A Grand Rapids, Michigan, police officer has resigned after dash cam footage showed him holding a rifle muzzle to a handcuffed suspect’s head as he screamed in pain and asked what he’d done.
Officer Kevin Penn was suspended on September 12th after a fellow officer accused him of using force ‘not consistent with training or standard procedures’ on August 19th, when they responded to a call about an armed robbery attempt at a CVS Pharmacy parking lot.
The shocking video shows Penn approaching the suspect, homeless 28-year-old Javonte Howell, with his rifle out, and resting it on his head once he reaches him.
Officer Kevin Penn resigned from the the Grand Rapids police department in Michigan after being accused of using excessive force by another officer
Dash cam video shows Penn approaching the suspect, a 28-year-old black homeless man, with his rifle drawn
Police were called to the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy due to an alleged attempted arm robbery
‘I got him,’ another officer can be heard saying once Howell is in handcuffs, but Penn does not withdraw the weapon.
‘This is a gun, if you move, you possibly could be injured, do not move, does that make sense?’ Penn asks Howell, who repeatedly asks what he’s done.
Penn replies that Howell’s offense was ‘not listening,’ and says ‘yes it does,’ when the suspect complains that he’s in pain – all while the rifle is still drawn.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said in a release Tuesday that Penn violated the rules because he ‘put the barrel of his gun to the suspect’s head,’ not because he drew the rifle.
He added that Penn said he felt he had to ‘place the gun there for fear of possibly hitting the other officers due to close proximity if he did have to fire, and to try and control the individuals head as he was not complying with commands.’
When police reached the scene they found Howell, who fit the description, and tased him after, according to them, he didn’t comply with their commands
Penn told Howell his offense was ‘not listening’ after he repeatedly asked what he’d done and kept the gun on the suspect’s head after he had been handcuffed
‘This is a gun, if you move, you possibly could be injured, do not move, does that make sense?’ Penn asks Howell, who repeatedly asks what he’s done
Javonte Howell (pictured at a previous arrest with a different hairstyle) admitted to police that he was drunk, but denied being involved in the attempted armed robbery
Howell admitted to police that night that he had drank two pints of vodka, but denied assaulting anyone or claiming he was armed. He was charged with aggravated assault, outstanding warrants, and resisting and obstructing police.
According to an internal affairs review obtained by FOX 17, the caller who reported the attempted robbery said a suspect punched him in the face and implied he had a gun.
When police reached the scene they found Howell, who fit the description, and tased him after, according to them, he didn’t comply with their commands.
The report says that, as the video shows, Howell was complying with orders and being handcuffed when Officer James Smith realized what Penn was doing, pushed the gun away, and said: ‘All right Kevin.’
Charges will not be filed against Penn.
Penn’s misconduct report says he withdrew the rifle once officer James Smith realized what was happening, pushed the gun away, and said: ‘All right Kevin’
After one of Penn’s colleagues at the scene reported him, the police department concluded he used unreasonable force not consistent with his training