A new cellphone video released by the Tallahassee Police Department shows Officer Terry Mahan tasing 62-year-old resident Viola Young on Tuesday afternoon. The police had just made arrests related to reports of drug dealing in the area when Young approached Mahan to ask about one of the men they had apprehended.
Mahan instructed her to stay back and tried to grab her arm. When she turned and walked away, Mahan fired a Taser into her back, causing her to fall face-forward onto the ground. She was subsequently taken into custody on charges of resisting an officer without violence.
"Based on the video, I have enough concerns to call for an internal investigation and have Officer Mahan put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," said DeLeo. "We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident. We want to be transparent with the community by sharing what we can at this point."
The Tallahassee Democrat reports:
Tallahassee defense attorney Chuck Hobbs asked State Attorney Willie Meggs to "strongly consider" filing charges against Tallahassee Police Officer Terry Mahan should he find that the tasing of 61-year-old Viola Young Tuesday was unjustified.
Hobbs wrote a letter to the state attorney this morning after seeing video of the tasing incident that he is "absolutely appalled" at the tape, which shows Young being tased by Mahan on Dunn Strett [sic] Tuesday evening.
"I am asking you to strongly consider filing charges directly if you and your top investigators conclude that this incident was unjustified and there is probable cause and reasonable likelihood of a successful prosecution under one or more Florida laws," he said...
"Officer Mahan ran afoul of the Tallahassee Police Department guidelines with respect," he wrote. "What this tape shows in real time is that the suspects had already apprehended and placed into police cruisers, and most crucially, after the verbal command was given to Young."
"I know what I've seen on the video," said Robert A. "Gus" Harper III, Young's attorney. "My gut reaction is sort of like everyone else's -- it looks like an instrument that is used to deter violence is being used as a weapon. I think that goes against the spirit of the whole concept behind Tasers."
"All options are on the table," he continued. "The big thing is we just want to make sure that these types of things don't happen and that we can start rebuilding our trust in TPD."