Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo announced the investigation at a news conference Wednesday. DeLeo released the video, shot by a witness, saying he wanted to “be transparent with the community.”
Tallahassee police say Officer Terry Mahan was with a group of officers at about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday because there had been complaints about drug sales in the neighborhood.
Another officer had initially turned his squad car around after he saw several people walking in the small, narrow street, according to a police report.
The officer detained a man who refused to stop, at which point, a woman began to yell and “incite the crowd.”
According to authorities, the officers had detained three people when Viola Young walked up to one of the officers to ask about one of the people being arrested. Officers told her to stay back, DeLeo says.
The full video (warning: graphic language) shows Mahan walking past two squad cars and toward Young. He appears to attempt to grab her, but she turns her back and quickly walks away. Mahan then uses the stun gun on Young, and she falls face-first into the asphalt, eventually rolling over and flailing her arms on the ground.
“They tased an old lady,” one witness can be heard saying on the video.
Another officer then appears to grab her arm, rolling her onto her front side again, and puts handcuffs on her.
In a police report released by authorities, Mahan says Young pulled up to the scene, and that she and another man were yelling at officers. The man complied when Mahan told a group of people to back away, the report says, but Young refused, yelling, “I just want to know what is going on!”
Mahan says in the report that Young’s actions “obstructed officers while in the course of completing their legal duties.” After she refused another command from Mahan to back away, he said, he told Young she was under arrest and reached out for her left arm.