Violet Young, 62, was shot in the back with Officer Terry Mahan’s taser at the scene of several arrests in Tallahassee, Florida. The incident was caught on video camera by several residents in the neighborhood, who felt that Officer Mahan was over the top, and gave the video as evidence to the Tallahassee Police Department, as reported by CNN.
The video below, taken by a resident’s cell phone, shows Officer Mahan using his taser on Violet Young at the 2:37 mark. Be warned: Graphic language.
Chief Michael DeLeo says officers were in the area responding to citizens complaints about drugs being sold out in the open. Officer Woods was the first to arrive on the scene, and as he approached the suspects on the street, one of the individuals, Quontarrious Jones, began walking away.
As Officer Woods kept asking him to stop walking away, Jones turned back, glared at Officer Woods, and blatantly ignored him. Jones was disrespectful, and not following the officer’s order. Woods told him he was under arrest, per WTXL.
As Officer Woods grabbed Jones’ arm to place him under arrest, another suspect, Laguna Young, became agitated. Young, who was ultimately arrested at the scene and charged with violation of probation as it relates to previous charges of possession of cocaine with intent to sell and resisting/obstructing an officer without violence, forced her way between Officer Woods and Jones, yelling and ultimately inciting anger in others on the scene. It was becoming a seemingly dangerous situation.
A second officer, Officer Early, then arrived and saw Officer Woods in what seemed to be an escalating dangerous situation.
Officer Early wrote in his report, “It is my experiences that an area in which is a known location for sale/use of illegal narcotics and firearms are also involved…for these reasons I felt the safety of Officer Woods was compromised fearing that the crowd would continually become more hostile if the situation was not deescalated.”
The two officers began arresting the suspects, while Officer Mahan arrived.
CNN reports that Mahan began assisting the other two officers. As they were putting a suspect into the back of the police car, Violet Young approached Office Mahan. When he asked Young to leave, she refused.
Mahan’s report, according to WTXL, explained that Violet Young was obstructing an officer from completing his legal duties.
“I addressed Viola Young directly and gave her more verbal commands to back away from our location. Viola Young responded by yelling ‘I just want to know what is going on!’ I informed her that now was not the time for that and to leave the immediate area. Viola Young verbally refused to leave. I informed Viola Young that she was under arrest and reached out and took her left arm. Young yanked away, turned and began to move away from me in an attempt to defeat her lawful arrest. I deployed my Taser and fired one cartridge striking Young in the back. Young was incapacitated and fell to the ground.”
Violet Young was then arrested, with no further resistance, according to Officer Mahan. She was examined by the EMS and released with no injuries.
CNN reports that a thorough investigation will be conducted regarding this incident.
“We want to be transparent with the community by sharing what we can at this point, including releasing the vide. The investigation will determine not only if the officer’s actions were illegal, but if those actions were consistent with the expectations that I have for officers in the way that we treat people in our community, with dignity and respect.”
Chief DeLeo goes on to say that the investigation will help determine if the officer used excessive force or if it was justified.
What is your opinion? Were Officer Mahan’s actions justified?
[Photo Credit: Scott.net]