White Police Officer in Virginia Charged With Assault for Using Stun Gun on a Black Man

Authorities say a white Virginia police officer was charged with assault and battery in connection with the use of a stun gun on a black man.

Fairfax County police Officer Tyler Timberlake arrived on scene and fired his stun gun at the man after other officers had spent several minutes trying to persuade him to get into an ambulance to go to a detox center on Friday.

The incident was captured on an officer’s body-worn camera. The video was shown at a news conference late Saturday.

Timberlake is seen striking the man with a stun gun and then getting on top of him, along with the officer wearing the body camera.

Once Timberlake is on top of the man, he presses the stun gun into the back of his neck and fires again.

According to Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr, someone had called police about a man walking down a street shouting that he needed oxygen.

On the video, the man shot with the stun gun repeatedly says “I can’t breathe.”

Roessler said the officer who responded before Timberlake had tried to de-escalate the situation.

He added it’s unclear why Timberlake used his stun gun.

The man was treated at a hospital and subsequently released.

Fairfax County Police are in the midst of a program to outfit their officers with body-worn cameras to improve transparency and community relations.

Roessler said at the news conference late Saturday night that Timberlake deployed force in violation of the department’s use of force policies and ignored “the sanctity of human life.”

He also referenced protests against police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25.

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In This Story: George Floyd

George Floyd was an African-American man who died on 25th May 2020 in Powderhorn, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, following police arrest. Video recording by a witness, showing Floyd repeating “Please”, “I can’t breathe”, and “Don’t kill me”, was widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by media. The incident led to widespread protests across the United States.

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