• Penn reported a robbery of his store
  • Allegedly informed police beforehand that he was armed
  • Cops mistook Penn for suspect
  • Unnamed officer punched Penn and 2 others wrestled him to the ground
  • Incident happened on March 15
  • Video spread over the weekend
  • Investigation on-going since March

An armed black Alabama business owner reported a robbery in his store on March 15 and was punched by a responding officer who mistook him for the suspect.

According to the Washington Times, a surveillance video of the three-month-old incident circulated on social media over the weekend.

The video showed officers coming into the Star Spirits and Beverages in Decatur, which Alabama resident Kevin Penn owned.

The suspect, who was identified as someone involved in an alleged shoplifting at Penn’s store was lying on the ground.

The video went on to show the officer walking past the suspect and told Penn to put down his weapon to which Penn refused and said that he had a right to his gun.

Decature Police Chief Nate Allen said that was when Penn moved his hand over a gun which was on the counter next to him.

“We do know there was a gun there, we do know that the magazines were there, we do know that he was reloading the magazine,” Allen said at a news conference.

Penn’s lawyer Carl Cole said that his client reportedly told the police that he was holding the suspect at gunpoint and had showed his gun to the officers to let them know that he was armed.

Cole said that Penn had also removed the clip and removed the bullets from the gun.

The video showed Penn telling the police officers that he was going to file a complaint when they got closer to him.

The body camera footage didn’t show what happened after the confrontation but the store’s surveillance video showed an officer punching Penn before two other officers joined in to wrestle him to the ground.

Court records showed that he was arrested and charged with obstruction of a robbery investigation, the Washington Times reported.

Penn suffered a broken jaw, his teeth were knocked out and his mouth had to be wired shut after the altercation.

Allen held a news conference on Monday to show footage of the incident in an effort to be transparent with the public.

The offending officer’s identity was not released although Allen revealed that he has been placed on desk duty while the department investigates the altercation.

The identity of the actual shoplifting suspect was also not released.

Penn’s lawyer said that he had already filed a complaint with the police department over the incident but is yet to be updated about the status of the investigation which started in March.

Allen said at the news conference that he does not know when the investigation will be done.

Protesters take a knee and raise their fists in a moment of silence for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality in Boston, Massachusetts
Protesters take a knee and raise their fists in a moment of silence for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality in Boston, Massachusetts AFP / Joseph Prezioso