Police Brutality

Officer Approaches Man Having “Episode” and Tases Him as Another Officer is Employing Deescalation Techniques

La Monta Gladney was having what his attorney described as “an episode” on a street in Fairfax County, Virginia, when Officer Tyler Timberlake arrived as backup. The officer used his Taser on Gladney for about 10 seconds after he arrived on the scene. 

Timberlake was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and battery for excessive force. These charges were later dropped for procedural reasons.

Body camera footage from another officer on scene shows Gladney walking in circles. Officers and paramedics were responding to a domestic call. When Timberlake arrives, he approaches Gladney and draws his taser. 

Someone is heard asking, “Is he wanted?” 

In the footage, Timberlake is then seen using the Taser on Gladney twice, including once in the back of the neck. He calls him “Anthony” as Gladney shouts out in pain. Timberlake’s defense attorney said his client had believed that Gladney was someone else. 

Robert Bryan, Gladney’s attorney, said, “The mistaken identity defense really is not relevant to us at all. Whether it was my client, Mr. Gladney, or whomever Officer Timberlake thought he was engaging, no one deserves to be treated in such an aggressive and inhumane manner.” 

Gladney was charged with being drunk in public and resisting arrest. Both charges were dropped. 

Timberlake and every officer who was on the scene is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. A judge granted prosecutors’ request to drop Timberlake’s charges so they could seek an indictment that allows him to be tried by a circuit court jury. Timberlake faces three misdemeanor counts of assault and battery. Timberlake’s attorneys opposed the request for the charges to be dropped in district court, denying that Timberlake had done anything wrong. They maintained that Timberlake mistook Gladney for another man with a criminal record. 

Related Links: Black man Tasered by White Fairfax County police officer files federal lawsuit

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