Commenter Frank alerted me to this story about a man being tased by police for riding his bicycle on a public road but giving insufficient deference to authority. There may have been a reason for that.

“A 61-year-old Halifax County [North Carolina, U.S.] man died Tuesday, a day after police shocked him with a stun gun while he was riding his bike, family members said.” The tl;dr: {ed. note – for those of you not up on modern tel slang tl;dr; means “too long; didn’t read”. The implication in English being – “for those of you who didn’t read the story”. Or in slang: “Here is the straight skinny.”} someone called the cops because he fell off his bike in a parking lot and hurt himself, and they thought he must be drunk and posed a threat. In fact, he was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing (so he may have never heard the cops’ warnings, most likely). He also suffered from being a black man in a Southern town with a long history of racist cops.

How about a more nuanced report?

Roger Anthony died Tuesday, a day after a Scotland Neck police officer used a stun gun on him.

The state Office of the Medical Examiner hasn’t yet determined a cause of death.

CBS Affiliate WRAL reports officers had responded to a 911 call Monday night about a man who had fallen off his bicycle in the parking lot of a bank. The caller told dispatchers that the man appeared drunk and may have hurt himself.

When Police Officer John Turner arrived, he saw Roger Anthony pedaling along 10th Street and followed in his patrol car. Turner put on his sirens and lights and yelled for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away, police said.

Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said Turner saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Anthony didn’t, the officer used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall off of his bike.

Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said.

He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.

Freeman said her brother suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing.

Pulling something out of your pocket and eating it? Why it could have been an effort by Roger to “destroy the evidence”. Obvious grounds for more aggressive tactics. He fit the profile – “61 yr old man on a bicycle” – and everyone on the police force knows that dope deliveries are made by guys on bicycles all the time. Sometimes they ride in cars. Other times they walk and ships and airplanes are often used too. You can’t be too careful. When it comes to collecting contraband.

Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills said Wednesday that he wouldn’t blame the family for suing.

“There has been no information that this man was a threat to anybody,” he said. “If I was a family member, I’m sure I’d be thinking the same way.”

Mills said he has tried to get information from the police department about what happened to Anthony, but they have turned him away.

And that was the real crux of the matter. He was a insufficiently deferential to authority. And note: if the Mayor can’t get information from the police one has to ask: just who or what exactly is running the place? Hired guns? Or something more sinister.