Taser Happy?

Categories: News

City of Miami Sgt. Robert Laurenceau is having his Taser moment.

On Thursday morning, the latest issue of Miami New Times hit the streets with a story about cops facing off in a traffic stop gone wrong this past fall. Laurenceau played a prominent role in the odd tale of mistaken identity, shooting a motorist — who turned out to be a 25-year veteran of the police department — in the back with a stun gun.

Last night, Laurenceau was on his way to making the news again. He showed up with other cops at Umoja Village, the activist-run shantytown in Liberty City, after a resident had been hit by a car while trying to cross nearby NW 17th Avenue. Jonathan Lawrence Baker, another Umoja resident, had been directing traffic around the scene. He gave police a hard time, showing them a four-inch blade under his shirt, according to a story by Robert Samuels and David Ovalle in today's Herald.

After several cops drew their guns, Baker turned and walked away. That's when Laurenceau approached from the other direction, ordering Baker to stop. When Baker didn't comply, Laurenceau shot him with a Taser, immobilizing Baker with 50,000 volts of electricity. Among the charges facing Baker is resisting without violence: apparently he never actually pulled out his knife. --Rob Jordan

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