Police officers suspended for tasing incident

Police Chief Michael DeLeo announced in a press conference Monday that the the two Tallahassee Police Department officers involved in the September tasing of 62-year-old Viola Young have been suspended without pay.

The case involving Officers Terry Mahan and Christopher Woods is now officially closed.

Mahan, who tased Viola Young, was suspended for four weeks without pay for violating four department policies. Woods was suspended for 2 days without pay for violating three department policies.

"Although the actions of Officer Terry Mahan were legal, his actions did not reflect the expectations of this agency, when he attempted to arrest Ms. Young and then utilized his Taser," DeLeo said.

Woods had no prior disciplinary actions against him before the incident and Mahan had only one incident in which his punishment was verbal reprimand.

In a video taken by a Dunn St. resident, Young was seen asking Mahan about her arrested child and grandchildren when she was advised to back away. The officer moved towards her and reached for her hand, which she resisted. She turned to walk away and she was immediately tasered.

Back in October, the Dream Defenders protested outside of Attorney Willie Megs’ Office for the charges against Young and her family members to be dropped.

Angelique Fullwood, a Tallahassee Dream Defender, has participated in many protests pertaining to the police brutality against Viola Young. Fullwood said she was pleased with the punishment.

“It was a win,” Fullwood said. “It wasn’t everything we wanted, but it’s still something,” after hearing the news about the officer’s suspension. All of the new training that Mahan is going to have to go through is something all of the officers should have to do.”

Rashida Flemmings, a Frenchtown resident, said there is animosity between the police and the residents of Frenchtown, and Mahan’s punishment was not strict enough.

“Police are always patrolling the Frenchtown area, but it’s not to protect us, it’s to harass us,” Flemmings said. “What that officer got was a slap on the wrist. That’s not enough to make me feel safe.”

The investigation consisted of 25 interviews of officers and citizens and an additional 35 exhibits of information and evidence. The investigation focused on the actions of TPD officers during the arrest of Young.

“We need trust in the community, we need a citizens’ review board.” Fullwood said. “If police investigate themselves, then it leaves the citizens to wonder: ‘Is justice really being served?’”

To view the Internal Affairs Report visit, http://www.talgov.com/tpd/news/4557.aspx