use of force Fairfax

Screen grab from body-worn camera video in use of force incident. 

A Fairfax County police officer has been charged with three counts of assault and battery after an "unacceptable" use of force Friday that included tasing.

Officer Tyler Timberlake was arrested Saturday at the direction of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney. Timberlake has been an officer for eight years and assigned to the Mount Vernon District Station, Fairfax police said in a statement released around 1 a.m. Sunday.

The charges stem from a Friday incident of a man in crisis wandering around in the roadway.

"As an officer attempted to deescalate the situation that was underway ... Timberlake arrived shortly after and used force that is unacceptable," the statement said.

In body-worn camera footage showing the incident, one officer talks calmly to the man, who appears to be disoriented.

Officer Timberlake arrives and immediately deploys a Taser on the man, and appears to use it several times.

Based on this action, both a criminal and administrative investigation were immediately initiated at the direction of Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr, Chief of Police.

"The actions of the officer clearly exceeded the boundaries of law, policy and professionalism," the statement said.

As part of the department’s internal investigation, Timberlake and other involved officers were immediately relieved of their law enforcement duties as police officers and placed on administrative leave.

"The Fairfax County Police Department strives to maintain the highest degree of integrity and public trust. Allegations of improper conduct or criminal violations by officers or department personnel are taken seriously and comprehensively investigated, as with any crime," the statement said.

If an alleged violation is determined to be credible and sustained, that employee will be held accountable through appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination.

(1) comment


Glad there was body cam footage. Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr made the right call.

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