Alexandria family will push for answers about why son died in police custody


originally published by: The NewsStar
24th June 2011

Alexandria resident Lawrence Ricks stood on the steps of Alexandria City Hall Thursday with one word on his mind: justice. Ricks is the father of Robert Ricks, who died Feb. 6 after being shot twice with a Taser stun gun while in police custody. A coroner’s report this week said his death was cocaine-related and not due to the electric shock of the weapon.

Lawrence Ricks said he understands that police officers have tough jobs, but he does not believe that his son was using drugs.

“We are not here to throw blame or racial slurs at anyone. A couple bad apples can spoil the whole bunch,” Lawrence Ricks said. “The dead can’t talk, so I’m going to speak for my son. I would have known if he was abusing drugs. The report about my son using cocaine is foolishness.”

Lawrence Ricks gathered with 49 relatives, friends and members of the Central Louisiana chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in downtown Alexandria to celebrate the life of Robert Ricks.

“This whole situation is not right. The police are saying that my son died because of cocaine use,” said Lawrence Ricks. “I’m not here to talk bad about the city of Alexandria, police officers or officials. I know police officers have a hard job and put their lives on the line every day. We will take this a step further with legal representation and fight for the answers we want.”

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