Gum Springs use of force case reaches settlement

GUM SPRINGS, VA — A settlement has been reached in the 2020 use of force incident involving a Fairfax County police officer and a black man in the Gum Springs area.

As reported by The Washington Post, the civil suit was settled for $150,000 with the officer, Tyler Timberlake, admitting no wrongdoing. Federal court documents say the settlement was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and filed in court on May 10. Timberlake had been found not guilty by a grand jury for misdemeanor assault and battery.

The use of force incident happened in June 2020 and was recorded on police-worn camera video. Video from the responding first officer shows a man walking down the pavement on Fordson Road in Gum Springs. Video showed the responding first officer and fire personnel talking to the man, later identified as Lamonta Gladney, and trying to convince him to get into an ambulance.

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In the video, Gladney speaks with first responders and walks the roadway but does not appear to show any aggressive actions.

As Timberlake walks into the video, he fires a stun gun at Gladney. The video shows the officer putting his knees on Gladney’s back and tasering the man to his neck. Other first responders help restrain the man.

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After the incident, then-Police Chief Ed Roessler Jr. placed Timberlake and other officers involved on administrative leave pending administrative and internal investigations. At the time of the incident, Roessler said Timberlake’s actions violated department use-of-force policies and ignored the sanctity of life while the first officer, paramedics and firefighters did what they needed by trying to defuse the situation and get him into the ambulance. . Roessler’s statements against led the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 77 to call for Roessler’s resignation, arguing that “citizens, including police officers, are entitled to due process.”

As reported by the Associated Press and other media, drug tests showed PCP in Gladney’s system. Timberlake’s defense attorney said the officer acknowledged the man was on PCP and that expert testimony during the trial linked PCP use to violence.

According to the civil complaint, Gladney, unarmed, went to the roadway to seek help for a friend who became unconscious and needed medical attention and oxygen. Court documents stated that “Gladney was overcome with anxiety and panic, which apparently rendered him unable to understand and communicate”.

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