A Louisiana grand jury indicted a former police officer on a manslaughter charge and criminal malfeasenceon Wednesday (August 13).
Scott Nugent was implicated in the death of a man who was Tasered nine times - while handcuffed, according to CNN.com.
Baron "Scooter" Pikes, a 21-year-old African American sawmill worker, tried to run from Winnfield police, who wanted to arrest him on a warrant charging him with cocaine possession.
A coroner's report found that Pikes was first handcuffed, then Tasered a staggering nine times. The report stated that he may have been dead before the last two 50,000-volt shocks were delivered.
Nugent, the arresting officer, was suspended and then fired in May. If convicted, he could receive up to 40 years for the manslaughter charge, and an additional five for the criminal malfeasance charge.
"It is our intention to show at trial that Mr. Nugent caused the death of Baron Pikes by Tasing him multiple times, unnecessarily and in violation of Louisiana law, and by failing to get him medical attention when it was apparent he needed it," said Winn Parish District Attorney R. Chris Nevils.
According to Nugent's attorney, Phillip Terrell, his client followed proper police procedure. The Winnfield Police Department's Taser training manual states that a Taser "shall only be deployed in circumstances where it is deemed reasonably necessary to control a dangerous or violent subject."
Pikes' death led to demonstrations that drew several dozen people in Winnfield, Louisiana, a town of 15,000, approximately half of whom are black. Nugent is white.
Police said Pikes told officers he suffered from asthma and had been using PCP and crack cocaine. But the Winn Parish medical examiner said he found no sign of drug use in the autopsy and no record of asthma in Pikes' medical history.