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Reverend sues Pittsburgh police over hospital tasing incident

By Ken Hanly     Sep 26, 2014 in World
Pittsburgh - Reverend Earl Baldwin Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Pittsburgh police after they are alleged to have restrained and tased him while he claims he was praying for his stepson Mileek Grissom in a hospital emergency room.
Baldwin explained on local station WPSI: “I needed to tell him his family was going to be OK. I was going to do everything I could to make sure they were OK.”
The appended video from a camera in the hospital shows Baldwin with several officers surrounding him. The officers can be seen trying to pull him away from his son and shooting him in the back with a taser. The attendant officers claim that Baldwin was interfering with attempts by doctors to revive Grissom. However, the attorney for the family said that Grissom was dead at the time of the incident and was not being treated. Grissom's mother was denied entry into the hospital at the time of the incident.
The hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), issued a statement counter to Baldwin's claims: “Clearly this was a stressful situation and a tragic loss for this family. However, the allegations about the circumstances are inaccurate.” Grissom died from a gunshot wound after he attempted to break up a fight. The incident happened over two years ago on June 24 2012. Baldwin and his family had been campaigning in Pittsburgh against gun violence in Pittsburgh for the last two years. Baldwin had said: Mileek is not going to die, and we not do something about it. So today, I stand here before you all and I tell you all, I'm going to fight."
Baldwin's federal lawsuit claims the police illegally used the taser on him while he was praying over the body of his son. To counter the hospital and police version of events Baldwin's attorney Joel Sassone claimed: “Watch the video. Not only was the child not being treated, the child was dead.” Grissom was 23 years old. Baldwin claims that the police slid his son out of the way so they could get at him, and then jumped on top of him as he was attempting to pay his regards to his dead son.
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