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Lawyer: Stun gun use by Virginia officer result of mistaken identity

Advocates calling to defund police departments
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 17:06:37-04

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Lawyers say a Fairfax County police officer charged with assault after firing a stun gun at an unarmed African American man believed his target was somebody else.

WTOP Radio reports that both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer for Officer Tyler Timberlake agreed at a pretiral hearing Tuesday in Fairfax that Timberlake thought he shot a person named Anthony, who had an extensive criminal record.

But the victim was somebody else entirely.

Defense attorney Brandon Shapiro said the fact is relevant to Timberlake’s defense because it shows his actions toward the individual were not irrational.

A prosecutor said mistaken identity does not justify the officer's action.