An African-American reverend is suing Pittsburgh, PA police after an incident in a hospital. A federal lawsuit filed by Rev. Earl Baldwin Jr. alleges that police illegally used a taser on the grieving father as he prayed over the body of his son, who died in the hospital in 2012 after suffering a gunshot wound while attempting to break up a fight.
Police and UPMC say that Baldwin was getting in the way of attempts to revive the 23-year-old victim, but the Reverend and video of the incident tell a different story.
“Clearly this was a stressful situation and a tragic loss for this family,” the hospital said in a statement. “However, the allegations about the circumstances are inaccurate.”
Recorded footage shows a distraught Baldwin being restrained by officers briefly before one officer pulled out a Taser and used it on the grieving reverend. In addition, the victim’s mother was prevented from entering the hospital at all, according to the lawsuit.
“I needed to tell him his family was going to be OK,” Baldwin told WPXI. “I was going to do everything I could to make sure they were OK.”
“Watch the video,” Baldwin’s attorney, Joel Sassone, said. “Not only was the child not being treated, the child was dead.”
Baldwin says that police slid his son out of the way to get to him, then jumped on top of him as he attempted to pay his regards to the child he lost.
Watch a report on the incident, below: