stand behind them. When we stop coddling these thugs there will be change.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  30. bill

    I love how when a criminal is arrested by law enforcement they go from offender to victim the minute they're picked up.Poor guy,maybe he should have just said "no"to crack.And those wicked cops,they should be counseling these people not arresting them!PLEASE!!!

    July 22, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  31. carey

    Dear Ms. Violet Miller,

    I never knew that selling drugs was grounds for execution...I wonder if it were a little fair haired blue eyed young man he would be thought of as "troubled" and offered counseling...

    July 22, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  32. Troyjay in DC

    Violet Miller, your comments are exactly what reminds us all that the southern style racism of the 60's era still exists today, you have the type of view that quickly changes once this type of event occurs in your own backyard, when it happens to your son, daughter, nephew, niece, cousin, relative or neighbor you all of a sudden find it to be outrageous. Shame on you for your comments.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  33. Matt

    Now the way I understand this is that some kid (the one whom was put in the hospital with severe head trauma ?) in Jena hung nooses by the school.... then he gets the hell beat out of him and ends up in the hospital with severe injuries. So the police do their job and make some arrest and jail a kid. The kid whom was arrested and charged with attempted murder kicked another individual while they were knocked out in the head several times. What do you think he was trying to do while kicking him? Wake him up? Give me a break. This kid should be charged. Where is the civil unrest with the fact that the kid who was arrested was trying to do severe harm to a helpless individual? SIX KIDS BEATING THE HELL OUT OF ONE PERSON and you have people claiming that they should not be charged? Where the hell is the common sense in the world today?
    Now you have a cop whom abused his power while arresting a felon. Yes he may have stepped over the line, however how many people out there have ever tried to deal with and or restrain an individual while they were "high" on cocaine or crack? It is by no means an easy task, hand cuffed or not. The cops actions should be reviewed there is no doubt about that. We should not jump to conclusions without all of the facts.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  34. Dana

    Re to Violet Miller

    You don't care that the Police MURDERED this young man. How do you know he was guilty? In this country, people are innocent until proven guilty and this right was taken from Baron Pikes together with his life. We don't know who he was or what he had done, if anything at all. YOU DON"T KNOW EITHER, so keep your racist comments to yourself.
    And I hope you're next in the way of abusive Police force, maybe if you survive you'll learn something.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  35. john doe

    I'd just like to say, as a police officer myself I can say there have been several incidents where I need to utilize my tazer on a handcuffed subject. Let me start by saying that I'm in no way defending these officers, nor am I criticizing them. It is unfair and unjust to police to criticize them until you have all facts, just the same as an alleged criminal. I'll give you a bit of information in regards to the tazer. If you don't already know, it has two uses. The first and most common is the actual probes that discharge out of the weapon and into the target. The second use is called a drive stun, which is basically the same as a stun gun. Most times if a prisoner is tazed while handcuffed, it is with the drive stun mode. Some prisoners once handcuffed become more of a threat by kicking and spitting at officers. The also tend to kick out police car windows. When they become uncompliant when handcuffed, and are kicking and screaming, many officers do drive stun the individual to stop the resistance. Before you judge what should and shouldn't be done, ask yourself this question. If you were a police officer trying to secure an individual, would you not use force such as a tazer to stop the resistance as opposed to being spit upon, bitten or kicked? Please recieve all the facts prior to judging.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  36. christian belgoderi

    is not a matter of skin color,it `s a matter of clean the streets from human trash,drug dealers,thief,if he wasn`t dealing with these ,i`m sure the story could be different,it`s no easy to play the role of the police,these kind of guys,no matter color or nacionality have to be erased from the earth.
    i supprt mrs miller opinion.
    thank you very much

    July 22, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  37. scott hillard

    who cares let the black drug dealers die how many people were hurt by his crack use

    July 22, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  38. Nine

    White folks.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  39. Deborah, Seattle, WA

    Rest in peace Baron Pikes. I pray the person that did this to you will be fired, and sentenced to prison for a long time. You're not here to know it but a similar incident has just happened in North Carolina, and the officer was only suspended for five days, FOR HOLDING THE TASER ON THE YOUNG MAN FOR 38 SECONDS. Attorney's are working on his case and I believe there were surveillance cameras as well. THANK THE LORD. I'm sick of police inflicting harm on a hand-cuffed man, or worse hand-cuffed and shackled. I'm a white female, that is truly saddened by all the brutality, but please remember all of don't HATE.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  40. Fay, CA

    Put the responsibilty where it belongs. He made choices that put him in the way of the police. … and he paid the consequences! Period!

