Read The No Charge Documents For Viola Young

Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-10 13:37:29-04

Below information is from court documents that were filed by the State Attorney's office.

COMES NOW WILLIAM N. MEGGS, State Attorney, by and through the undersigned Assistant State Attorney, and enters this NO INFORMATION in the above-styled cause, and as grounds therefore, would show:

Based on the police reports in this case, this incident began over people walking in the street. As a police vehicle approached, the pedestrians got out of the roadway and then resumed walking in the roadway after the police vehicle passed. It should be noted that the street in question has no sidewalks and many of the homes are set very close to the road so as to make it impractical for residents and visitors to avoid walking in the street. The police vehicle turned around and an officer exited his vehicle and attempted to detain the Defendant’s grandson for a civil infraction of obstructing the roadway. When the officer ordered the Defendant’s grandson to stop, he refused. When the officer grabbed the Defendant’s grandson’s arms, he attempted to pull away and was charged with resisting officer without violence.

Defendant Viola Young approached the officer who was arresting her grandson. The officer asked Young to back away from the area but she responded that she just wanted to know what was going on. Again, Young was asked to leave the area and she refused. The officer then attempted to grab Young's arm to place her under arrest for resisting an officer without violence. Young pulled away and began to walk away as she had previously been instructed. The officer then tased her in the back and Young fell to the ground. She was then apprehended and taken to jail.

After reviewing the reports and video associated with this case the State has concluded that there is no likelihood of conviction. It should be noted that Young is 62 years old and has no criminal history. To prove the charge against Young, the State must prove that Young was interfering with a lawful arrest. Assuming the arrest of her grandson was lawful, there is little evidence that Young’s actions interfered with that arrest. In reference to Young’s actions of pulling away from the officer, the law is clear that a citizen has the right to resist an unlawful arrest as long as the resistance is non-violent. The State concludes that there is insufficient evidence in this case to prove that Young interfered with the arrest of her grandson or that her subsequent resistance was unlawful. 

Even if these hurdles were overcome at trial, the State would next be tasked with justifying the force used to apprehend Young. Although the use of the taser in this case may have been technically lawful, the evidence indicates that it was unnecessary.

For the foregoing reasons, the State elects to dismiss the charge against Defendant Viola Young.

Dated on October 10, 2014.