Video: Officer suspended after using Taser on 62-year-old woman

A Tallahassee police officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting of a 62-year-old woman Tuesday afternoon with a Taser.

The incident was caught on cellphone video by a local resident and turned over to the Tallahassee Police Department, which released it to the public, according to WXTL.

The video shows Officer Terry Mahan firing his Taser at Viola Young’s back after she turned and began to walk away from him. Mahan said he was attempting to arrest her when she resisted.

Officers gather around Viola Young, 62, during her arrest.
Officers gather around Viola Young, 62, during her arrest.

The department has opened an investigation into Mahan’s use of force, Tallahassee police chief Michael Deleo told WXTL. Investigators interviewed neighborhood residents about the incident on Wednesday.

Mahan and several other officers were in the area Tuesday responding to complaints about drugs being sold on the street when they arrested Quontarrious Jones, Laguna Young and Quaneshia Rivers.

As the three were being taken into custody, Viola Young approached the officers, Mahan wrote in his report, according to WXTL.

“I addressed Viola Young directly and gave her more verbal commands to back away from our location,” Mahan wrote. “Viola Young responded by yelling ‘I just want to know what is going on!’ I informed her that now was not the time for that and to leave the immediate area. Viola Young verbally refused to leave. I informed Viola Young that she was under arrest and reached out and took her left arm. Young yanked away, turned and began to move away from me in an attempt to defeat her lawful arrest. I deployed my Taser and fired one cartridge striking Young in the back. Young was incapacitated and fell to the ground.”

Officers then arrested Young, who was uninjured and cleared by EMS, WXTL reported.

“We reviewed all of the information we have at this point and we’re concerned about what the video depicts and how they may be perceived,” Chief DeLeo said.

Viola Young was charged with resisting or obstructing an officer without violence, as were Quontarrious Jones and Quaneshia Rivers.

Laguna Young was charged with a probation violation related to previous drug and other charges.

It is not known whether Viola Young and Laguna Young are related.

Chief Deleo promised a fair and open inquiry into Mahan’s use of force.

“We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident,” he said. “We want to be transparent with the community by sharing what we can at this point, including releasing the video. The investigation will determine not only if the officer’s actions were illegal, but if those actions were consistent with the expectations that I have for officers in the way that we treat people in our community, with dignity and respect.”

Watch the cellphone video of Viola Young’s arrest here:

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