A white Virginia police officer accused of firing a stun gun at a Black man without provocation was indicted Monday on misdemeanor assault charges.
The Washington Post reports that a grand jury handed up Fairfax County police Officer Tyler Timberlake’s indictment one week after county prosecutors dropped the same charges for procedural reasons.
Timberlake faces three misdemeanor counts of assault and battery stemming from the June 5 incident, which was captured on video.
Last Monday, a judge granted prosecutors’ request to drop the charges so they could seek an indictment that allows him to be tried by a circuit court jury. If the case remained in district court, prosecutors couldn’t have appealed an acquittal, whereas defense lawyers could have appealed a conviction to the circuit court.
Timberlake’s attorneys had opposed the request for the charges to be dropped in district court. They have denied that the officer did anything wrong and said he mistook La Monta Gladney, the man Timberlake encountered, for another man with a criminal record.
Body camera footage released by police shows Timberlake fired his stun gun at the unarmed man. Other officers who arrived at the scene before Timberlake had spent several minutes trying to persuade Galdney to get into an ambulance to go to a detox center.