The incident took place on March 15, when the white police officer hit the black shopkeeper, Kevin Penn because he allegedly thought he was the suspect, the Independent reports. The Decatur police confessed to the mistake on Monday.
During a news conference that same day, department chief Nate Allen showed the footage of the incident, which also shows Penn getting arrested. The footage reportedly cut out right before the cop punched Penn.
According to the publication, in the body-cam footage, the officer in front of the cop wearing the body cam asks Penn to put down his own gun—and a person, who might have been the purported robber, is lying down on the ground.
The Independent reports that Penn said, “My gun is there, my gun is here, I’m not going to put my gun down if you got guns.” One of the officers warns Penn, as he says that he has “a right to have my gun.”
The body-cam video concludes with an officer pointing a gun at Penn before another officer strikes him, and all three wrestle him to the ground. Penn has alleged that the cops broke his jaw. The police later charged the store owner with obstructing the officers’ investigation of the robbery.
However, surveillance footage from the liquor store tells a different story. In the minute-long video, Penn is seen holding his gun and then appears to either remove or reload the clip on the counter before the police walk in. The cops' attack on Penn then ensues.
Penn’s cousin wrote on Twitter that the cops also broke his shoulder and “let the robber walk right pass them and immediately attacked my cousin.”
The police department issued a statement that said they believe there wasn’t a robbery, even though a suspect was later arrested. Allen said during the press conference that he would “rather have a punch than a shooting.” The officer who hit Penn has been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation.