A Fairfax County, Virginia, man used a single word to describe what it was like to have a county officer use a Taser on him: “traumatizing.”
La Monta Gladney shared his story Thursday after Officer Tyler Timberlake used a stun gun against him on June 5. The officer was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and battery for what the police chief called excessive force.
Gladney, who is African American and was unarmed, was having what his attorney called "an episode" on a street in the Mt. Venon area when Timberlake arrived as backup. The officer used his Taser about 10 seconds after he stepped out of his cruiser.
“Given everything that's going on in our country, the awareness that's been raised — to see that happen here in Fairfax County was shocking,” Gladney’s lawyer, Robert Bryan, said.
Officer body camera footage captured an officer saying, “He’s walking around in the middle of the street rambling.”
The video shows Gladney walking in circles. Officers and paramedics were responding to a domestic call. Someone can be heard asking Gladney if he wants to go to “detox” and tells him to get in an ambulance.
Then Timberlake arrives, walks straight toward Gladney and draws his Taser.
“Is he wanted?” someone can be heard asking.
Then Timberlake is seen use the Taser on him twice, including once in the back of the neck. He calls him “Anthony” as Gladney shouts out in pain.
Gladney showed his wounds on Thursday, six days after the incident.
Timberlake’s defense attorney said his client had believed that Gladney was someone else.
“The mistaken identity defense really is not relevant to us at all,” Bryan said. “Whether it was my client, Mr. Gladney, or whomever Officer Timberlake thought he was engaging, no one deserves to be treated in such an aggressive and inhumane manner.”
Timberlake and every officer who was on the scene is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. Timberlake is due in court July 31.
After Gladney had the Taser used against him, he was charged with being drunk in public and resisting arrest. Both charges will be dropped, the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said Thursday.