FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. - A northern Virginia jury on Friday acquitted a police officer who was charged with misdemeanor assault after firing a stun gun at an unarmed Black man who appeared disoriented.
Fairfax County Police Officer Tyler Timberlake was charged with assault in June 2020 after bodycam video showed him arriving and quickly firing his stun gun at Lamonta Gladney after other officers had spent several minutes trying to persuade him to get into an ambulance to go to a detox center.
Bodycam footage shows that Gladney had been wandering on a residential street in the county’s Gum Springs neighborhood.
After shooting Gladney with a stun gun, Timberlake then used his knees to pin Gladney to the ground and punched him in the back of the head as Gladney cried out. Timberlake then used the stun gun again, pressing the device into the back of the man’s neck.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano issued the following statement on the not guilty verdict in the case against Tyler Timberlake: "While I am disappointed in the outcome of the trial, I am not surprised. It is notoriously hard to prosecute a case like this, but my standard of prosecuting a case isn’t whether it’s easy or hard. My standard is doing what I think is right to hold people, including law enforcement, accountable for their actions."
"True justice goes beyond any one case. True justice will be achieved when my Black and brown neighbors don’t have to fear for their well-being when they leave their homes. Until that day becomes a reality, the work continues. I want to express my gratitude to our team that prosecuted this case."
News outlets that covered the trial reported that Gladney had PCP in his system, according to drug tests.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.