HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Just one day after video of a Decatur Police officer punching a man went viral, Police Chief Nate Allen speaks on camera.
In a video from inside Star Beverage, a Decatur liquor store, its impossible to miss the actions of one of the Decatur Police officers.
It’s a punch that’s been seen across the Tennessee Valley and shared more than a thousand times.
Kevin Penn owns Star Beverage on 6th Avenue. On March 15th, officers responded to a reported robbery.
In body camera video released for the first time Monday, June 6th from the Decatur Police Department, officers thought Penn was the suspect.
“I have a right to have my gun,” said Kevin Penn.
“It was a mistaken identity they didn’t know who the owner was versus the suspect,” said Police Chief Allen.
The Decatur Police Chief says, all his officers saw was a gun in a man’s hand.
“We do know there was a gun there. We do know that the magazine was there. We do know that he was reloading the magazine. I watch the Facebook video also and it shows real clearly that he had a gun in his hand and it shows real clearly that he had a magazine in his hand and he was reloading the magazine,” said Allen.
The three officers in the videos are still with the department. The officer who threw the punch was put on administrative duties.
Chief Allen says although the punch hurt, it could have been worse.
“There have been a lot of officer involved shootings when the suspect has guns. This case here there was not an officer involved shooting it was a punch I would much rather have a punch then an officer involved shooting,” said Allen.
We reached out to Kevin Penn and his attorney.
Penn said he called police asking for help and ended up becoming the victim, needing surgery on his broken jaw and teeth.
The Police Chief says this is an on-going investigation and is aware Kevin Penn plans to sue.