A Tuesday incident during which a Tallahassee police officer named Terry Mahan used a Taser to knock over a 61-year-old, unarmed black woman who was walking away from him was captured on video, and Mahan has been put on administrative leave.
The woman, Viola Young, can be seen in the video standing in a street where three individuals have already been detained. An officer threatens to arrest her if she “get[s] involved,” and a second officer approaches her and tries to grab her arm. She pulls her arm away and turns around to walk away from him when he shoots her with the stun gun. She falls onto the pavement face-first and is handcuffed and led away.
The city of Tallahassee’s report about the incident says that officers were in the area responding to “recent complaints from citizens about open air drug sales,” but neither Young nor the three other individuals arrested were charged with drug-related crimes. Rather, all four were charged with nonviolent resistance of an officer and one was charged with what appears to be a probation violation. The arrests began, police attest, because a group of people including 23-year-old Quontarrious Jones was “obstructing vehicular traffic” by walking in the road.
The officers in the video are members of Tallahasee’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Squad. The road where the incident occurred does not have a sidewalk.