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Dream Defenders demand justice for Black woman tazed by cop

By Michael Sampson

Tallahassee Dream Defenders rally for justice outside Leon County Courthouse

Tallahassee, FL – Members of the Tallahassee Dream Defenders rallied outside of the Leon County Courthouse, Oct. 9. With community members and the local press on hand, protesters chanted “Hey hey, ho, ho, crooked cops have got to go,” and demanded the arrest of Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) cop Terry Mahan.

On Oct. 1, Officer Terry Mahan brutally use a stun gun on a 61-year-old African American woman, Viola Young, as she walked away from him. She was arrested for resisting an officer after she was assaulted by the stun gun and knocked unconscious. Previously, Mahan and members of the TPD had harassed and arrested three other residents after illegally searching them. Since that time, the TPD police chief has placed Officer Mahan on paid leave and promised an investigation into the incident. Members of the Tallahassee Dream Defenders are angry about that.

“I think that the people deserve more than a promise of transparency from the chief of police,” said Tallahassee Dream Defenders organizer Angelique Fullwood. “We are tired of being treated like second class citizens. Officer Mahan needs to be charged and arrested for his crimes.”

Dream Defenders and community members were on hand to demand that State Attorney Willie Meggs file charges and arrest Officer Mahan. They were also there to demand an end to stop and frisk zones in Frenchtown, a historical Black neighborhood in Tallahassee.

Students and community members marched into State Attorney Willie Meggs office, singing, “ We who believe in freedom shall not rest until it's won.” Meggs and his office refused to meet with protesters.

“Officers all over the U.S. are hurting people and not being held accountable for their decisions,” said Naomi Brown, member of the FAMU chapter of Dream Defenders. “We are gonna keep up the pressure until justice is won.”

Dream Defenders have promised more action on this case until community demands are met.

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