FAIRFAX, Va. - The video that was posted on social media shows a Fairfax County Police Officer holding a Taser and giving commands to a man. In the video it appears the man is complying, he turns around and puts his hands on top of the police cruiser, when the officer stuns him with the Taser.
“He did not try to run or nothing. That was wrong. How the police, unless he was wanted. But if he was wanted, the guy didn't have to Taser him like he did,” one witness told FOX 5.
“A a gentleman just happened to be walking down the sidewalk and the cop pulls up in front of him and tells him to turn over. And as soon as he has his back turned toward him, he Tasers him. He didn’t see it coming,” The man who shot the video on his cell phone Thursday, spoke to FOX 5, but asked to remain anonymous. He says from what he could see there was no reason for the officer to use the Taser.
“He told him to turn around. He turned around he complied. And boom he popped out his Taser and he shot at him.”
People who witnessed the incident question whether the officer needed to use that type of force. They say it is incidents like these that make people distrust the police.
“As soon as the Chief was alerted that this video was out there in existence he ordered internal affairs to conduct an inquiry,” said Lt. Brooke Wright, with the Fairfax County Police Department. She adds that the officer was investigating reports of a theft and the man in the video was later arrested. As far as the use of the stun gun, Lt. Wrights says Internal Affairs is investigating.
“They’re trying to find all the witnesses they can to determine what happened prior to this event and what happened after the event. And it's very hard to tell from a video when you have a very short snap shot in time, what events all occurred,” said Lt. Wright.
Witnesses who saw the exchange are concerned about the officer’s actions.
“On that short snippet, it does appear concerning. And that's why we're looking into it. The community has a right to be concerned. We're concerned anytime something on its face in that way looks like it's an unjustified use of force and that's to be determined. If the officer is wrong he'll be held accountable,” said Lt. Wright.