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This frame grab from security camera footage shows a Decatur police officer appearing to punch a local liquor store owner in the face in March. Video at decaturdaily.com. [COURTESY PHOTO]

The Decatur Police Department will hold a news conference today to discuss a video from a March incident in which a white police officer appears to punch a local liquor store owner, who is black, in the face.

Attorney Carl Cole is representing Kevin Penn, owner of Star liquor store on Sixth Avenue in Northeast Decatur. Cole said today that Penn has a broken jaw from the March 15 incident.

“We have filed notice before the deadline that we could file a lawsuit,” Cole said.

The video recently began circulating on social media.

Cole said the video on social media is only a short piece of a 16-minute video surveillance tape of the incident. He said Penn stopped an attempted theft with the auto lock to his front door and held the thief at gunpoint.

The video shows Penn unloading his gun as police arrive, Cole said. The video appears to show Penn setting the magazine from the weapon down as police officers approach. An officer then appears to punch Penn.

Penn was arrested and charged with misdemeanor obstruction of governmental operations. Police do have a copy of the longer video, according to Cole.

A hearing on Penn’s arrest was scheduled for June, but it has been postponed, Cole said.

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bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

(4) comments

John Green

What happened? The store owner "stopped an attempted theft with the auto lock to his front door and held the thief at gunpoint" but then the store owner was "charged with misdemeanor obstruction of governmental operations"?

The audio is definitely needed to see why all 3 officers were aggressive to the store owner.

Andrea Sharp

Why did they wait to discuss it until it came out on Facebook and outraged people?

J. T.

Entirely unacceptable. That hothead needs to be fired before he shoots someone.

Angela McDay


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