A Grand Rapids police officer who resigned during an Internal Affairs investigation had held a rifle muzzle to the head of a prone, handcuffed suspect’s head, according to police reports and body camera footage.
The suspect, who had been tasered, was handcuffed, on the ground, when Officer Kevin Penn put the rifle against his head.
“The suspect makes a crying noise, and states, ‘That hurts bro,’ and Officer Penn immediately responds with, ‘Yes it does,'” according to an Internal Affairs report, reported MLive.
“The muzzle is still pressed against the suspect’s head and Officer Smith tells Officer Penn, ‘All right Kevin’ and pushes the rifle away from the suspect’s head with his head. As Officer Penn moves back, the suspect continues asking what he did and states, ‘Man, that hurted man. …'”
Several police sources reported the incident to internal affairs after it occurred.
MLive reported on the details of the incident:
The incident occurred just before midnight on Aug. 19 in the parking lot of CVS Pharmacy at 727 28th Street SE.
Police responded to a report of an armed robbery, with the suspect possibly armed with a handgun.
Sgt. Neil Gomez and Officer Douglas Stevens first confront the suspect, who is not compliant with officers’ orders. Gomez deployed his Taser and the suspect dropped to the ground.
Penn chambers a round in the rifle and alerts others.
Smith tells the suspect to put his hands behind his back, which he does. As Smith applies handcuffs, Penn put his rifle against the suspect’s head and says, “This is a gun, if you move, you possibly could be injured, do not move, does that make sense to you?”
The suspect says yes. Penn tells him not to move as his partner finishes double-locking the handcuffs.
“The suspect is moving his head and you can see the muzzle of the rifle actually moving the skin/scalp on the suspect’s head, forcing his head down,” the Internal Affairs report said.
The suspect appears compliant, the report shows. When the suspect asks what he did, Penn responds, “You didn’t listen to us.”
The suspect/victim, a 28-year-old man, was arraigned two days later on charges of assault and resisting police, court records showed.
Penn was placed on administration leave on Sept. 12 pending termination but resigned 6 days later.
The man who reported the armed robbery told police the suspect punched him in the face, and believed he could have had a gun. But that was a guess based on no actual evidence because he did not see a gun.
The suspect was homeless and said he had consumed two pints of vodka and was “networking’ in the CVS parking lot. When police said surveillance footage showed he assaulted someone in a vehicle, he said he only reached inside.
Police reported he was highly intoxicated.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)