    No one's condoning what Pike did to get arrested, but when the police cross the line into criminal behavior themselves, they need to be held accountable.

    If he hadnt been in trouble with the police in the first place this wouldnt have happened.

    It also wouldn't have happened if the cops who arrested him were doing their jobs properly and not abusing the power of their position, something that all citizens have a right to expect from them.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  41. Tiff, Al.

    God forbid your kids make bad choices, Violet. Yes, he committed a crime and should be punished, but it is not up to a police officer to determine, it is up to our courts. These officers should be held accountable for their actions, and punished. I do not applaud them at all.

    I agree with Fay, there are still very serious problems with racism. It's hard to believe that, that kind of ignorant thinking still exist in today's society.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  42. Kim in NY

    Once again, this is not a racial issue. A DRUG DEALER was beaten by a ROGUE COP.... I certainly agree with Violet, yet I also know Cops can hide behind the badge. This one is a double edged sword. Lets leave race out of it and call it what it was....... Drug dealer V. Police

    July 22, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  43. Wesley, NOLA

    Yes, let us assume that racism was the motivator right off the bat. I'm sure this had nothing to do with the fact that this man was a crack-head. Were the nine taser attempts excessive? Probably, but when someone is high on drugs, they are not always 100% successful. One of the biggest problems we have with 'racism' in this country is the constant calling of wolf.

    Just because a black man was killed by a taser, doesn't mean it was because he was black. It is more likely the police over-stepping their authority and/or a sense of power over others – not racism.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  44. Reddesires

    Story sounds like a bunch of bull......

    July 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  45. Violet Miller

    Who cares? Im so tired of people being up in arm whenever some gang banger/drug dealer get whats coming to him! If he hadnt been in trouble with the police in the first place this wouldnt have happened.

    Put the responsibilty where it belongs. He made choices that put him in the way of the police. ... and he paid the consequences! Period!

    I applaud the police. One more scumbag off the street and dealing drugs to our kids!

    July 22, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  46. Fay, CA

    Why would the police need to taser anyone who's handcuffed and lying on their stomach? A person in that position poses no threat to them. I don't know what the investigation into Pike's death will uncover, but it's certainly not much of a stretch to conclude that these cops were out for some sort of revenge against someone connected to the Mychal Bell case. I hope more attention is focused on this case which seems to indicate that there are still some serious problems in those southern that need to be addressed.

    July 22, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  47. Michelle Williams

    This is an OUTRAGE!!! How dare these rogue police officers continually get away with taking the law into their own hands. This person was already "secured" via hand cuffs and on his stomach – he was no threat to these officers. This is a White on Black/Cop on Black crime that has plagued the Deep South (and the rest of this country) since its inception! This is a disgrace and these officers need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is exactly what MLK Jr. & RFK tried so desparately to defeat in the 1960s. So sad this continues today.

    July 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  48. deborah, OH

    I understand why these people want the attention–justice must be served!
    Why has the media 'ignored' this? Thank you David & AC360 for reminding us about it.

    July 22, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  49. GF, Los Angeles

    Wow I'm surprised Jackson and Shaprton haven't piped up about this. I'm sure it won't be long before they do.....

    July 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Seems like another case of rogue cops that think that they can do as they please because they wear a badge. They probably have some racism going on too which would account for their brutality to a man that was handcuffed and couldn't defend himself. I hope that this case gets more media attention and it forces the DA to press charges against these police. I can't believe that they can kill a man and nothing happen to them. It's definitely the good ole boy system at work there for sure!

    Looking forward to this report tonight.

    Cindy..Ga.

    July 22, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
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