WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The Fairfax County Police Department called a late press conference Saturday night to release details surrounding the arrest of one of the department’s own officers.
The white officer, Tyler Timberlake, faces three counts of assault and battery related to an on-duty incident that happened Friday.
Body camera video played at the press conference shows an officer deploying his stun gun on a Black man, who was walking away from him at the time. The man seems in the footage to be suffering from some kind of medical episode.
The man falls to the ground, where the officer proceeds lean on his back with his knees. The officer appears to deploy the stun gun on him again, this time while he’s already face down on the ground. At this point, other officers join the initial officer in pushing the man into the ground, where they force handcuffs onto him.
At one point, the victim yells: “I can’t breathe.”
The county’s Chief of Police, Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., says the man “is alive and resting at home with his family.”
Roessler also says Timberlake, an eight-year veteran of the department, has been relieved of duty. Other officers who were present have also been relieved of duty pending the result of both criminal and administrative investigations.
Timberlake faces up to 36 months of incarceration.
Our nation is righteously angry at the law enforcement profession, as am I. Many departments are not engaged with their communities. The Fairfax County Police Department is engaged with its communities and we value transparency, accountability and, as evidenced by our civilian review panel, and our independent police auditor, those values are held to the standards of our community members, who developed these accountability systems.“Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Chief of Police
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano calls the police body camera footage of the incident “unsettling.”
“We are fortunate that this technology was in use in the region of the county within which this incident occurred,” he said in a statement. “Without it, I fear we would have had an unfortunately narrow and distorted view of what happened in one of our own neighborhoods.”
Watch the body camera footage and Descano’s full statement below.