Virginia

Fairfax County Officer Arrested, Accused of Assaulting Man

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A white officer in Fairfax County, Virginia, is facing assault charges after using a stun gun on a black man during a domestic call Friday, authorities say.

Fairfax County Police Officer Tyler Timberlake was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and battery, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement Saturday night.

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler said in a 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."

Roessler said someone had called police about a man walking down a street in Mt. Vernon shouting that he needed oxygen. The first officer who arrived was trying to deescalate the situation and help the man into an ambulance, Roessler said. Then, Timberlake responded and body camera video shows him tasing the man multiple times.

Roessler said it's unclear why Timberlake tased the man and the incident is under investigation.

"They were working with this gentleman to get him help, to the ambulance, that was very clear, and for unknown reasons now, we have to wait for the criminal investigation and my administrative investigation to understand what was in the mind of this officer to do what he did, and that was to deploy that electronic control weapon and then escalate further. Unacceptable. Just disgusting,” Roessler said.

As part of the investigation into the incident, the other three officers involved were placed on administrative leave.

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The man was treated at a hospital and released, the chief said. The chief said he has been in contact with the man's mother.

The police department released the body camera footage late Saturday night of what happened.

Timberlake faces up to 36 months of incarceration.

“I can assure you that I am personally following this case closely to ensure a thorough prosecution and outcome, especially during these trying times," Descano said.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more information on the developing story.

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