Black Man Punched By Alabama Police After Calling Them While His Store Was Being Robbed
CCTV footage has shown a black man being punched by a police officer who was responding to his 911 call.
The incident happened on March 15, but has only just hit the news after the CCTV footage was released on social media.
47-year-old Kevin Penn had called Alabama police after his liquor store was robbed, and stated he was holding the robber at gun point.
Upon three officers arriving at the store, police claimed they asked Penn to drop his weapon and put his hands on his head. When he failed to do so, one of the officer punched Penn in the face.
In the officer’s bodycam footage, you hear police asking Penn to drop his weapon, which he refuses to do. The officer then doesn’t give Penn chance to explain he’s the store owner and hits him in the face.
You hear the officer say, ‘I got you, but you need to put your gun down.’ Penn replied, ‘My gun is here. I’m not going to put my gun down if you got guns,’ despite the fact he wasn’t actually holding a gun at the time.
The unnamed officer then tells him again to put the gun down, followed by Penn stating he has a right to his gun. He adds, ‘You can put your hands up. I’m going to file a complaint!’
It’s reported Penn sustained a broken jaw and the loss of several teeth following the altercation and was later charged with obstruction.
At a press conference on Monday, June 8, Decatur police Chief Nate Allen defended the officer’s decision to punch Penn stating that it was a ‘real blessing’ that no shots were fired and that the force’s officers are trained to use ‘the least amount of force necessary to get the job done’.
According to Allen, the man had his hand over the gun on the shop counter and that the magazine in his other hand was mistaken for a gun.
Claiming it was a case of mistaken identity, Allen said:
They didn’t know who the owner was versus the suspect. When you get there you see a guy with a gun in their hand, even if it’s a magazine in their hand, it still brings you a second breath.
The officer who threw the punch is currently on administrative duty while the incident is being investigated.
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