NEW ORLEANS - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sent a letter urging the District Attorney of Winn Parish to investigate the tasing death of Baron DeAundrae Pikes, who died on January 17 from electrocution while in police custody. Mr. Pike's death certificate clearly shows that he was tased no fewer than nine times - while already in police restraints - and that he died as a result of electroshock injuries.
"Police must be accountable for their actions just as others are, and if excessive police force caused Mr. Pikes' death, the officers must be held accountable," said Marjorie Esman, Executive Director. "The Louisiana State Police are reviewing this unfortunate death and, if their review indicates that Mr. Pikes died as a result of police misconduct, we expect the District Attorney to prosecute as it would any other death that occurs in Winn Parish."
Tasers are valuable alternatives to firearms when used properly to avoid injury. Tasers should not be used to cause unnecessary harm, and because Mr. Pikes was already in restraints when he was subject to tasering, it appears that his death was both unnecessary and completely avoidable. The ACLU, which expects all persons to be treated equally and fairly under the law, hopes that the District Attorney pursues restitution for Mr. Pikes' family in addition to whteaver prosecution may be appropriate once the investigation is complete.