By Steve Pomper
Taser X 26
Update 5-26-23: In the original article I wrote Officer Timberlake “lost his job” at FCPD. The article’s source clarified that Officer Timberlake “left on his own accord,” in good standing, “eligible for rehire… and promotion,” and “retired” from the FCPD. Timberlake is supportive of the new FCPD Chief, Kevin Davis, and a family relocation was in the works well before the incident occurred. – SP
In an NPA article I wrote in May 2022 about officers who’d been wrongly criminally charged, for doing their jobs, and then acquitted. I mentioned the case of then-Fairfax County (VA) police officer Tyler Timberlake. The commonwealth prosecutor charged him with assault for tasing an uncooperative, volatile, and high suspect.
But it seems the anti-police system wasn’t done with Officer Timberlake after another agency in another state hired him. Officer Timberlake’s supporters requested a follow up. The information I researched and that sources have reported to me seem to warrant a follow-up.
That new city’s chief balked when activists were triggered when they learned of the lateral officer’s being charged for the tasing “of a black man” in Fairfax County, disregarding that a jury acquitted him.
I wrote, “In June 2020, Fairfax County Police Officer Tyler Timberlake faced assault charges ‘after bodycam video showed him arriving and quickly firing his stun gun at the man after other officers had spent several minutes trying to persuade him to get into an ambulance to go to a detox center.
“Often, non-Taser equipped officers will call an officer equipped with a Taser to a scene where the device could be useful. The arriving Taser officer knows the officers have already tried to de-escalate and have determined another level in the use-of-force continuum is warranted.”
According to the National Institute of Justice, Taser-type devices are at the same force level as batons and pepper spray and come after “punches and kicks” are indicated. But how would critics have treated Timberlake if the video showed him punching and kicking the suspect?
Using a Taser usually lowers the risk of injury to the suspect compared with punching, kicking, or striking with a baton because a Taser is meant to prevent further resistance by obtaining immediate control—unless the person is under the influence of certain drugs—like PCP.
I also wrote, “Expert testimony focused on the suspect allegedly being high on PCP (experts testified he [the suspect] had PCP in his system) and ‘that people high on PCP can quickly become violent.’”
The FCPD BWC video shows La Monta Gladney walking in the middle of the street, rambling incoherently, obviously high, asking for detox, then walking away from cops and firefighters. He refuses to comply with the officer’s lawful commands to get out of the street.
He maintains an aggressive posture while walking erratically and babbling. He says he’ll get in an ambulance but, again, walks away instead. And, as with so many of these cases, the man exhibited signs of what cops are taught to look for in drug-induced Excited Delirium, which causes erratic behavior and commonly increases a person’s strength and pain tolerance.
As defined by NIH, “Excited (or agitated) delirium is characterized by agitation, aggression, acute distress, and sudden death, often in the pre-hospital care setting. It is typically associated with the use of drugs that alter dopamine processing, hyperthermia, and, most notably, sometimes with death of the affected person in the custody of law enforcement.”
I’m not saying ED was an issue in this case, but officers must pay attention to the signs. Here, his behavior reportedly resulted from his ingesting PCP.
Non-compliant on his arrival, Timberlake immediately tased him to gain compliance. Timberlake decided to end resistance before violence could occur. Gladney kept fighting, after being tased, so cops and firefighters struggled to take him into custody.
You can disagree with the tactic and strategy Timberlake used, but it was a valid option. This man was out of control, yelling unintelligibly, and presented a potential threat. I remember a lieutenant I had when I was a relatively new officer telling me, the longer an incident like that is drawn out, the likelier violence and injury could occur.
The officers weren’t dealing with a 5-year-old child throwing a temper tantrum. You can’t reason with the unreasonable. And that describes what I saw in the video. This was a grown man either responsible for his actions, including by intentionally using drugs, or with mental health issues, which does not diminish danger he poses and may increase it.
Maybe another cop would have made a different decision, waited longer, or might have done exactly what Timberlake did. But if the officer had waited, it could have created an opportunity for the suspect to commit violence, including getting an officer’s gun (it happens). You may not think like that when you watch the video, but cops have to. The longer a situation goes on, the more danger there is to first-responders, bystanders, and the suspect.
Regardless, Officer Timberlake decided to act quickly, and a jury in Fairfax County, Virginia, found him not guilty of assault and battery. That’s because the evidence showed he was a cop just doing his job. Of course, because of his former FCPD chief’s non-supportive actions, Timberlake lost his job. But he wanted to remain in law enforcement because he’d done nothing wrong except trigger woke leaders who don’t seem to understand that police uses of force don’t look good—and never will.
So, Timberlake applied and got hired (you may not believe this) by the Minneapolis Police Department. Timberlake’s Taser incident had occurred in the immediate aftermath of the in-police-custody death of a high-on-drugs, convicted felon that cops had arrested named George Floyd.
MPD recruiters highly recommended hiring Timberlake as a lateral transfer. Though intended to be negative, even critics noted this on Twitter. A police abolitionist tweeted:
So, who should the police rely on to hire people they will have to trust with their lives? BLM and Antifa, maybe? How about a far-left radical, anti-cop city council or mayor?
According to KARE 11 News, “Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara says he is ‘extremely concerned’ and calling for a full investigation into the MPD hiring process after learning his department hired a former Virginia police officer who generated national controversy in 2020 for his arrest and use of force on an unarmed black man.”
O’Hara added he wants a “full investigation” but seems to have already decided Timberlake’s guilt. The chief says he “will demand changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Then what’s the investigation for? Or is finding in Timberlake’s favor not a possibility?
O’Hara maintains he didn’t know about Timberlake’s past or even that MPD had hired him. However, sources close to the investigation question Chief O’Hara’s credibility on that issue.
According to the source, the chief sat in on Timberlake’s “Chief’s Interview where his [Taser] incident was discussed directly and at length.”
It also didn’t help that Timberlake’s chief in Fairfax, Edwin Roessler Jr., had become known for his leftist, anti-cop political views, according to InsideNova.com. Supporters believe Timberlake is a voiceless pawn in the entire matter, persecuted in both jurisdictions.
Timberlake is not allowed to speak in his defense [in either jurisdiction] while his detractors can say whatever they want about him.
Inside Nova wrote, “Police groups pressed for Roessler’s resignation in June this year after he sided with the county Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano [George Soros-funded, as noted in the NPA’s 2021 book The Obama Gang] on charging Officer Taylor Timberlake after he tasered a man in Mount Vernon….”
The source also contends authorities haven’t released the entire BWC (body-worn camera) video, which they say, “shows a very different picture than… what was shown on the media.”
The source said they are concerned O’Hara will continue to lie about his knowledge of Timberlake’s FCPD past and his MPD hiring. They wonder, if he’d “lie” about that, what else would he be willing to lie about?
The source concluded, “The public has a right to know they are being misled by these’ leaders.’”
Another concern the source mentioned was that Timberlake has been silenced, unable to defend himself. At the same time, O’Hara and other critics can lambast the officer in both traditional and social media. By the way, this silencing is a prevalent complaint among accused officers.
The stories about these wrongly accused officers broadcast by media are almost entirely one-sided against the cop and toward the far-left, anti-cop groups and media.