A Pittsburgh couple filed a federal civil rights suit accusing police of mistreating them while their son’s died, WPXI-TV reported on Thursday. The suit accuses an officer of unlawfully using his Taser against Rev. Earl Baldwin Jr. on June 24, 2012. Baldwin said that at the time, he was in the emergency room of UPMC Mercy Hospital attempting to pray for his stepson, 23-year-old Mileek Grissom. Grissom was shot and killed that day while reportedly trying to break up a fight.
“I needed to tell him his family was going to be OK,” Baldwin told WPXI this week. “I was going to do everything I could to make sure they were OK.” Footage of the incident shows police restraining a visibly upset Baldwin for a few seconds before another officer pulls out his Taser and uses it on him. Grissom’s mother, Tori Baldwin, was stopped by authorities and not allowed to enter the hospital.
Police have not commented on the lawsuit, but hospital officials have said that Earl Baldwin was interfering with attempts to revive Grissom.
“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.”
But Baldwin argues that police slid Grissom’s hospital bed away before restraining him.
“Watch the video,” his attorney, Joel Sassone, was quoted as saying. “Not only was the child not being treated, the child was dead.”