- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida prosecutors are dropping charges against a 61-year-old woman who had a stun gun fired in her back by a Tallahassee police officer.

The September incident gained national attention after a video surfaced showed Viola Young falling face-first onto the ground after the officer fired on her as she walked away from him.

The video prompted Tallahassee police to place Officer Terry Mahan on administrative leave. Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo announced the move during a news conference held in the middle of the night.

State Attorney Willie Meggs told WCTV-TV on Friday that “common sense dictates” that the incident should have never happened.

According to police, the officers were responding to recent complaints from citizens about drug deals in the neighborhood located just a few blocks west of the governor’s mansion. Young approached one of the police cars parked on the narrow street to inquire about the arrest of one of her family members.

In his police report, Mahan said that after he told people to stay back she “responded by yelling, ‘I just want to know what is going on.’” Mahan said Young refused to leave and he told her she was under arrest. He said she yanked away from him when he attempted to grab her arm.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Young’s grandson was arrested because he was walking in the middle of a narrow street that does not have sidewalks. Police then arrested Young, her daughter and granddaughter.

According to the Democrat, Meggs’ office said in court filings that even if the arrest of Young’s grandson was lawful, “there is little evidence that Young’s actions interfered with that arrest.” The filing said the actions of the officers “led to an absurd result.”

“Four arrests that stem from somebody walking in the roadway is not a scenario that lends itself to a successful prosecution,” the filing said.

Prosecutors also dropped charges against Young’s three other family members.


Information from The Tallahassee Democrat: https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/local/2014/10/10/meggs-charges-dropped-in-tasing-incident/17048267/

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